4 Personality Disorders Potentially Axed

Personality disorders are up on the chopping block for the revised DSM-V slated for release in 2013. The committee selecting them is paring down their numbers from the present 10 to 6. This is the situation anyway according to a report in the La Times, Personality disorders category is likely to be dramatically revised for next psychiatry textbook.

Initially there was talk of dropping narcissistic personality disorder until committee members thought better of the idea. The demonizing of suspects in criminal court cases must go on, and we can’t manage compound such demonizing without the narcissistic personality disorder designation. Ditto the pathologizing of vain and self-absorbed people in general.

The committee working on the personality disorders chapter of the DSM-5, which is due to be published in 2013, has proposed six types of disorders: antisocial, avoidant, borderline, narcissistic, obsessive/compulsive and schizotypal. They have proposed dropping paranoid, histrionic, schizoid and dependent personality disorders.

In a recent post we encountered a Georgia Supreme Court case where it was determined that personality disorders were real “mental disorders” because they were listed in the DSM. This decision flies in the face of a federal Supreme Court decision releasing a man from “hospitalization” because the federal Supreme Court bought the opposite argument, personality disorders are not real “mental illnesses”. Well, now you can worry…

However, to qualify for a diagnosis, a patient would have to have a high level of impairment in two areas of personality functioning — self and interpersonal. Patients would be assessed for how they view themselves and how they pursue their goals in life, for example, as well as how they get along with other people and whether they think about the consequences of their actions. The new model is less rigid than the existing diagnostic model. It is designed to reflect that behavior can change over time while personality traits tend to remain stable.

It’s a good thing our Georgia defendent didn’t have one of the excised personality disorders, or then we’d be right back in court, wouldn’t we?

Acquire 2 levels of dysfunction, and you’ve got your advanced degree in a personality disorder. If personality traits are consistent, they won’t wash off, will they?

“In the past, we viewed personality disorders as binary. You either had one or you didn’t,” said Dr. Andrew Skodol, chairman of the DSM work group on personality disorders, in a news release. “But now we understand that personality pathology is a matter of degree.”

What was I saying? Oh, yeah, this puts personality disorders back on a continuum. Step over a certain line, and you can be certified, or receive a degree. This is sort of like saying that personality disorders are merely a matter of excess. Everybody has a personality disorder, but everybody hasn’t gone onto recieve a degree in disturbing behaviors. Next question, is Dr. Skodol trying to say that personality disorders are not actually “mental illnesses”?

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4 Responses

  1. “Binary…”? – what a moron. These people should hear themselves speak. I think they get used to being applauded at catholic mother’s meetings and other such trash.

    It’s the same sort of garbage that my buddy McGorrie spouts on TV. He actually says nothing but makes sounds that appeal to the ignorant.

    • Yeah, binary is a good one, or rather two. Google it and you will get goobledigook. If you were to file it, I imagine goobledigook would be the right file to file it under. If you have a doppleganger, then you’re binary.

      Psychiatry has it’s own specialized jargon. There is also a dumbed down version digestable by the gulled and gullible general public. When everything you read about a subject says the same damned thing, and that thing doesn’t really even make intelligible sense, sometimes you have to put your foot down, and say I’m not going to repeat the same mistake over and over again however much of a cliche’ it has become.

      Allen Frances, one of the drafters of the DSM-IV, has become one of the most vocal critics of the DSM-V revision process. Patrick McGorry recently came under fire from Allen Frances over his pre-schizophrenia screening position. In this one instance, Allen Frances argument is very much on target.

  2. Thank God–or the psychiatrists who pass for gods–that they didn’t ditch my own diagnosis! If I were suddenly robbed of my borderline identity, who would I be? Would everyone abandon me? Who would soothe my mood swings? Could I still be off-the-charts impulsive without everyone getting all snotty about it? Getting VERY VERY ANGRY just thinking about it!!!! *breaks Grandmother’s china, sits down and downs a bottle of pills with a chaser of whiskey* Once I’m dead they’ll ALL be sorry!!!!! *heavy thud amidst a faint tinkling of broken china*

    • Ahhh. I dunno. I think some people manage fairly well without any sort of diagnosis applied to them whatsoever. Anybody want a “mental illness”!? No bother. That’s what shrinks are for, isn’t it? They attach psychiatric labels to people, and they dispense pills purported to magically manage those psychiatric behavioral brands. After attaining a label, then you’ve got a problem. So many people have such a real difficulty relinquishing a psychiatric label once they’ve had one attached to themselves. Seeing as the label itself is often invisible, I guess it must be a difficult matter to find a pair of invisible scizzors to detach it with.

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