Thursday, February 11, 2010

What is a Mental Disorder?

There are a lot of topics of discussion in here, so I put my notations in black.

FROM CNN: Sweeping new changes are out tonight in the whole area of behavior, and what is really a mental disorder. Have we way over-diagnosed ourselves? Does everything need a label, a treatment? The implications are huge.

Is this just a typical temper tantrum or a new disorder? What about this? Clinical depression or just sadness?

The editors of the so called "bible of psychiatry" want to re-name and re-categorize dozens of behaviors. And it could affect the drugs millions of people are treated with and what therapies insurance companies cover.

One of the biggest proposed changes eliminating the Aspergers diagnosis and folding it in new category called "autism spectrum disorders."

Dr. Max Wiznitzer/ Rainbow Babies & Children Hospital "The use of single term will actually simplify care in some states for instance a label of Aspergers Syndrome does not get you educational services but a label of autism spectrum does." (I do know people who have kids with autism who struggled to get them the education they needed because they didn't have the right autism diagnosis.)

And they're introducing new disorder called "temper dysregulation with dysphoria" defined as children who have persistent bad moods with bursts of rage.

sa: sounds like that could be any child? f: it could.

But doctors says the new label was actually created to stop doctors from mis-diagnosing and medicating kids for bi-polar disorder. (Seriously, every kid has this disorder at some point. I am not sure this new disorder is a good idea.)

Gambling addiction is also in the book for the first time. But Internet and sex addiction didn't make the cut. The authors weren't convinced they're actual "addictions."

Another new label: 'mixed anxiety depressive" .. defined as exhibiting depressive symptoms...for just two weeks.

Dr. Michael First/ Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Columbia University "Clearly doctors will be very tempted to try out anti-depressants on this and you know there's a huge potential for people getting medication being pressured to get medication for normal sadness."(What is normal sadness anyway? Who is to say how sad you should or shouldn't be about a situation. I never have understood that.)

Doctors expect pharmaceutical companies will re-market their existing products...for these "new" disorders. Small changes in language that could mean millions of dollars for the drug companies. (Obviously that is a bad thing if it means people will be taking medication they don't really need!)

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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