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APA forgetting spirituality

A Christian psychiatrist believes mental health professionals must consider the spiritual issues behind mental illnesses when diagnosing and treating them.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has made changes to its 947-page guidebook for the first time in nearly 20 years, specifically changes to help mental health professionals and psychiatrists diagnose mental disorders.

The updated “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM-5) includes new illnesses, revisions for some disorders, and tighter criteria for others. But Dr. Karl Benzio, a member of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, tells OneNewsNow he has some issues with the guidebook.

Benzio

“The DSM-5 is attempting to define what is a deviation from the norm,” he notes. “You get more specific in analyzing the first steps of why the deviation occurs. Ideally we identify potential problems as early as possible. Unfortunately, psychiatry is the hardest field of medicine to make diagnoses. All the medical aspects are so complicated and microscopic in the brain chemistry.”

Controversial changes in the manual include the kinds of treatments children can receive in schools and patients can receive in hospital. For example, grief experienced after the death of a loved one could be diagnosed as a major depressive disorder. A mild form of mental decline could be diagnosed as mild neurocognitive disorder.

Dr. Benzio, founder and director of Lighthouse Network, adds that the DSM-5 does not address the spiritual aspects or the root causes of why these psychiatric issues occur. He contends, “We need to get more to the spiritual and psychological and bring circuitry roots to these issues if we are going to have a full diagnostic manual that will help us look at treatment options that are going to be beneficial for the root causes rather than just treating symptoms.”

Dr. Keith Ablow, a fellow psychiatrist, writes at FoxNews.com that he personally warned the president of the APA “that publication of the manual would be the beginning of the end of the Association’s credibility with professionals and the general public.”

– See more at: http://www.onenewsnow.com/culture/2013/05/24/apa-forgetting-spirituality#.U8QJWKjldc9