Friday, February 15, 2008

Shrink This

So were you miffed in 2006 when, after growing up learning there were nine planets, suddenly you were told there were 8. Or maybe 11. Based on a vote by some guys you never heard of who called themsleves International Astronomical Union (I swear I saw them opening for Pink Floyd at The Spectrum in '77), who just up and decided to mess with stuff you thought was settled?

Imagine how you're going to feel in about 4 years when another bunch of people you never heard of gets together and holds a vote and decides that, after all these years, you're crazy.

Over the years, DSM task forces have had to contend with bids, pro and con, for diagnoses such as masochistic personality disorder, sadistic personality disorder, pathological (racial) bias, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (a.k.a. PMS). Soon, planners of the next edition, the DSM-V, tentatively scheduled for publication in 2012, will hear appeals to create categories for shopping and food addictions. Internet addiction will surely come up too -- as it did this summer at a meeting of the American Medical Association. Pro-life advocates hope to get the DSM to adopt "post-abortion syndrome" (indicating pathological regret after terminating a pregnancy). Meanwhile, there is a battle over gender identity disorder, with some members of the transsexual community wanting it evicted, while others wanting it to stay in so that insurance companies will pay for sex-reassignment surgery.

At least the Plutonians weren't angling for the taxpayers' trough.