How Critics Reject the Revisions Made to the 'Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders' Category in the DSM-5: A Discourse Analysis
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This study uses discourse analysis to explore how the most recent changes made to the Substance Related and Addictive Disorders (SRAD) category of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) are rejected by critics. The SRAD category represents an area of controversial psychological understanding that is under negotiation. Through analysis of a data set compiled of twenty-five online periodical sources, three themes of criticisms were found. The themes reflect the critics’ rejection of the revisions made to the category for being erroneous, harmful, and tainted by the publishers’ financial conflicts of interests. The implications of addressing the controversial topic of psychiatric diagnosis and treatment are managed by the critics’ restriction of criticisms to areas of the manual that can feasibly be changed in future editions. The criticisms’ reference of the pharmaceutical industry bias in the American Psychiatric Association’s process of publishing the manual represents how social issues influence on the process of negotiation. This project is part of a larger body of qualitative research that studies constructions of madness, past and present, as they appear in discourse.