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Blog

Humanizing Mental Health: Existentialism and the DSM-5

Posted on May 22, 2013 at 7:48 AM
Here is an article by Dr. Donna Rockwell, a member of the Division 32 Open Letter Committee, http://dsm5-reform.com/, saying that the field of mental health needs to return to humanistic valies. 

Extract: 
"So many people the world over are suffering from a form of existential whiplash from the economic tumult and personal loss of an identifiable being-in-the-world that makes ego syntonic sense to them. Lost jobs, economic hardship, familial collapse, loss of home, hearth and hope—such existential crises cannot be fixed by pills alone. The current controversy over proposed new diagnoses in the upcoming DSM-5 has psychologists and mental health professionals deeply concerned, as they see so many of these struggling people identified as mentally ill, given a diagnostic number, and treated with a cocktail of prescribed medicines that don’t come close to addressing what is really wrong. Speaking out against what they see as the dehumanizing of psychological care through over medicalization and over diagnosis of vulnerable populations of children and the elderly in particular (but touching the lives of the general public, as well), through revolt against the proposed DSM-5, the mental health community is shouting a resounding, “No!” Last fall, within months, more than 10,000 mental health professionals, organizations, international psychological groups, and others, had signed an online Open Letter petition asking the DSM-5 Task Force and the American Psychiatric Association to show greater transparency in their process of vetting some of the more controversial new diagnostic criteria (http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/dsm5/). News media outlets and bloggers were quick to tell this David and Goliath story of the foot soldiers who see the impact of mis-diagnosis and the harm of over medication, and are standing up to the giant psychiatric publishing monolith as it moves the DSM-5 each day closer to press (it is due to close its review process in February 2012, and be published in May 2013)."

Categories: DSM-5

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