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Gary Greenberg offers up this wonderfully nuanced assessment of the shortcomings of the DSM-5, psychiatry’s diagnostic “Bible.” Lots of food for thought here:

“What is true for the madness that is love is true for any madness at all—or, for that matter, any suffering that doctors purport to understand. The diagnostician’s job is to find the disease that unites the scattered symptoms and makes them manifest in precisely the way they do, to say with certainty that this distress is the result of that illness and no other. The diagnostic enterprise hinges on an optimistic notion: that disease is part of a natural world that only awaits our understanding. But even if this is true, nature gives up its secrets grudgingly, and our finite senses are in some ways ill suited to extracting them. More important, our prejudices lead us to tear nature where we want it to break. Science, especially modern medicine, is founded on this equally optimistic idea: that experts can purge their inquiry of prejudice and desire, and map the landscape of suffering along its natural boundaries.”

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-05/trouble-dsm?src=SOC&dom=tw

For what it’s worth, I think there are some less distinguished voices who are offering up assessments of mental illness that are every bit as insightful as the professional community’s contributions. One wouldn’t think to look to an Internet cartoonist for a groundbreaking discussion of depression, but then that’s what makes her contribution so much more meaningful. I strongly encourage you to take a look:

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http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.ca/2013/05/depression-part-two.html

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