28 May 2013

I'm OK, What's Your Problem?

For sure you must be as anxious excited as I am, waiting years for this month's update to the DSM-IV.[1] It's been a generation. The long delay is due to controversy among leading authorities. There will always be controversy. No matter, we're promised a stunning reference work, a veritable smorgasbord of new disorders, diseases, and syndromes for the shrinks to play with. The sheer bounty makes one salivate.

Just be aware the DSM-V may weigh twenty-five pounds and sport a $200 price tag. They really don't want amateurs carting it home to read furtively and tick off the checklists. Nevertheless, I feel the trickle-down will enable you and I to prognosticate—or revise, as the case may be—every behavioural deviation we run into. Don't miss out, there's a label for everyone.

For example. With the old manual I felt I'd almost nailed the psychiatric profile—a passing interest at one time—for a Close Relative of mine. An interest that faded, tucked away in the Live and Learn drawer of yesterday's filing cabinet. DSM-V will undoubtedly necessitate a revisit. The narcissist with borderline personality disorder, exhibiting dissociative episodes and a touch of psychosis verging on schizophrenia pretty well covered it, I thought ... rather proud that my experience wasn't going to waste.

Life has presented me with famdamily occasions to visit an impressive number of fine psych wards across the country. Unfortunately the CR has not been in any of them. Avoiding the guys with the butterfly nets takes a lot of acumen and creativity especially when hiding in a sordid world of lies. Regular disappearances apparently account for fuelling up with more fantasies.

Now, the diagnosis of CR's abhorrent condition—which consciously, slyly, obscures close scrutiny—probably needs refining. I'm working on mix and match with attenuated psychosis syndrome and perceptual disaffective disorder, characterized by sinister Jekyll and Hyde charm. How does that sound? Fairly clinical? Thank you.

Blind famdamily loyalty can often conceal the reality of chronic dysfunction. All that matters is loving and rehabilitating the near and dear victims of abuse—psychological, as well as beatings, broken bones, and death threats. Since paranoia is contagious, installing a deadbolt lock on my door seemed worth the risk of my landing squarely in the new Chapter 3.

This ain't the only (semi-) parody of the DSM-V that you are likely to see, not by a long shot. And whatever you do, don't pick your scabs (excoriation disorder).

[1] Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Ed. (Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association, 1994).

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