Chris Van Es

Negligencia conceptual de la psiquiatría

NUEVA YORK – Los recientes cambios propuestos por la Asociación Psiquiátrica Americana a su manual diagnóstico oficial –el Manual diagnóstico y estadístico de los trastornos mentales (“MDS”), con frecuencia denominado “la biblia de la psiquiatría” – puede desacreditar el diagnóstico, más que mejorarlo. El MDS especifica los síntomas por los que se diagnostica cada uno de los trastornos mentales, con lo que determina, en realidad, lo que es psicológicamente normal y anormal en los Estados Unidos... y, cada vez más, en gran parte del resto del mundo también.

La de revisar los criterios diagnósticos del MDS para la quinta edición (“DMS-5”), de próxima publicación, es una gran responsabilidad. Si se traza con demasiada amplitud la línea entre la normalidad y el trastorno, las personas pueden padecer diagnósticos incorrectos y verse sometidas a un tratamiento innecesario y potencialmente perjudicial. De hecho, la historia del MDS revela muchos errores por ese exceso de trastornos incluidos en él.

Pero, si se traza la línea con demasiada precisión, las personas pueden no recibir la ayuda que necesiten. Aunque los psiquiatras suelen preocuparse más por la identificación de pacientes potenciales necesitados de ayuda y menos por la eliminación de la excentricidad y del sufrimiento normales del diagnóstico, en cualquier sociedad que respete las variedades humanas y fomente la responsabilidad moral individual la distinción entre el sufrimiento y la excentricidad normales y el trastorno mental reviste importancia decisiva.

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