nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Monday, March 8, 2010

Being Very Shy Now Has a Diagnostic Code (300.23)

Otherwise known as social phobia.  The new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (or DSM-5) is now in draft form, for comment.  Scheduled publication date is 2013.

Why is this compendium of definitions and codes so important?  It's important because it defines what is considered to be a "condition" --separate from more general dysfunctional aspects of mental life that have no clinical name.  Hence, shyness--shyness that bothers you enough to cause distress or other symptoms--is now "social phobia."  In the health care policy world, having a name and an assigned diagnostic code is KEY to qualifying for reimbursement under health insurance.  And there are legions of sympathetic mental health practitioners who are champing at the bit, ready to make a living off these new "diagnoses."

A notable example of this inclusive defining of our feelings into diagnoses is Body Dysmorphic Disorder (300.7).  If you don't think you're beautiful enough, and if bothers you, voila!  You have an illness...and better yet, you can get coverage to be treated for it.

Rather than make fun of this, maybe I should get into the swing of things.  For years I thought my need for bifocals came from getting older.  But now I'm clued-in to the advantages of expanding a mundane occurrence into a disorder.  I'll call it Image Resolution Disorder.  And that's only the beginning.  I'm not happy most of my hair is gone, also.

Doc D

Opinions are entirely my own

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