Help Me with Twitter…and with DSM-5 Polemics

I have a lot to learn about many things, but Twitter is a big challenge for me. I’m still trying to get used to not writing complete sentences and what the heck are “hashtags”? It sounds like something that could give me gas. I’m going to need  a little help with this–and the polemics surrounding the DSM-5 publication occurring this month.

Anyway, I tried to tweet something about the DSM-5 polemics. I’ve ordered copies of both the DSM-5 and “Essentials of Psychiatric Diagnosis: Responding to the Challenge of DSM-5” (“no backorders: this shipment is complete!”) by Dr. Allen Frances, MD, see link for his blog, Allen Frances Huff Post Blog. Frances’ book cost about $30 and the DSM-5 cost $132.15:

Essentials of Psychiatric Dx by Allen Frances MDEssentials of Psychiatric Diagnosis: Responding to the Challenge of DSM-5


Obviously, I’m not going to read the DSM-5 cover to cover, but I plan to compare the two books. By now everyone has seen the media hype about the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) comments about DSM-5, which was overdone and led to the joint statement by leaders of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the NIMH, 13-37-joint-apa-and-nimh-statement.

In fact, a “who cares?” article was posted on the LinkedIn APA Group site, Why the Fuss Over the D.S.M.-5? – I’m just sorry that it’s not as easy to share the views of Dr. Ron Pies, MD on “medicalization” in psychiatry [1].FE_mensch_inside You’ll need to register to read the article in the May 2013 issue of Psychiatric Times, but it’s free, Dr. Pies reminds us to keep the  end in mind, which is to help ease the suffering of patients and to remain focused on a couple of practical issues:

  • What is the threshold for considering a condition a disease or disorder?
  • How can we best help the patient?

He also reminds us that we’re doctors, and that “We do not, as a matter of daily routine, entertain metaphysical and semantic questions, such as “What is truly normal for the human species?” Rather, physicians have a general concept of what constitutes health, and a general concept of enduring and significant departures from health. We find ourselves faced with a waiting room full of distressed and often incapacitated human beings who, in ordinary circumstances, are voluntarily seeking our help. We do our best to respond to them not as specimens of abnormality, but as suffering individuals—and as fellow human beings”.

How do you tweet that?

1. Pies, R. W., MD (2013). Psychiatry and the Myth of “Medicalization”. Psychiatric Times, UBM Medica. XXX.


Author: Jim Amos

Dr. James J. Amos is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the UI Carver College of Medicine at The University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. Dr. Amos received a B. S. degree in Distributed Studies (Zoology, Chemistry, and Microbiology) in 1985 from Iowa State University and an M.D. from The University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa in 1992. He completed his psychiatry residency, including a year as Chief Resident, in 1996 at the Department of Psychiatry at The University of Iowa. He has co-edited a practical book about consultation psychiatry with Dr. Robert G. Robinson entitled Psychosomatic Medicine: An Introduction to Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry. As a clinician educator, among Dr. Amos’s most treasured achievements is the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award.