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Reflections on Oct. 24th
Reflections on "How Does The DSM-V Impact our Society & Its Importance to Each of Us" Oct. 24, 2010

The American Psychiatry Association published its first famous reference book, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), in 1952. The name is somewhat misleading. This psychiatric bible is used daily by, not only medical practitioners, but by leagues of attorneys while planning defense and/or prosecution strategies, by judges while trying cases, by insurance companies for defining exemptions of coverage, in the training of law enforcement officers, military troops, and military intelligence. It is more than a list of statistics in that it attempts to draw a sharp line between mental health and illness. But it has thus far only succeeded in creating criteria that are complex and blurred at the edges, thus making real world application difficult and treacherous.

The Fifth edition of the DSM has been under study for more than a decade with an expected completion by 2013. Members of the 13 work groups charged with revising the DSM have been criticized for secrecy and direct ties (presumed beneficial relationships) with the pharmaceutical industry. What these task force members decide can have far reaching effects on our legal and educational systems, as well as on journalism, our political choices, and human relations.

We will review a few of the major revisions proposed and discuss the following questions:

• How do we conceive of the spectrum that runs from mental health to mental illness?

• Do we allow for the extremes of personality varieties before jumping to the accusation of mental impairment when we're arguing with an adversary?

• Do we recognize that all individuals think differently, and that variety itself may be an evolutionary advantage?

• Are homeless street people all mentally ill?

• Was the deinstitutionalism of the "insane" in the late twentieth century good or bad for society as a whole?

• Are we uncomfortable with the power, legal and otherwise, that the medical profession holds over us?

• How can we be more proactive in staying abreast of psychiatric practices and the impact they may have on society as a whole and on us as individuals?

• Is internet addiction a mental illness?

Join us at the home of Schera Chadwick & Ted Lollis, 9219 George Williams Road, 37922, in West Knoxville near Cedar Bluff [call 865.690.8742 for directions]. Bring a dish (or not; always plenty to eat) and enjoy good food and good conversation from 4:00 to 6:00 pm on Sunday, Oct. 24th.

Posted by schadwick
Oct. 20, 2010