The psychiatric bible, known as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, is hailed by psychiatrists and psychiatry supporters alike. The 5th edition of the manual, scheduled for publication in May of 2013, is stirring up massive controversy. Being the go-to text for diagnosing every mental disorder known to (and created by) man while ultimately leading to widespread medicating of the population, the 900-page bible is now being pegged for financial conflicts of interests.
In 1994, DSM-4, the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, was published. Shortly following the publication, the American Psychiatric Association implemented a new policy which would force expert advisors to divulge any ties with drug industries in order to cut down on potential conflicts of interests. Despite the newly instituted policy, an astonishing 70 percent of the panel members of the newest edition, DSM-5, reported having financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies. About 57 percent reported ties in the previous edition.
“They’re [the new diagnoses] at the boundary of normality…And these days, most diagnostic decisions are not made by psychiatrists trained to distinguish between the two. Most are made by primary care doctors who see a patient for about seven minutes and write a prescription…” said Frances, who is professor emeritus of psychiatry at Duke University. He also states that the new additions would ‘radically and recklessly’ expand psychiatric boundaries.
As decades pass, the number of diagnosable disorders has gone up by the hundreds. In the past, homosexuality was even battled for inclusion, describing people as having a “sociopathic personality disturbance.” Later, it was replaced with a disorder called “ego-dystonic homosexuality,” a problem specifically surfacing from a source of distress.