In the past 15 years the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual has gained 200 new codes for mental disorders. Are we really becoming more psychotic, or just medicating ourselves more?
If you have ever been to the doctor for treatment, you should be aware of the medical codes used to describe the reason for your visit. Codes are used to submit your visit to the insurance company for payment. The number of mental diseases identified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual has increased from 100 to 300 in the last 15 years. Now that could mean one or two things:
- We are diagnosing more types of mental disease with a need to treat individuals
- We are labeling somewhat normal behavior for the purpose of legal issues, billing, and payment. (Who is to say what normal is?)
Codes and Their Disorders
Here are just a hand full of codes and the disorders they are associated with:
- Bad writing or poor writing The disorder of written expression 315.2.
- Bipolar depressed, most recent (mild) episode 296.51 Note that this code can be used for simply sedating a patient after a traumatic event, such as losing a loved one, and there are at least 30 additional diagnosis codes associated with Bipolar disorder.
- Coffee drinking caffeine addiction – code 305.90.
- Sleeplessness associated with code 305.90, which induces code 292.89.
- Developmental Arithmetic Disorder dislike of math homework – 315.4.
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder Argumentative – liking to argue – 313.81.
- Selective Mutism Sneaking and hiding behavior, which could simply mean not telling your spouse about your last shopping episode – 313.2.
- Smoking – Nicotine withdrawal 292.0.
- Mood disorder any – 293.83.
- Conduct disorder Misbehavior and intimidation of others – 312.82.
- Insomnia Inability to sleep – 307.42.
- Noncompliance with Treatment Disorder denial that anything is wrong – 15.81
Doctors may use codes in order to assure payment for patient visits, and also to enable the writing of a prescription and follow up visits. This way the pharmacologists are also making money. Is there really a pill for whatever ails us?
And while doctors are busy providing our “conditions” with codes – What’s In Your Medical Record? Do we want prospective employers or insurance agents to think we have a mental disorder, when we do not?