WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE! Mental Health and Us!

Well, it is a question that begs an answer. With so many possibilities on the clinician’s ipad (DSM V) these days, one must wonder how to set limits when diagnosing a person. Don’t we have an obligation to really measure what is behavioral, familial, and what is a mental health issue? I think we have more than an obligation, we have a duty and a call to make sure we point the finger at the appropriate culprit. Many times, actually many hundreds of times I have worked with teens or adults that were very quick to tell me about their DSM diagnoses. They seemed almost glad to share their perceived limitations with me, and wanted validation from another clinician like myself for some reason. Hmm, after thinking on it for a minute, I began to question many things, not just their diagnoses. The other issues in their life and the effects they have had on the person. Anyone with a DSM can find a label to fit just about anyone, so where is the balance? Do we just address symptoms and neatly put together a well fitting tag out of  ” the book ” ? 

According to the information in the 1st link I provided, about 26% of the population meet criteria for a mental health diagnoses . So what will that number look like now that we have a “book” that is overly user friendly to clinicians, but also very dangerous to the general population? After all, we all have a few of these disorders…heck, my own daughter admits to  ” oppositional defiance” and I discuss with her what the rewards and consequences of certain behaviors are. Would I take her to a psychiatrist for this? Heck no. I would hope a good psychiatrist would send me home to do some parenting. Is that what you would do? Fasten your seatbelt, because these type of decisions are coming your way if you are in the mental health field. If you adhere to the DSM-V for every single case and only to the guidelines set forth in there for making a diagnoses, be ashamed! Hey don’t blame me, I am just paraphrasing the Duke heavy hitter who chaired the DSM-IV committee. Read the article, and see if you agree that the new ” book ” is crazy.




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