Hoarding, Temper Tantrums, Skin-Picking and Binge Eating Are Now Considered Mental Disorders

| by
article imagearticle image

Revisions to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, also known as the "Psychiatric Bible," have many worried as some of the newest entries are common and seemingly benign habits.

Added to the list of mental disorders is hoarding, picking at skin, binge eating and throwing temper tantrums. 

While psychiatrists and psychologists say it will help people receive treatment and lead to greater understanding of the disorders, others say it may add to the country's growing problem with prescription drug abuse.

Gary Greenburg, author of a book about DSM, said, "Every revision of the DSM causes controversy; that's what happens when experts argue in public about the nature of human suffering. But never has the process provoked wafer so brutal, with attacks coming form within the profession as well from psychiatry's usual opponents."

Critics of the revisions have even suggested that it will make mental illness more common. 

That's because the revisions make it much easier for someone to be diagnosed with a disorder. To have binge eating disorder, for instance, one just has to eat in excess at least 12 times in three months.

"This makes us think twice about the last time we devoured a pizza pie or ate three donuts in one sitting," The Daily Beast wrote.

Other prominent psychiatrists have objected the revisions as well.

Allen J. Frances, a Duke University psychiatrist, said, "A new diagnosis can be more dangerous than a new drug."

He finds that the "disruptive mood dysregulation disorder," which refers to children's temper tantrums, is especially worrying. 

Joe Wegmann, a clinical social worker, believes DMDD is based on "no credible research" and would likely trigger a "zealous binge of over-diagnosis."

Along with these worrying entries is hoarding disorder, which will now have its own definition despite being considered part of obsessive compulsive disorder. 

In the newest version of DSM-5, it is called a "persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value."

Skin-picking has also been added, referring to those who constantly pick at their scabs, blemishes or pimples and "do extensive damage" to themselves as a result. 

They rounded out the book by adding a new section on areas that "need further research," which includes sex addiction and internet overuse. 

Sources: Daily Mail, The Daily Beast