It Is Time to Rename the DSM

Thyer, Bruce A.
March 2006
Ethical Human Psychology & Psychiatry;Spring2006, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p61
Academic Journal
Although the DSM purports to be a theoretical with respect to the etiology of mental disorders, its fundamental assumption that aberrant patterns of thought, emotion or behavior reflect mental disturbance is itself an unjustifiable a priori position. Within the DSM-IVTR, the existence of compelling dysfunctional psychosocial etiological influences precludes the diagnosis of conduct disorder. Consistent with this precedent, the following principle needs to be expanded to virtually all the conditions found in the DSM: "Conditions reasonably attributable to psychosocial factors or medical conditions should not be considered mental disorders." Following this principle could cause the very concept of mental disorder to evaporate, in favor of a nondualist perspective on explaining human behavior in favor of a consistently physicalistic one. This would promote the study of dysfunctional behavior as a legitimate field of natural science and not one of metaphysical enquiry.


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