Diagnosis & Therapy

How to Measure Human Distress?

Why do doctors use the DSM? To anticipate and contain by categorizing and “labelling” madness. The latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) was made public recently at the American Psychiatric Association conference in San Francisco. It is a text addressed to psychiatrists in need of terminology for measuring...
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Diagnosis & Therapy

The Classification Versus Diagnosis Debate

There has been an interesting discussion going on at the International Diagnostic Summit (). Dr Tim Carey, in his thoughtful post, “DSM – Unfit for Purpose,” informs us that The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) …purports to be, first and foremost, a diagnostic manual. Diagnosis, as it is defined in Wikipedia,...
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Critiques of Diagnosis

Speaking in Code

The recent publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) has brought several new disorders into public consciousness while eliminating some old ones. As just two examples, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation disorder is in, but Asperger’s is out. The often-overlooked irony is that when it comes to diagnostic codes—the numeric or alphanumeric...
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Current Status of Dx

When Language Goes on Holiday

Philosophical problems arise when language goes on holiday. –Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, section 38 In his provocative essay, Prof. Peter Kinderman comments as follows: Many of us have highlighted the poor reliability, validity, utility, epistemology and humanity of psychiatric diagnoses. Psychiatric diagnoses fail to map onto any entity discernible in the real world, fail...
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Critiques of Diagnosis

Humanizing Mental Health: Existentialism and the DSM-5

What is the link between existentialism and a manual that gives most people on the planet their mental health diagnoses? From Major Depressive Disorder, to ADHD, to Asperger’s Syndrome, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is the book in which psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals find the codes needed that...
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Current Status of Dx

So…What Happens Next?

The idea that we’re on the cusp of a major paradigmatic shift in our thinking about psychiatric disorders is gaining ground. The proposed revision of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders franchise – DSM-5 – has prompted world-wide debate and discussion. The debates have identified serious inadequacies in the...
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