Monday, May 14th, 2012
Fascinating article in the NY Times about the DSM, the diagnostic manual used to identify all sorts of mental and learning disorders.
The author is Dr. Allen Frances, a former chairman of the psychiatry department at Duke University School of Medicine, and the one who led the task force that produced D.S.M.-4. Dr. Allen fully recognizes the fabulous improvement through standardization the DSM has provided.
However he feels its time to give the group more guidance and oversight. According to him,
Many critics assume unfairly that D.S.M.-5 is shilling for drug companies. This is not true. The mistakes are rather the result of an intellectual conflict of interest; experts always overvalue their pet area and want to expand its purview, until the point that everyday problems come to be mislabeled as mental disorders. Arrogance, secretiveness, passive governance and administrative disorganization have also played a role.