I was pretty excited to watch “Diagnostic & Statistical Manual: Psychiatry’s Deadliest Scam,” a production of Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights. Most people in the mental health field are anxiously awaiting the official reveal of the updated Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) – the book that outlines and defines all known mental health disorders.
There are even debates about the potential changes. Whether you love it or you hate it, this book does make a big impact on our field. As a practitioner I am not a big fan of diagnosis, but I believe insurance is to blame for this more than the DSM.
Most people want their insurance to pay for treatment, even when simply dealing with the normal grief of losing a loved one, stress regarding life changes, or marital problems. However, for insurance to fund treatment, a diagnosis is required.
These kinds of situations, in my opinion, have led to the exaggeration of common life problems into diagnoses more so than the DSM itself. Most people, even when given the choice, choose diagnosis for the benefit of insurance-funded treatment. While this might save money and stress immediately, there are many longterm consequences of mental health diagnoses. (more…)
When British businesswoman Sarah Bird weighed in at her doctor’s office, she was shocked to discover that she was not a healthy weight, as she had believed, and that at 5’10” she weighed 238 pounds. Sarah knew that she did not have the body of a runway model, but the term “obese” was hard for her to swallow.
After Internet research confirmed her primary care physician’s diagnosis, Sarah set out on her own to lose weight, rejecting her physician’s referral to a weight loss program. She believed she had taught herself enough in years of yo-yo dieting to do it on her own. Sarah also forced herself to view herself in a full-length mirror for the first time in years, and she was shocked again at what she saw. As Sarah realized just how inaccurately she had perceived herself, she wrote a book about her experiences.