mental health

Controversy and the DSM V

Sep 4, 2013
ABPathfinder.com

Producer: Lisa Denenmark

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has long been a Bible for mental health treatment.

Some clinicians say call the latest edition of the DSM a deeply flawed manual, but with a necessary common language for researchers and mental health professionals.

Some are outright rejecting it, saying that the new edition -- the DSM V -- is just a tool for the psychiatric drug industry to create more patients and prescribe more drugs.

Is it time for the DSM to go?  

 

If someone you loved was suffering from a serious mental illness, or seemed like they were on the verge of a psychotic breakdown, you might think you could turn to a psychiatric hospital for help. But in California, that might not do you much good. Institutions have the right to turn a person away unless they’ve been taken into custody. More than ninety percent of patients in California psych hospitals have dealt with police first.

Last year, KALW began a series on Asian American mental health. We introduced you to the Lieu family, who described their challenges as immigrants finding care for their schizophrenic daughter.

www.cironline.org

Aaron Glantz is a reporter with the Center for Investigative Reporting and author of the book, The War Comes Home. He talked with KALW about what makes the transition to civilian life so hard.

San Francisco General is the city’s main public hospital, and also the main provider for the city’s poorest and most vulnerable residents. On an average day, about 20 people suffering from mental illness walk through its doors asking for psychiatric help. It’s often a last resort for people without a support system or anywhere else to turn. But ongoing state and city budget cuts have forced San Francisco General, like many other public hospitals in the state, to make tough decisions. The psychiatric emergency rooms have been hit the hardest.

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