DSM 5: the answer to life, the universe, and everything?

Those of you who are Douglass Adams fans will recall The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy where the great supercomputer Deep Thought spent 7 1/2 million years calculating the answer to the great question of life the universe and everything, and came up with the answer of 42.

Well so too, the “DSM 5 machine” developed to ground DSM in science, not rhetoric, and solve once and for all the validity and reliability issues that plagued it.

The answer….. the answer…… you’re not going to like it….. is…. is, well no diagnosis meets the gold standard for reliability and most are no better than chance.

As a practitioner, working at the coal face seeing clients, it seems glaringly obvious that the system is broken. The medical model just hasn’t worked for dealing with emotional issues in human beings. But the coal face can be a lonely place, so I was heartened to watch this talk by Psychiatrist Sami Timimi of the NHS and University of Lincoln UK.

Every other area of medicine has shown some kind of improvement in the last 50 years, but not so mental health.

Deep thought defends himself by saying, “well you never actually knew what the question was” and in true Douglass Adams form, he goes on to design a supercomputer so complex that organic life forms part of it’s operational matrices, and he names it “The Earth” and of course the mice are running it!

Seems familiar?

And if you think that is provocative, have a look at this. Professor Peter Gotzsche, who has a solid track record of research and published more than 50 papers in leading journals speaks about how most of what the drug companies do “fullfills the criteria for organised crime in U.S law”

Food for thought and a not so peaceful Sunday!


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