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.
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!