Mental Illness Overdiagnosed

  1. 4

    Yes! Yes! Yes! I thought DSM 5 is a crock of oop:, too.

    I think we need to go back to the basics and remind ourselves what mental illness is...

    It is a persistent pattern of behaviors (at least 5 out of 9) that lasts at least 6 months or longer that have had a negative affect on the person's life. People should meet the criteria every time they are assessed (while untreated; treatment is different--the traits should be absent).

    Also, from my understanding, true mental illness (stemming from genetic and environmental factors) is present in the absence of mood altering substances (drugs/alcohol/caffeine).

    Now, that being said, I think if someone suffers from situational depression or psychosis (i.e. postpartum depression/psychosis or depression due to the loss of a loved one) and would like medication to help, they should get it. I do not think medication should be the go to thing first off. I think people who lost loved ones should be able to grieve how ever they need to (that doesn't hurt themselves or others); then, if it is excessive, maybe counseling or something. But, I don't think situational issues should be included in the mental illness category.

    I welcome thoughts and comments....
    sharpeimom, leslie :-D, tewdles, and 1 other like this.

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  3. 11 Comments...

  4. 6
    I agree with that last sentence. Normal grieving is not pathological; it's a very necessary part of processing a loss that we must go THROUGH, not around, not under, not over.

    However, postpartum psychosis isn't necessarily situational; it is often a marker for bipolar disorder that usually gets missed. I know it was for me, and I wonder sometimes if things would have gone better if I'd been diagnosed earlier in my life.

    It also concerns me that if the media put enough stories out there claiming Americans are over-diagnosed, the 'sheeple' might get the message that there really is no such thing as mental illness, and those who do suffer from actual psychiatric disorders could face more public ridicule and discrimination than they already do. Additionally, it might give those who are 'on the fence' about their own MH issues a reason to doubt their diagnosis and stop taking their medications, with potentially disastrous results. (Personally, I'd love to deny the fact of my own illness and not have to take $200/month worth of meds to manage it; unfortunately, all the evidence points in the opposite direction and I have the mood charts to prove it. )

    Just my two pence worth......
    tewdles, BCgradnurse, sharpeimom, and 3 others like this.
  5. 4
    As the DSM expands to encompass all forms a aberrant, but not mental illness as we were all educated to understand, the mental health budget goes down. Not only are we getting a glut of PTSD because we are able to keep warriors alive during combat now there is an attempt to diagnose things we never saw as illness and remove some of the things that seem to fit our understanding of MI.

    Does anyone in authority communicate with those who fund the programs that are in response to the diagnosis to treat and decrease symptoms?

    Grief is normal. We are not educated as to death, as a nation. There is a great debate about sex ed. but even the subject of death, dying, grief, and funereal customs is taboo.

    it is still a source of shame for many of us who have a diagnosis of MI. Those who seem to have the loudest voices about mental illness seem to be people like Ted Nugent and Mr. LaPierre. While both may be experts in dysfunction they certainly are not qualified to discuss any mental health/illness issues. It continues stereo-types that are not reality. We are in the infancy of understanding the brain. Too few people realize how little we really know.
    Last edit by aknottedyarn on Mar 18, '13
    BCgradnurse, sharpeimom, leslie :-D, and 1 other like this.
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    I still think DSM 5 is a bunch of bologna. Mental illness does exist; but, as long as we are going to call every quirk or difference in people or caffeine addiction (that is totally a society thing--we drink lots of coffee, soda, sweet tea, etc.) a mental becomes a joke. All I am saying is that it should go by the criteria that I mentioned earlier and you should be able to check it at anytime and get the same results.
    Spidey's mom and aknottedyarn like this.
  7. 3
    personally i don't have a problem with dsm-5.
    offhand its benefits outweigh its detriments.
    yet even IF they were legitimate diagnoses, they do not always and immediately warrant medications.
    that is what i take issue with.
    i 'get' that prescribers are either pressured (self-induced or otherwise) or motivated to write scripts.
    compound that with living in a generally entitled society that demands instant gratification... we are.

    i think these dxs need additional input from their authors...
    perhaps advising when to contact your dr.,
    followed by other advice in managing one's personal adversity.

    medication should never be a first choice...
    only a last resort.

