DSM 5 Proposal Accepted!

Finally! WE ARE IN THE DSM 5! Skin picking has been accepted in the Diagnostic Manual for mental disorders. This has been approved as of Dec. 1st, 2012.

<Click for the details>

The relief… even if it doesn’t change anything for me, personally. It won’t make resources available to me but it’s the beginning to getting the funding on researching causes of the disorder, types of skin picking, and various treatments. With this now listed in the DSM 5, I feel the validation from the psychiatric community… that what I have is not minimal in severity in comparison to other disorders.

While the above article details facts and reasons behind the changes/ additions in the revised DSM, one journalist took it upon himself to sensationalize these illnesses while criticizing the severity of these disorders. While I wouldn’t be bothered so much by a freelance journalist or by someone writing in their unpopular blog (*ahem*  😉 ) , a writer for the influential TIME is responsible for this lewd piece of “work”.

I understand the importance of the article title not including the prehistoric term “crazy” when referring to mental illness, but I am more bothered by the so-called fact presented in this article. I do not have as much knowledge of the other illnesses mentioned here but having the writer mock the binge- eating disorder by suggesting that it’s hard to tell the difference between someone who ate a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and someone without a mental illness shows that he is insensitive to psychiatric- related issues. It’s a slight jab to make light of very serious illnesses but his experience in watching one episode of “My Strange Addiction” about skin picking does not make Dermatillomania a “reality show problem” (I reference this because it’s been the only reality show exposing this). His claim that Trichotillomania and Dermatillomania are “extremely rare disorders” proves that he considers his opinion and life experiences fact. MILLIONS (more than 10!) of people in the US alone suffer from one or two of these Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors.

His harsh comments suggest that the DSM has been revised to meet insurance company’s requirements for paid treatments. Is this journalist suggesting that the DSM 5 is a conspiracy to suck money from insurance companies for menial disorders that are just over exaggerated (yet minor) issues in life. The fact that this man represents health and social issues for TIME is proving that TIME is truly behind on the times. If TIME’s goal with this piece of garbage is to count how many clicks they have received per article, they have succeeded in lobbying us who know better to speak out against this man’s opinions.

I posted a few rather abrupt comments to illustrate my disdain for this article and how much of a public embarrassment it is for TIME. Reading through other comments, my heart BROKE when I read one woman’s comment:

“My son read this and is now convinced that he’s got an extremely rare disorder.  We also spend a considerable amount of time telling him that having OCD doesn’t mean he’s crazy.  Thanks a lot Mr. Cloud.”

I didn’t have the luxury of being able to read articles about this disorder so I believed for years that I was the only one with it! It is a responsibility for those with the proper public platform to be respectful and not feed into the terror that exists due to ignorance. If I had read this article as my 14 year old self who also struggled with depression while trying to understand the “why”s of this behavior, this would have helped destroy me and convince me that I must remain silent because the world wouldn’t believe me.

I am now older, only slightly wiser (!), but I’ve grown up through aging and experiences so it doesn’t hurt me as much as it would have. Reading things like this from people who could be the better change in the world angers me because I keep trying to create my own platform to expose injustices in society and even the system, yet someone has it handed to him on a silver platter (probably after having the capability of attending university, which I lack) without having to expose his inner demons and he wrecks it.

Someone has made a petition to call about change concerning John Cloud’s article. All we want is an apology. Sign here if you believe in the cause!

  • Thank you so much for taking the time to write about this! I saw that article and was horrified and irritated. Still – we are in the DSM 5! I feel such a great sense of relief. All the best to you 🙂

    • Thank you for your comment, Veva! I was very angry that while we are getting awareness, it’s coming about the wrong way! Someone has created a petition to get TIME to apologize for the article heading. While I believe this would be a great start, I think the entire article and its inaccuracies should be apologized for and revised in a respectful manner. [[[Petition]]]

  • Lynn

    Thanks for adding a link to my petition. I was astounded by the title of the article when I first came across it. Ti seems that reading those 2 words, “defining crazy” undoes all the support, education , professional help and courage people (and their loved ones) who have mental illnesses strive for. It was a slap in the face. Have you read through the comments of the article? Many more people state much more effectively than I have their sorrow and anger at Time Magazine.

    • You’re more than welcome, Lynn. It’s “TIME” to stand up for everything we’ve worked so hard for. The skin picking community has overworked themselves trying to get the DSM to recognize the skin picking disorder as a stand alone disorder and having it exposed in an inappropriate article is not the attention we need. I have been very pleasantly surprised to see that the ratio of supportive comments to negative reinforcement is a ratio of at least 11: 1. 🙂

  • Great post Angela. Thank you again for speaking out on behalf of skin picking sufferers. (Btw, I love how you link to the time article via “this lewd piece of work” and “shame on Time”!)

    • Thanks, Annette.
      LOL, I couldn’t help but give my two cents while redirecting users to TIME’s piece. I had other thoughts replacing “work” with another term but this article isn’t worth using obscenities. It’s hardly worth the views it’s receiving, but with the feedback being predominantly combative I feel it’s worth rallying against.

  • susan

    I saw the article. Can you believe with all the negative comments that the article has gathered about the title and the content it still has not corrected them or pulled the article? I am glad you are so far into your recovery, Your website is great.

    • It’s unfortunate that the article is already out there and that nothing can erase that. However, I feel like it is important for a follow-up article to be written by Cloud or anyone at TIME apologizing and correcting inappropriate remarks. I believe that Cloud was given a great position with his coverage on gay rights- if only he could extend the same dignity toward mental health.

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  • Aussiebird

    Your website is amazing!! It took years for someone to diagnose me with Trichotillomania, always felt the freak. However my teenage son has been skin picking for a while now and never knew about Dermatillomania. So thank you for providing and sharing all the information. My son’s life will hopefully turn around soon.

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