Thursday, February 11, 2010

New psychology diagnosis manual

The bible for psychologists is the DSM-IV. It describes all the accepted psychological disorders, and the criteria for diagnosing them. A psychologist's main expertise is in diagnosing and treating these disorders.

Courts appoint psychologist to evaluate families for custody disputes, but a flaw in the system is that most of these cases do not involve DSM-IV disorders. I could see where a psychologist might have a useful opinion if one of the parents has a DSM-IV disorder, but he may not have any relevant expertise otherwise.

Now the psychiatrists are revising the DSM-IV. They are dropping some old disorders, and creating some new one. They just published their first public draft at, and invited public comment. It is scheduled to be published in 2013.

The only disorder I am worried about is the newly-created binge eating disorder. One of the symptoms is:
1. eating, in a discrete period of time (e.g., within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances
Wow, I do that every time I eat a big meal! In fact, every meal I eat is either larger than average, or smaller.

I am currently undergoing a psychological evaluation. I am hoping that it is completed before 2013 so I don't have to face this diagnosis.


njartist said...

That definition applies to most people in a first world country: the majority of people in the world eat less than do Westerners. The definition is meaningless and is obviously a deliberately vague tool.

Michael said...

i think the new diagnosis is primarily aimed at participants in hot-dog eating contests... beware