Critics are saying the new manual has a litany of problems, not the least of which is that it lowers the threshold for having certain mental disorders. This means that with looser definitions, more people will be diagnosed with disorders, and this has all kinds of ramifications – psychological, pharmacological, social, and economic.
Worse, the APA argues, is that perfectly normal processes of distress, which come and go within a healthy person (like grief, for instance), are now being “medicalized” and “stigmatized.” This pathologizing of normal psychological issues presents the “risk of triggering false-positive epidemics.”
Perhaps worse is that they’ll then get treated for it. And since we’re a drug-happy nation, it might mean a lot more people may be on meds they don’t really need. The APA adds that because many pharmaceuticals pose risk of side effects, it’s especially important not to be falsely diagnosing people with mental disorders that are likely to be treated with medications.
Read more here. Commentary to come.