Creating useful constructs that enable clinicians to communicate more effectively is the intended purpose of the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual. The reality is that by giving diagnostic criteria and a name to a specific human suffering, an entry in the DSM increases the likelihood of research and treatment dollars going to that condition.
On the one hand, this is a great service. It allows people to get treatment, sympathy, and tolerance. On the other hand, it invests a DSM category with economic value that is closely related to success in securing research funds.
No wonder there is so much controversy about what’s in and what’s out.
Click on the video frame below to hear how Gary Greenberg, author of The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry–explains this.
Richard Simon, PhD, founded Psychotherapy Networker and served as the editor for more than 40 years. He received every major magazine industry honor, including the National Magazine Award. Rich passed away November 2020, and we honor his memory and contributions to the field every day.
Gary Greenberg, PhD, is a practicing psychotherapist, the author of four books, including The Book of Woe, a contributing writer for Mother Jones, and a contributing editor for Harper’s.