Saturday, May 19, 2012

Two articles on Robert Spitzer

Robert Spitzer recently in the news for withdrawing his interpretation if a gay study is also the main person behind the controversial DSM-3 which has 'checklists' of symptoms for various mental diorders; the later DSMs are considered footnotes to DSM-3. A new one sccheduled for next year also controversial. According to the above article "Robert Spitzer’s achievement represents a Nobel-worthy leap forward in the history of psychiatry, but his DSM-III was only meant to be a first installment to a work-in-progress, not frozen in time as psychiatry’s diagnostic Bible. Its present incarnation as the DSM-IV-TR of 2000 is essentially the same old 1980 book in a new cover. There are many dangers to this. One of them is that the universal success of the DSM has entrenched its original errors. What may have started out in 1980 as a descriptive trial balloon by 1984 was unaccountably accepted as scientific fact, which by 1990 was regarded as wisdom of the ages. Now, in 2011 (and right up past 2030, no doubt), thanks to all the stake-holders invested in the status quo - insurance companies and so on - undoing these mistakes borders on the impossible. Indeed, the DSM-5, due out in 2013, guarantees psychiatry will be stuck in 1980 Groundhog Day forever - or until a new discipline renders it obsolete. But a pharmaceutical company with billions riding on a new antidepressant does not suddenly want to find out that depression no longer means what it used to mean, even if the term is no longer relevant to what we experience and how a new generation of clinicians may practice." This is also the view here which quotes from DSM-3 and worries about its use in litigations “The purpose of the DSM-III-R is to provide clear descriptions of diagnostic categories in order to enable clinicians and investigators to diagnose, communicate about, study, and treat the various mental disorders. It is to be understood that inclusion here, for clinical and research purposes, of a diagnostic category such as Pathological Gambling or Pedophilia does not imply that the conditions meets legal or other non-medical criteria for what constitutes mental disease, mental disorder, or mental disability. The clinical and scientific considerations involved in categorization of these conditions as mental disorders may not be wholly relevant to legal judgments, for example, that take into account such issues as individual responsibility, disability determination, and competency.”

No comments: