What I Read Online – 05/30/2013 (p.m.)

31 May
    • But the release of the DSM-5 after more than a decade of debates and revisions still pushes us to ask hard questions.


      ·      Why are more and more people receiving psychiatric diagnoses?


      ·      What is the best way to understand and classify disordered thoughts, emotions, and behaviors?  


      ·      Does having a diagnosis equate to a malfunctioning brain?


      ·      How can we wisely and compassionately care for those who are truly suffering?

    • It’s important to remember that psychiatric diagnoses are descriptions of a struggling person’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors; they are not explanations for them. They tell you what but not why
    • The problem is this: giving a summary label to a set of symptoms gives the appearance of explanation, particularly in our medicalized culture. It suggests that each diagnosis is a discrete and largely brain-determined entity, and there is simply little evidence for that except in the major psychiatric categories of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and severe depression. Even in these entities, we must realize the complex interaction of multiple factors.
    • It may be important in certain cases to involve others, including psychiatrists, in the care of your counselees. But you can do the hard work of pressing beyond the symptoms to explore a variety of potential contributors to the person’s struggle. Spiritual, physical, relational, situational, and cultural factors are all important to probe and address. Doing so will help prevent the uniqueness of individuals from being swallowed up by a clinical description.
    • Don’t allow a critique of the DSM to become a critique of the suffering people described in its pages! Rather, listen and learn—from your counselees—and from those in the psychiatric community who are “case-wise” and have devoted their lives to helping people who struggle in very particular ways.
    • But then, prayerfully seek to interpret people’s lives through the pages of Scripture. If it’s true that Jesus comes to make his blessings known “far as the curse is found,” then we need to wrestle with what the outworking of redemption looks like in concrete ways in the lives of those who struggle with psychiatric problems.
    • In the same homily, Francis said all people, “even the atheists,” are “redeemed” through “the Blood of Christ” — the Christian belief that the sins of humanity are wiped clean through the crucifixion of Jesus. The inclusion of atheists in a belief they do not share seemed to raise few hackles.
    • “Cancer does not define me. Neither does being a wife or a mother. All these things are part of who I am but they do not define me. What defines me is my relationship with Jesus.”

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Posted by on 31/05/2013 in Current Issues


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