Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Can I Get A Mental Disorder From All The New Mental Disorders?

The American Psychiatric Association has a manual listing all of its diagnosable disorders (the current version is referred to as DSM-5), and it keeps growing every year.  Mental health is a serious issue and people should get the care they need. 

Yet, when things that are just common sense and require a little personal responsibility, we as a society do not need to diagnose it.  Case in point are disorder listings for caffeine intoxication and withdrawal.  Anyone who drinks coffee or has caffeinated beverages on a regular basis has experienced the feeling of being too jittery with too much caffeine or the headaches and lethargy of not getting the usual dose of caffeine.  Why should this be considered a person who is mentally impaired enough to have a disorder?  The logic for the new listing is in the severity of the intoxication and/or withdrawal.  If the symptoms impair your ability to function at work or at home, then you get the diagnosis.

While caffeine intoxication and/or withdrawal are uncomfortable and annoying, a mental diagnosis they do not make.  If you had too much caffeine or have stopped your caffeine intake abruptly, you generally know why you may not feel so great.  You do not need a doctor telling you that you have a mental disorder.  Do you need validation for your discomfort?  Do you need to be disempowered from managing your own health and body?  Is this an approved excuse to go home early from work or get out of family responsibilities? 

True health and happiness come from within.  Looking to people and things outside ourselves for approval and acceptance sets us up for failure and anxiety.  Each of us is unique and looking to outsiders will give you many unique viewpoints to try to conform to.  The people pleaser can never be happy because he depends on someone else to tell him when to be happy. 

Ayurveda does not say one thing is good for everybody.  Rather, the thing is evaluated on your body type.  If you know yourself, you can make your own choices and take responsibility for them.  This will make you experience true happiness and satisfaction instead of waiting for your feelings to be validated as a mental health diagnosis.

Stay healthy & well,

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