Friday, March 06, 2009

The DSM - Social Control for Dummies

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is published by the American Psychiatric Association and provides diagnostic criteria for mental disorders. It is used in the United States and in varying degrees around the world, by clinicians, researchers, psychiatric drug regulation agencies, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and policy makers.

Here is a list of all of the disorders in the current edition:

In 2012 they are releasing the 5th edition which will modify and expand the list of disorders in the 4th edition.

Criticisms of the DSM generally include a number of things:

  • No objective diagnostic test for any of the disorders.
  • Conflicts of interest (mostly from pharmaceutical companies)
  • Contains vague descriptions of symptoms
  • Fails to look at other explanations
  • Previously listed homosexuality as a mental disorder (until it was removed in 1973)

Plus a number of other criticisms -


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