DSM-5: Diagnosing for Status and Money
By Zur Institute
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The DSM-5 was born in a new era, with the media and Internet drawing attention to, and forcing, a greater transparency in its development - or actually more clarity about the lack of transparency of the process. There have been massive conflicts and clashes surrounding this process. Not only have mental health professionals engaged more actively in observation and action, but also the general public has become involved and has made its opinions heard. Many believe that the published product is deeply flawed and dangerous in many ways.
The DSM-5 has created new diagnoses and loosened the criteria for certain existing disorders in a way that widens the range of pathology to include what has previously been considered normal behaviors. It is predicted that these changes will result in a higher percentage of people in the general population being inappropriately labeled as mentally ill and unnecessarily medicated, to the tune of billions of dollars in increased profits to the psychopharmacological industry.
DSM-5 tends to pathologize normal behaviors and temperaments:
As with its predecessors, the new DSM-5 is likely to continue to pathologize normal behaviors in certain especially vulnerable populations, including, but not limited to:
- Girls & Women
- Lower Socio-Economic Class
- Geriatric Populations
- Ethnic Minorities
- Members of the LGB Community
- Autistic People