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- Published on Friday, 25 May 2012 14:34
- Written by Lara Landis
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Transgender advocates and Asexual activists have criticized the DSM-5, but the criticisms run deeper. Other critics have accused the guide of defining too many elements of normal human behavior as mental illness. A recent story may show that the guide still needs more work, and calls attention to other flaws in the book.
The latest problem with the DSM-5 is a change in a definition that defines many college students as alcoholics. Alcoholics Anonymous and other specialists in addiction medicine currently make a distinction between binge drinkers who have hope of recovery, and alcoholics who cannot control their addiction. Changes to the DSM will define many college students as full-fledged alcoholics.
As many people who have been through college already know, the college days do not always give people an idea of the problems a person might have later in life. Students who leave college often leave their binge drinking behind them.
The overall problem may remain the same. Too many of the people on the DSM-5 committee have ties to pharmaceutical industries. Lowering the diagnostic criteria places many people in the mental health system who may not actually need it. Criticisms of the new manual made by the APA and the British Psychological Society should serve as a warning.
The DSM-5 committee seems determined to push ahead without actually addressing the conflicts. New publications of the publication referred to as psychiatry’s bible often go through a controversial process. Sweeping changes are made with every edition.