The Search for Self

Exploring depersonalization disorder

Depersonalization in the DSM-5

The new DSM-5 has changed the name for depersonalization disorder and its diagnostic criteria. Does it deepen understanding of feeling unreal and improve the diagnostics and treatment of this painful condition? Read More

DSM and Defamation

Was any legal advice obtained when drafting the DSM? What am I thinking? The medical profession are above the law, are infallible and never harm - and should be given every opportunity to judge and label. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all be judged and labelled by the medical profession - and it can be done so simply - a family member, a school teacher, a co-worker, a boss, could just answer a few questions on a checklist - all it takes is a few minutes of any obviously insightful acquaintance's time - and that is it - categorized and stigmatized for life

Thank you – your post has

Thank you – your post has true merit. And some stimulating measure of bitter irony. Of course: Label jars – not people. To diagnose is never to define the person as a whole. Diagnosis is rather the technical way of characterizing just one part of this whole. The medical dimension is interwoven with the legal, ethical, social and cultural dimensions. And “knots” can be pretty tangled. Let’s talk about this.

"To diagnose is never to define the person as a whole"

Your comment "To diagnose is never to define the person as a whole" is not the case - as to diagnose someone as "Neurotic", "Psychotic", schizophrenic" "Leper" means that these diagnosed become "A Neurotic", "A Psychotic", "A Schizophrenic" "A Leper"

Children are routinely

Children are routinely diagnosed on the basis of checklists completed by school and parent - boxes are ticked for perceived behaviours which are not acceptable to school teacher and or parent who like peace and quiet and or over anxious parents who wrongly believe that the child is suffering from all the negative emotions they are suffering from . Checklist compilers can often be the child's persecutor. Perceived behaviours being, for example, "temper outbursts" (over control of suppressed emotions - which include any emotion such as disappointment, fear, frustration, anxiety, etc )being wrongly perceived as "temper tantrums" (under control because of failure to get instant gratification). The child who rightly questions a person's authority to over control him will qualify for a tick in the box for "argumentative / defiant" The child has no say, is not examined nor observed - and even in the unlikelihood if a child is asked why are you so angry the child may not know and simply say "he she was annoying me by breathing too loudly". There is a saying "we are rarely angry for the reason we think we are angry. So if an adult doesn't know why he is angry (anger is often a representation of depression so if an adult is confused by his emotions how can a child be expected to understand his. Also children don't often realise that they are being bullied. A young child who has misbehaved and is told by the class "we can't play with you because you are bold and some of your bold might get onto us" will believe that he / she is bold and will be upset and angry and wont want to explain why.

Also a child labelled with a disorder, eg. ODD as spurious disorder with no biological basis will be regarded as having the dozen or so symptoms when all that is required is 4 - and the 4 he or she has might be traits of giftedness - a condition for want of a better word routinely misdiagnosed as disorder (or may have the more innocuous traits - some traits are far worse than others and the same label applies regardless). Few if any Psychiatrists appear to have knowldedge of the Betts & Neihart 6 Profiles of Giftedness (or possibly more profiles in the updated version). This document will show how very easy it is to misdiagnose a gifted and or talented child as having a "disorder", And why use such an offensive and stigmatizing term as "disorder". Why use any term? Why no simply identify the reasons for the behaviours wrongly called "symptoms" which in any case are "traits" of normality. Why not take the common sense "Nanny 911" approach. Nanny always finds that the "out of control" child is simply using coping mechanisms in an unsuitable environment and it is always the environment (simnply inexperienced parents - who have nothing to guide them - as most people move away from their own parents and lose out on mentors)

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Elena Bezzubova, M.D., Ph.D., maintains a private practice as a psychoanalyst in Newport Beach, and teaches at UC-Irvine and the New Center for Psychoanalysis.

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