Turning Normal Emotions Into New Illnesses

An update to one of the most important manuals in mental health – known as the bible of psychiatry – has been unveiled.

Controversy and criticism has surrounded work on the fifth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

Critics say the rulebook turns normal behaviour, like grief or childhood temper tantrums, into mental illness.

It is used mainly in the US, but is influential around the world

… The publication will have no effect on how people are diagnosed in the UK and other countries which use guidelines from the World Health Organization.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been modified to emphasise that this disorder can continue into adulthood.

Making Normal Ill

Ahead of the update, Prof Peter Kinderman, head of the Institute of Psychology at the University of Liverpool, argued on the BBC’s Scrubbing Up column that: “[DSM-5] will lower many diagnostic thresholds and increase the number of people in the general population seen as having a mental illness.”

BBC News

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The Health-Care Survivor’s Comment

Once again, this article reminds us of the dangerous tendency of those within the allopathic medical system, to pathologise normal behaviour. There aim, in doing so, is to widen the scope of control exerted by the pharmaceutical industry, through its strengthening stranglehold of health care, worldwide.

It is becoming even more important to remember that:

Health is the body’s natural state, even when one has a permanent and irreversible underlying condition, like cerebral palsy. It is prescription medication, and the worldwide systems designed to reinforce our dependence upon it, that should be called ‘alternative medicine’. If good health is our natural, balanced state, then the goal of health care should be to maintain that balance, or to return us to it, as naturally as possible. This approach still allows for medical and surgical treatments, when they are necessary, but they should be considered to be useful alternatives, and not assumed to be the only acceptable options.

Disease control, and even symptoms management both have their place, and I have benefited, and suffered, from both, but they must never be confused with health care. It is crucial to defend the right of people to know the difference between health care and medical care, and to be able to make an informed choice between them.

Mike Tawse

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