Controversial update to “bible” of psychiatry fuels debate over foundations of mental health: one book raises big questions
Is it possible that almost 90% of Americans who are diagnosed with clinical depression are diagnosed incorrectly? Is it possible that most of them are really just going through a natural process of normal sadness that happens to most people when they suffer loss of one kind or another? The stakes in a massive misdiagnosis of thousands of people for the same illness are huge. The sector of the drug industry that produces medication related to helping people cope with medical depression, bipolar and the like is vast, well-funded and has a lot at stake in the continual diagnosis of these diseases. Through varied sorts of advertisements, one could draw the conclusion that a huge number of people could be (or are) suffering from medical depression and similar ailments. In fact, it is estimated that over 25% of Americans at any given time are believed to be suffering from depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder (p. 20).
No doubt there are people who genuinely suffer from an abnormal type of sadness that is sometimes unexplained, such that it is proper to call it a disease and treat it accordingly. I know of three family members and long-time friends who have dealt with depression and bipolar. This issue is very real to me and I have put a lot of thought into understanding the disease, diagnosis and treatments.
“[T]he fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-5, will be official when it is published in May 2013.” E.g., disruptive mood dysregulation disorder replaces “spoiled brat” and depression disorder replaces “prolonged grief.”