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Somatic Symptom Disorder: New Disorder Could Classify Millions of People as Mentally Ill

April 1, 2013

BMJ Group - New condition that may lead to “inappropriate medical decision making” warns expert. The new somatic symptom disorder in DSM-5 risks mislabeling many people as mentally ill

Millions of people could be mislabeled as mentally ill when psychiatry's bible of diagnoses is updated in May, warns a senior doctor in this week’s BMJ.

The next edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) – used around the world to classify mental disorders - will include a new category of somatic symptom disorder.

But Allen Frances, Chair of the current (DSM-IV) task force warns that the DSM-5 definition of somatic symptom disorder “may result in inappropriate diagnoses of mental disorder and inappropriate medical decision making.”

The new category will extend the scope of mental disorder classification by eliminating the requirement that somatic symptoms must be “medically unexplained” he explains. In DSM-5, the focus shifts to “excessive” responses to distressing, chronic, somatic symptoms with associated “dysfunctional thoughts, feelings, or behaviours.”  Read more...


 
 

Twitter Addiction: Advice from a Cognitive Therapist

April 1, 2013
Psych Central — One day, after hours of sliding my cursor from Twitter to Facebook to stats for my blogs and back to Twitter - when I should have been writing instead - I emailed Dr. M., a cognitive therapist. Read more...
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Online sales: how social networks offer fresh ways of sealing the deal

April 1, 2013
The Guardian - The party selling technique pioneered by brands like Tupperware is drawing in web-savvy consumers for whom the social side of buying goods is a bonus. Read more...
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Free lecture in Harrogate: Psychology of Dance

March 27, 2013
Free open lecture in Harrogate on Tuesday 9 April will focus on the different affects dancing has on our minds and bodies will be explored in our, BPS reports. Presenting 'Dance Psychology: Health, thinking and Hormones' is the energetic and entertaining Dr Peter Lovatt (aka Dr Dance) – the head of the Dance Psychology Lab at the University of Hertfordshire where the relationship between dance as art and psychology as science is investigated. The lecture is part of the 2013 Annual Conferenc...

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Dysphoria, disenchantment, demoralization? Rethinking the Diagnosis of Depression

March 27, 2013
Most people diagnosed with depression today aren’t depressed, according to Edward Shorter, a historian of psychiatry, in his latest book How Everyone Became Depressed: The Rise and Fall of the Nervous Breakdown
 
Specifically, about 1 in 5 Americans will receive a diagnosis of major depression in their lifetime. But Shorter believes that the term major depression doesn’t capture the symptoms most of these individuals have. “Nervous illness,” however, does.
 
“The nervous patients of y...

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A new report from the MHF has revealed the lack of emotional support for men in relationship difficulties.

March 26, 2013
Try to see it my way: Improving relationship support for men, published with Relate, explores men’s attitudes to seeking relationship support. It is part of a national awareness campaign from Relate to encourage men to think about their relationships and increase their participation in support programmes such as psychological therapies and relationship coaching.
 
According to the report, men have less access to emotional support from relatives and friends than women, are less likely to seek ...

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