  8. 1
    2. DSM 5 Is Guide Not Bibleā€"Ignore Ten Worst Changes | Psychology Today

    Article from a physician (I think he is a psychiatrist, to be specific) about what he considers to be the top ten worst changes in the new DSM...I think he revised it to be 11 changes--the 11th is that they are going to cause a lot of possible physical problems to have a psychiatric diagnosis.
    aknottedyarn likes this.
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    So true. Almost all the drugs used for some type of mental illness have very nasty side effects. Some have been almost ignored by those who do not suffer them. Place someone on an antidepressant and have them gain 40+ pounds. Now the depression they feel is related to body image as well as endogenous reasons. Not much help. Some meds cause tremors. Many do not know that Lithium + NSAIDs is almost a guarantee of mix master type shakes. Get rigid from antipsychotics, take Cogentin. No you need blasting caps to deal with the constipation. On and on.
    Spidey's mom and wish_me_luck like this.
  10. 3
    this thread hit home to me.
    my 22yo son was dx'd with bipolar a few yrs ago.
    i did not agree with the dx but he agreed to go and stay on lithium/seroquel regimen.
    he also has become toxic a few times.

    just last week i was telling him how proud i am that he has (and continues to) developed into a fine, upstanding young man.
    j. then shared with me that he had stopped taking his lithium and seroquel a few months prior...
    which confirms to me, that he was not ever bipolar.
    and much to his relief, he also reminded me that "i was right";
    that he had never truly had bp, and his journey to maturity was proof of that.

    and yes.
    mi is dangerously overdiagnosed and its meds, aggressively prescribed.
    some of these drs need to be held accountable.

  11. 2
    I'm glad to hear that, Leslie. I can't imagine carrying around a bipolar dx for years and taking multiple medications for it, only to find out that I never had it to begin with.

    Somehow, I don't think that'll ever happen for me (currently dx'd BP II but pdoc hasn't ruled out BP I due to the severity of my manic episodes), but for a young person like your son, it's got to feel like a huge burden has been lifted. How wonderful for him.....and you too!

    Love you, my friend
    leslie :-D and aknottedyarn like this.
  12. 0
    This is a great idea for a thread.

    It has bothered me since I started nursing school how quickly people reach for a magic pill to make them all better; and with the help of a physician too.

    One of my experiences in clinical was sitting in on a supposed counseling session (I've told this story before so sorry if some of you have read it). It was a 9 year old boy who lost his dad and his mom was going from man to man and living in a KOA campground. The kid was situationally depressed. Mom was also using drugs and alcohol.

    This doc decided the kid neede Prozac. This was over 15 years ago. The kid actually brightened up after the doc handed him a box of meds and said something like "Oh goodie, drugs". Instead of getting this kid some real help, the doc decided to medicate his situation.

    I see this all the time at school now as the district nurse. A normal, bouncy and wiggly boy in Kindergarten too soon is in trouble for making his toy car go "vroooooom!". Or is in trouble because he can't sit still to do all the worksheets that unfortunately Kindergarten has become. So, his teacher and parents want him assessed for ADHD. And put on drugs. How about not putting him in Kindergarten until he is actually ready?

    I know I'm focusing on kids here but that's my life/job right now.

    Our society wants an easy fix. Pop a pill and all is better. We have a very large prescription pill addiction problem in the U.S.

    It takes some hard work to slough through depression or a tough home-life situation. I know a kid who was depressed as a teen and the general practioner prescribed an anti-depressant w/o any real assessment. Even the pro's want an easy fix.

    And yes, bipolar seems to be the ADHD over-diagnosis of the day now.

    I'm NOT taking anything away from folks who really suffer from mental illness. But let's assess better and not run straight to medicating ourselves first.
    Last edit by Spidey's mom on Mar 22, '13 : Reason: typos

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