It’s a Wonderful Life?

I found this heading comical in the paper yesterday “psychiatrists argue over what’s normal”. Honestly, what is normal, is anyone really normal, and is that not an opinion? The new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is about 3 years away from publication but there are major debates going on now. One question being, is compulsive shopping a mental problem, oh no, I might be shopping for a straight jacket.  Another example is binge eating which is “tentative” category at the moment. Some say binge eating can be a normal behavior and you may run the risk of labeling people with a disorder they don’t even have. Transgender people are also divided about their place in the manual, some want it and some do not.

What it really boils down to I think is insurance, this book helps doctors make a diagnosis and provides insurance companies with codes without which the insurers will not reimburse patient’s claims for treatment. Honestly I think anyone who asks for therapy should be granted that right with insurance. In the long run a lot of money could be saved in court costs, jails, etc.

I guess what intrigued me about this article was the word “normal”.  In my eyes rude cell phone usage people are all not normal and they should have a code in this new book so they can go to therapy and learn that the world does not revolve around them and their conversation.


One Response

  1. These types of manuals and medical guides can be very impactful on a high social level. When being gay was finally removed as mental disorder from various medical organizations lists, the LGBT community could finally work to be seen more and more as a part of society, and on that didn’t need to be put in a facility to get “changed.”

    On the other hand, the constant labeling of issues and people can often pigeonhole people. You binge eat once and you start fearing you’re a binge eater because it’s an official “issue.” I think it is important to recognize a lot of issues because it helps find solutions once you label the problem, but it can cross a fine line, as in the “shopping disorder.” I would like to recategorize that as “discipline issues.” See, there is disagreement right there. One label for another. You cant win, most of the time.

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