I summarized why Dr. Allan Frances, M.D., objects to the misuse and overuse of the DSM-5 (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual, version 5) which holds descriptions of various mental diseases/disorders, each of which receives a diagnosis/billing code (called CPT and ICD-10 codes) which are then used by clinicians to bill for services.Dr. Frances was the Chair of the Psychiatry Department at Duke University Medical School and was the Chair of the Task Force which created the DSM-IV manual (1994, the predecessor of the current DSM-5 (c)2013, and he is critical of overuse of DSM-IV also).
In his view, too many quirks of ordinary people are being medicalized and treated with a pill to the great harm of people, especially children. His book "Saving Normal" describes how our bodies always try to return themselves to homeostasis (balance) and except for very serious psychosis, with time and possibly "talk therapy," what is diagnosed as a mental disorder will resolve on its own and a pill often makes the temporary condition worse.
At our meeting, we discussed the importance of becoming educated about how doctors, laboratories, and pharmaceutical companies collude and over-diagnose and over-treat certain conditions and how it is up to each one of us to do our own research these days to determine whether we agree with the treatment being recommended by a doctor.
We don't want to get sucked into the "pill for every ill" cycle unnecessarily.
I appreciate each one of you and hope to see each of you at an upcoming meeting.
Elva Roy is the Lead Ambassador of the all-volunteer group "Ambassadors For Aging Well" which meets in Arlington, Texas.