May 5, 2016 |
Before the mid-'70s, a psychiatrist would have been mad to admit he was gay. Quite literally. At the time, homosexuality was listed as a mental illness in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . Philadelphia psychiatrist John Ercel Fryer, however, did just that in 1972 - and of all places at the American Psychiatric Association's annual conference in Dallas. "I am a homosexual. I am a psychiatrist," he said, opening a now-famous speech. To protect himself - he already had lost a job at the University of Pennsylvania because he was gay - he wore a rubber Halloween mask, calling himself Dr. H. Anonymous.
December 31, 2015
Robert Spitzer, 83, a psychiatrist who played a leading role in establishing agreed-upon standards to describe mental disorders and eliminating homosexuality's designation as a pathology, died of heart problems Friday in Seattle, said his wife, Janet Williams, a Columbia University professor emerita. Dr. Spitzer's work on several editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or the D.S.M., defined all of the major disorders "so all in the profession could agree on what they were seeing," said Williams, who worked with him on D.S.M.-III, which was published in 1980.
December 29, 2013 |
Do you pick your skin until your arms are pitted with scabs? Bite your nails down to bloody nubs? Tear the calluses off your heels until walking is painful? This year, you won a small, bittersweet victory. Your condition made it into the 2013 edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Its name: "excoriation disorder. " With this published acknowledgment of the problem, sufferers may now be eligible for health insurance coverage for the cost of treatment.
July 10, 2013 |
A carnival atmosphere arises whenever a new edition of the American Psychiatric Association's so-called bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , is released. It was no different this spring when the DSM-5 hit the shelves. The 992-page compendium of the various ailments that plague the human psyche has been criticized by some as unscientific and mocked by others for including such new diagnoses as hoarding disorder (being a pack rat) and disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (irritable kids who throw temper tantrums)
January 24, 2013 |
Gov. Christie vowed last week to review New Jersey's mental-health services as part of a "violence control" plan following the Sandy Hook school shooting. Mental-health-care advocates say Christie could improve services by expanding programs that already exist, including Medicaid, and broadening the mental-health disorders covered under health insurance for state workers and public-school teachers. New Jersey is one of only eight states that do not offer workers equal benefits for mental and physical ailments, said Paul Lubitz, associate director of the New Jersey chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
December 19, 2012 |
It took only a few hours after Friday's mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., for the media to ask if the perpetrator, Adam Lanza, had a history of mental illness. Reports have suggested that Lanza suffered from Asperger syndrome and that he may have been on psychiatric drugs. Pundits have asked if the killer's actions could have been prevented had he received proper psychiatric help. These may be obvious questions and statements, but just how useful are they? Some social commentators wonder whether the status of Lanza's mental health will ever give a satisfactory answer to the horrific mayhem unleashed at Sandy Hook Elementary School - or any of the other estimated 61 mass killings in America since 1982.
December 2, 2012 |
CHICAGO - For the first time in almost two decades the nation's psychiatrists are changing the guidebook they use to diagnose mental disorders. Among the most controversial proposed changes: dropping certain familiar terms like Asperger's disorder and dyslexia and calling frequent, severe temper tantrums a mental illness. The board of trustees for the American Psychiatric Association voted Saturday in suburban Washington on scores of revisions that have been in the works for several years.
July 31, 2012 |
Over her life, June Sams has been told she has schizophrenia and four mental health disorders: bipolar, post-traumatic stress, major depressive, and personality. The 60-year-old Chester woman's current diagnoses - she thinks these fit - are major depressive and generalized anxiety disorders plus PTSD due to childhood trauma. A doctor told Elisa-Beth Gardner, 51, of Swarthmore, that she had borderline personality disorder (BPD) in 1996. Three months later, she was told she had bipolar disorder.
May 7, 2012 |
It was a challenge to get the label rip started Saturday. So many "psychiatric survivors" were milling around outside the Convention Center that it was hard to get them to pick one of the big cards printed with names of mental illnesses. "Who wants a psychotic one?" yelled Faith Rhyne, a North Carolina woman who belongs to MindFreedom International, an Oregon-based group that helped organize the protest outside the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association. "Who wants obsessive-compulsive?"
May 5, 2012 |
When upward of 10,000 members of the American Psychiatric Association meet here this weekend, they'll be met by protesters - there are always protesters - and tough questions about where their profession is headed and how it will define normalcy for the rest of us. The official theme of the annual meeting, which opens Saturday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, is integrated care, a nod to the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of medicine...