The APA convention last week included a debate about the addition of “Behavioral Addiction – Not Otherwise Specificed” to the new edition of the DSM. The new category could be used to diagnose as illnesses addictions to shopping, sex, the internet, or video games – a potential addition of 20 million newly categorized “addicts.” “The biggest problem in all of psychiatry is untreated illness, and that has huge societal costs,” said Dr. James H. Scully, chief executive of the APA. Others are concerned the change would result in a misdirection of resources. “These sorts of diagnoses could be a real embarrassment,” said Thomas F. Babor, editor of the journal Addiction.
Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.
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