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NYTimes LTE Opens Dialogue On Psychiatric Diagnosis

posted Mar 23, 2013, 3:53 PM by Will Martin
In a letter to the editor (LTE) of the New York Times (3/19, A26, Subscription Publication), Ronald Pies, MD, professor of psychiatry at SUNY Upstate Medical University and Tufts University, wrote, "Controversy surrounding the soon-to-be-released fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-5 - often called 'psychiatry's bible' - has cast a harsh light on psychiatric diagnosis." While some people "argue that current psychiatric diagnoses often 'stigmatize' or 'dehumanize' people struggling with ordinary grief, stress or anxiety," Dr. Pies argued that "for many patients, learning the name of their disorder may relieve years of anxious uncertainty." Dr. Pies concluded that "diagnosis remains the gateway to psychiatry's pre-eminent goal of relieving the patient's suffering."