Mental Health Issues Blog


The Clinical & Forensic Psychology Practice of Dr. Glen Skoler

DRGlenSkoler@Gmail.com • (240) 605-2988

 
 
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This blog is meant to be a commentary on issues relevant to clients who seek mental health services. Topics include the process of therapy, trendy diagnoses such as bipolar and ADD disorders, couples counseling, psychological testing and the phenomenon  of diagnosing and medicating children and teens for mental disorders. Please see the “Psychiatric Medications Blog” for controversies regarding such drugs.


All blog entries: © Dr. Glen Skoler, 2010, all rights reserved.


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This blog is meant to be a commentary on issues relevant to clients who seek mental health services. Topics include the process of therapy, trendy diagnoses such as bipolar and ADD disorders, couples counseling, psychological testing and the phenomenon  of diagnosing and medicating children and teens for mental disorders.




What Is The DSM-V


The DSM-V is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association. Although it contains generally accepted diagnostic criteria for mental health diagnoses which are  accepted by courts and insurance companies, it is not without controversy. Here are a few of the debated issues:


1) The DSM-V is criticized for relying on a “medical model” or “disease model” of mental disorder and distress. After all, it is published by the American Psychiatric Association, an organization of MDs.


2) Millions of adults, and children, can “look” like they fit various DSM-V diagnoses at different times in their lives, disorders such as depression or ADD.


3) The simple diagnostic and behavioral criteria of the DSM-V often have little to do with any kind of biological or chemical definition of mental disorder and stress. Yet  often these criteria are used to diagnose people in a matter of minutes, who are then immediately told that, based on meeting such diagnostic criteria, they have a life “biochemical imbalance” requiring medications affecting the brain.


4) There is the logical fallacy of: “If it isn’t in the DSM-V, it doesn’t exist.” There is no rape, incest or spouse abuse syndrome in the DSM-V. Does this “prove” a victim can’t suffer from any of these syndromes? Sounds ridiculous, but this argument is often made about whether parental alienation syndrome really exists.