For years, the DSM has been criticized as a codification of human behavior that has been given too much credence as a measure of dysfunction. Like Freud-speak, Shakespeare and the Bible, its vernacular has weedled its way so deeply into our language, consciousness and culture that its labels and categories have become almost ubiquitous. So ubiquitous in this case, in fact, that there has come to be an increasing imperative on the part of some professionals to justify the veracity of what could easily be construed as nominal observations with official sounding language.
Frankly, my dismay and disappointment at finding this article on the front page of CNN.com, via Oprah.com, has left me quite uncharacteristically speechless.
Although Douglas LaBier's position on empathy deficit as a social condition is not untenable, labeling a failure of relationship and communication skills driven by a lack of emotional maturity and/or failure of social intelligence -- see, now I'm doing it -- an actual disorder seems, to me at least, a questionable misapplication of language and, for that reason, somewhat beyond the pale.