We stand at an amazing historical moment in Psychiatry. As the new DSM-V (the diagnostic manual for Psychiatry) comes out, thought leaders in Psychiatry, Neuroscience, and brain research are questioning the very validity of psychiatric diagnoses. For example, Dr. Tom Insel, Director of the National Institutes of Mental Health, has announced that he believes the DSM system is broken and that federal agency will no longer be funding research based only on DSM diagnostic criteria. At the same time, I submitted a clinical paper on how Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (a virally-mediated disease) can be mistakenly diagnosed as Depression. I have now treated dozens of adults and adolescents who came to me with the diagnosis of “treatment-resistant depression” and instead they had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. With proper treatment, this viral illness can be successfully controlled.
Now, more than ever, it is important to look at psychiatric illnesses with new eyes. We need to utilize neuroimaging, genetic testing, immunological testing, laboratory studies and a thorough understanding of the neurobiological basis of disease. Only then, can we determine how to correctly treat a patient. The answer does not come from a book of pigeon-holes into which we try to make patients fit. The answer comes from a comprehensive diagnostic work-up of the patient and their brain. To learn more about this new way to think about you, your brain, and your mental health, please visit Neuro-Luminance.
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