Last round-up got a bit long, and I still had so much to share… So here’s more fun! Is Thursday Dysphoria recognized in DSM-5? Are all women mentally ill? Stuff you (maybe) didn’t know about women’s sexuality and health.
Are menstrual symptoms a sign of mental illness?
The American Psychiatric Association wants to add PMS — or what they’re calling Premenstrual Disphoric Disorder — to the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-5.
Admittedly, when they say it, it sounds kinda worse than plain-old PMS. But basically, what they are saying is that if you feel depressed or irritable or anxious or tense, or otherwise have mood swings before your period starts, you have a mental disorder.
Which essentially means that being a woman who menstruates is pretty much equivalent to being mentally ill.
→ Read the proposed DSM addition here.
Could DSM-5 Be Harmful to Your Mental Health?
The DSM, which has never been particularly free of controversy, is coming under increased attack, especially in view of many proposals and modifications that are more and more widely being viewed as detrimental to the health of children, women, and the elderly.
The DSM is a strange kind of double sword: Its largely unscientific definitions can be used as a basis for taking away people’s rights — such as forcing them into institutions, onto medication, stigmatizing them, etc. On the other hand, when they recently redefined what autism is, for example, they ensured that a whole lot of people would now be excluded from being able to receive care.
Among the changes to expect in the next DSM:
- Gender Identity Disorder will become Gender Dysphoria.The revisions are intended to address concerns of social stigma while still protecting insurance coverage. The proposed update is getting mixed reviews in the transgender community.“We support the change of name,” says Lin Fraser, president-elect of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). “WPATH believes that gender variance is not in and of itself pathological, and that having a cross-gender identity does not constitute a psychiatric ‘disorder.’” Others feel that no matter the name, a diagnosis that casts one’s identity as an illness should not be in the manual to begin with.
- Binge Eating Disorder is now a recognized disorder, as is Hoarding Disorder; and Hypersexual Disorder is listed in the appendix.
- Mental Retardation will now be renamed Intellectual Developmental Disorder
In this article, Elayne Clift discusses why DSM-5 might be bad for our health, and talks about the calls to boycott it.
The Female Orgasm
And to a topic that is much more fun… This French documentary attempts to explain the intricacies of the female orgasm, which apparently remains a mystery to many (too many… 🙂 )
And I find it particularly cool that the video was made available for viewing by passengers on Qantas flights!
Until 2009, no one in medicine or science had mapped the human clitoris. (In spite of extensive mapping done of the male sexual organ since the 1970s.) In effect, no one really knew what it looks like, how it functions, or much at all, and that’s the point. Cuz what you can see and probably know as the clitoris is really just the visible tip of quite an amazing organ.
The Weekly Trope
So, this isn’t really a trope. But it’s a cool website in spite of the genderized name: Fametracker’s Hey! It’s That Guy shows you who all those actors are that you recognize on TV but are not famous enough to know their names. Well, it’s an old site, some have become quite famous since…
And many of these actors do represent popular tropes.
The part about PMS sounds like the standard commit-evil-behind-the-veil-of-political-correctness-and-de-jure-niceties.
If only people (most men and some women) actually respected women…
As a future counselor, I am pretty torn about the DSM in general (as are most therapists worth their salt). We generally try to work from a “wellness” perspective–there’s nothing wrong with you, but if there’s a way to help someone navigate their lives less stressfully, that is our goal. However, insurance companies require medical diagnoses, and so in order to allow clients to continue having access to services, we end up having to “label”. It’s a horrible, vicious cycle. For example, is gender identity a disorder or disease? Absolutely not. However, if someone wants to try to find a way to navigate the experience of rejection from family or friends or any one of a number of other social complications that might arise (which is really SOCIETY’S illness), insurance companies force diagnoses. I’m not trying to defend the DSM, keep in mind–certainly it allowsfor many mental health professionals to act out their own biases and perpetuate the horrible labeling of perfectly healthy people–but it is a complicated thing and perhaps there is no easy answer.