Friday, January 21, 2005

You mean there's no pill for that?

I love this post by Rebel Doctor:
From Psychiatric News:
Paul Chodoff, M.D.
Washington, D.C.
I would like to suggest a new diagnostic entity for DSM-V. The diagnosis is "the human condition." Diagnostic criteria would be any combination of the following:
For children: (1) distractability, (2) being fidgety, (3) disobedience, (4) disliking school. For adults: (1) unhappiness, (2) nervousness, (3) shyness, (4) dissatisfaction with one's looks, (5) dissatisfaction with one's sexual performance, (6) getting angry, (7) playing the horses, (8) getting upset when things go wrong, (9) preferring one's own company, (10) showing off, and (11) orderliness.
The advantages of this diagnosis are that it would facilitate insurance reimbursement, dispose of the bothersome problem of comorbidity, and encourage the quest for a drug to cure the disorder of being human.
Some patients are not easily persuaded of this, but:

All sadness is not depression. All inattention is not ADHD. All anxiety is not pathological. All mood swings and spending sprees are not bipolar disorder. There is no "magic pill."

I can't tell you how many times I hear a variant of: "I've taken on too much; it all has to be perfect but it isn't; it makes me overwhelmed and upset, can you give me a pill?"

I tell them: "Those feelings are a signal that something has to change. You need to do something different in your life.

"When we talk about that, to try to figure it out and make changes, it's called psychotherapy.

"So let's get started."
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