Mental disorders are not like other disorders, they are…mental. This is why it should come as no surprise that, following the 2012 election, some proposed mental disorders are candidates for entry into the 5th edition of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) slated for publication in 2013.
You aren’t a real mental disorder unless you’re in the DSM. Anybody can come up with a prospective mental disorder, but only a committee of American Psychiatric Association members can vote a mental disorder into the DSM. Once a mental disorder has made its way into the DSM, Pandora’s box is cracked, there’s absolutely no way to keep it out of the world.
If you Google DSM-5 news sometime you can get an idea of the great lengths some people will go to in order to get mental disorders listed in that manual. These mental disorders are up for election, and they’ve got their own press crews, and their own sham-paign committees.
4 candidates are currently scrambling on the news search page for election into shrink’s gospel.
Number 1 is Hypersexuality or Sex Addiction. UCLA conducted a research study recently that concluded Hypersexuality was a “real” disorder. Alright, that’s a first step to convincing the psychiatrists on a DSM-5 revision committee that Sex is a legitimate Addiction, isn’t it? I suppose we will be looking for Hypersexuality DNA in the future. Anybody want to see if they can get Hair Disorder into the DSM-5, too?
Hoarding is set to take a seat rather than simply being reduced to serving as an underling of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This has got to be another big lift for Hoarding who recently was fortunate enough to land his own television show on the A & E channel.
The next candidate up for office is the new category, Autism Spectrum Disorder. Asberger’s Syndrome has gotten the boot, and Pervasive Developmental Disorders are being replaced by ASD. Okay, no problem. Asberger was a shmuck. Some people still want him to serve out a few more terms nonetheless.
Prolonged Grief is trying to get her own space along this hall of infamy. I think the thing could be covered under Major Depressive Disorder, but, believe it or not, there are actually people who want to make unrelenting Grief a disease category. Who am I to say they should get over it?
I suggest people take these official disorders as lightly as possible. Should they drift off like a butterfly, or a dead leaf on the wind, it would be no great loss. Devotion to a pompous, demanding, and fictitious disease category can have profoundly negative consequences on your overall health and life circumstances. Pretend the DSM had never been written, and you should do just fine.