Communicate With Your Therapist About Pending Diagnostic Changes


Pending Mental Heal Diagnostic Changes in DSM 5 Could Effect Your Treatment and Insurance Coverage

My young client began to improve and then flourish, but neither the referring doctor nor I could involve her parents in her growth in a supportive way. Much to the horror of the referring doctor and me, my client's parents consulted a research oriented doctor, who told them that I did not know what I was doing, and that their daughter was psychotic. She was removed from my care, without the opportunity to say goodbye. My client is now institutionalized, and with regularity I get a call from her asking if I still believe in her. (At that time a young clinician in training worked in my office. She told me that had she not seen this happen with her very eyes, she never would have believed it.) 

Now for the first time in the history of the DSM, the researchers, largely without clinical experience, not the clinicians, are dominating the group of diagnostic decision makers for the 5th DSM edition, due out in May, 2013. The discord among these specialties which should interact consistently and respectfully has grown very ugly. There are many plans for diagnostic change that the public will not know about until they are established. And such changes may impact upon services offered to you and your loved ones, as well as your coverage.  Many will rely on unnecessary medication and impose classifications that will impede appropriate clinical and educational opportunities.


Most of us have such busy and demanding lives that we do not notice when things we have taken for granted, slip way – that is until they are gone -- when we look for them, but they are no longer available. These losses extend to everything from a valued neighbor, to a restaurant, clothing or department store or bakery, to a relied upon antibiotic or heath aid that is no longer marketed.

In matters of mental health, that heavy duty medication is not the answer for normal reactions to grief and loss.  Also remember that sound educational approaches, combined with talk therapy, can provide excellent help for many.


Addendum:  The DSM 5 went to press in late January, disregarding pleas from accomplised, research oriented clinicians that many changes were misguided and harmful.  Specifically, several normal reactions to life, loss and change are now mislabled as illnesses requiring drugs.  This is well explained by Allen Frances, MD in his article, easily found,  "DSM 5 Is Guide Not Bible—Ignore Its Ten Worst Changes."( - Cached)  In Dr. Frances's words, "APA approval of DSM- 5 is a sad day for psychiatry." 

e DSM proposed changes impact on appropriate services for ourselves and our loved ones. I urge you to learn about the impending changes and discuss them with your health care provider. If the services and approaches you rely on are at any risk, you and your mental health provider can work and lobby together for your protection!  Remember th

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