Thursday, February 18, 2010


even Time magazine is watching the
latest revisions to DSM-V ;
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

3. Address the problem of including certain minor addiction disorders (caffeine intoxication) but excluding others (compulsive gambling).
These are relatively infrequent diagnoses, but they seem highly capricious. Isn't compulsive gambling a sign of a bigger problem? Isn't caffeine intoxication usually an accident? That's one reason the whole category of "substance-related disorders" has chipped away at the authority of the DSM. The new DSM would rationalize the system. There are no plans to change the diagnostic criteria of "caffeine intoxication" (essentially, drinking so much coffee or Red Bull that you go nuts, at least temporarily), but the APA is considering whether "non-substance addictions" like compulsive gambling, shopping and eating are related to traditional substance abuse — and, if so, how. Also, it has proposed re-titling the category of substance-related disorders to "Addiction and Related Disorders." No decisions have been made, but this research process is promising and long overdue.

there appears to be some dissension as to what constitutes an addictive behavior;

yet those addictions that generate the most income for doctors, rehabs and drug companies

always seem to get the label "disease" .

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Shadow said...

aaah, of course money makes it a disease...

John Fitzgerald said...

What we call things unfortunately determines what insurance will pay for, what gets researched, and can significantly impact patients' lives. Labels stick. I wrote about this same topic here:

Thanks for the post - John