Tuesday, January 22, 2013

People with Chronic Illnesses Could Be Labeled as Mentally Ill

You may have seen articles about this issue around the Internet recently. The American Psychiatric Association is releasing a new edition of the DSM-V, used for diagnosing mental illness. A new disorder has been added called Somatic Symptom Disorder and it has some worrisome implications for people living with chronic illness. You can read more about this issue and what you can do to help in my post for HealthCentral:

"Did it take a long time for you to get diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis or another chronic illness? Did your symptoms disrupt your daily life? Did you worry about your symptoms? Is your condition under control or does it disrupt your daily life? If so, do you worry about it?
According to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) to be published in May, this could cause you to be diagnosed with a mental disorder.
The DSM-V is published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and is used to categorize mental disorders. It contains the diagnostic codes and criteria that psychiatrists, therapists and other medical professionals use when diagnosing mental illness.
A new disorder called Somatic Symptom Disorder (SSD) has been added to fifth edition. According to the definition, you can be diagnosed with SSD if for at least six months, you have had a symptom or symptoms that is distressing and/or disrupt your daily life and you have one of the following reactions
  • Disproportionate thoughts about the seriousness of your symptom(s);
  • A high level of anxiety about your symptoms or health; or
  • Devote excessive time and energy to your symptoms or health concerns"

The rest of the post is here. Please also consider signing the online petition and sharing it with as many people as possible.

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