February 17th, 2010
A maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by 2 (or more) of the following, occurring within a 12-month period
Which is followed by a list of supposed symptoms of this, including gems like “Craving or a strong desire or urge to use a specific substance” and “there is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control substance use”. All the symptoms are on this “well, duh” level or generic to any sort of addiction, as if the proponents of this addition have just cut and pasted a list of symptoms in under various headers, as indeed somebody has.
Does it matter, this reclassifying of various addictions as “disorders”? I think so, as it’s both offensive and misleading to suggest that somebody who is addicted to cigarettes, booze or drugs is immediately suffering from a disorder. You may have problems, sure, but are they psychiatric problems? Or do you just, engage in behaviour psychiatrists have labeled as such, like homosexuality used to be until surprisingly recent? Attempting to solve such “disorders” with psychiatric methods is liable to cause more damage than do good, while the medicalisation of societal problems does nothing to address their root causes. You can’t solve everything with a little blue pill.