In the new fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5), “caffeine intoxication” and “caffeine withdrawal” have been lumped in with heroin and alcohol addiction in the APA’s official list of mental disorders. As a result of such dubious notions, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has nixed the DSM and decided to ignore the DSM categorizations in the future.
According to Keith Ablow, MD, an experienced psychiatrist, the APA is simply continuing its campaign “to pathologize every American and make all of us ripe for psychiatric medications covered by insurance.”
The members of the APA are also using factitious mental disorders to increase their status as innovative leaders in psychiatry. By “discovering” new mental illnesses, these psychiatrists attempt to join the likes of genuinely ground-breaking thinkers like Sigmund Freud.
Caffeine is consumed without ill effects by well over two hundred million Americans each day. “Focusing on caffeine as a drug, like heroin, is just a land grab for more patients,” comments Dr. Ablow. “Will sugar excitement syndrome be next? How about post-food fatigue syndrome? Spring water obsession disorder?”
Finally, Dr. Ablow concludes,
“But there’s this little fact to deal with: I am 51-years-old and have practiced psychiatry for almost 20 years. I have met with thousands of daily caffeine users, and it has been a significant problem in the lives of precisely none of them. Not one. Zero. Zilch. No one reading this blog will know anyone who needed to go into a detox facility to deal with caffeine addiction. No lives have been laid low by caffeine. People aren’t stealing coffee and tea from grocery stores to get high, or buying caffeine pills on inner city streets.”
In creating its bloated and fictionalized list of so-called “mental problems,” the APA seems to demonstrate a classification mania, itself perhaps a mental disorder, and also makes an attempt to broaden the group of people who would become paying patients of psychiatrists.
Dr. Ablow warns that Medicare and Medicaid should “beware.” These insurers “should refuse payment for any psychiatric service supposedly delivered for caffeine intoxication and caffeine withdrawal – and other insurers should, too.”
The good news is that the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has disavowed the new DSM-5. The institute recently announced that it would no longer fund research based on the manual’s categorizations, because the DSM has no value in determining the causes and treatments of psychological problems. All we can say is, “Bravo!”