03 March, 2010

The Short Life of a Diagnosis

Thought this article brought up a few interesting points for contemplation. First, with the latest version of the DSM in the works this article gives a glimpse of the problems with diagnosing and labeling of disorders. Second, bearing in mind the healthcare reform debate, mental health coverage depends largely on the existence of a diagnosis and specifically a diagnostic code to determine how MUCH coverage one can receive. Or rather, how much the insurance company will pay for (how many sessions @ '$x' rate).
Looking at the mental health side of healthcare it's hard to believe that anyone can accurately say how long or how many visits you can expect results in. Depressed? Oh, you should be able to clear that up in 3 weeks, tops. One session per week. Not likely. And should you be of the millions dependent on Medicaid you are limited even further by who will even take you as a patient, much less provide quality treatment/therapy. Sure, a psychiatrist could write you a script for whatever the happy-pill-du-jour is, but that treats the SYMPTOMS, not the CAUSE of the depression. And to paraphrase Dean Wormer, "Dependant upon anti-depressants is no way to go through life, son".  True, they may make life manageable in the short or even fairly long-term, but ultimately it's paying to trade one problem for another.
Veering back on topic, it's important to be aware of the potential changes in the DSM in regards to mental health diagnosis and how easily people could be left without help should their condition fail to be included in this latest edition.

-Question for the masses: Should coverage be dependent on having a 'classifiable' condition?-

And now, for no particular reason......Ty Webb's thoughts on the college experience.

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