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Holidays and a potentially scary new diagnosis in the DSM-5

Christmas and Hanukah are over but New Year's Eve and day are still to come!  I worked Christmas Eve and Christmas Day but had Christmas Eve and most of the day with my mom and siblings and Christmas night with my dad.

I got a present I've been wanting for a while from my brother and sister - a Clarisonic!  I can already feel a difference in my skin, it seems so much cleaner.  I got new black boots, a new sweater, some more skin care things,fleece lined leggings (something I was extra excited about given my lack of body fat this winter) and pajama pants.  I am relieved that Christmas is over, every year it is stressful due to my divorced parents and my work schedule.

For NYE, I usually go up to NH with some friends.  I happened to get sick right around Christmas this year so I was hoping I would be well enough to go.  I love sitting by the fire and seeing the snow, and being with such great friends that have supported me through the last few years of bad health.  

Something was brought to my attention today - a new diagnosis in the new DSM-5 that will be released in May 2013.  It's called Somatic Symptom Disorder and patients have to meet these 3 things to have this disorder

1. disproportionate thoughts about the seriousness of their symptom(s);

2. a high level of anxiety about their symptoms or health; or

3. devoting excessive time and energy to their symptoms or health concerns.

This has to go on for just 6 months before you can have this diagnosis.  If this had been around in 2009, this means I may have been denied an appropriate diagnosis of Cushing's Disease, which took over 5 years since I knew I had symptoms to an official diagnosis.  This could be devastating to people who struggle with diseases like Cushing's which are hard to diagnose and usually take years for people to get help.

Psychology Today has a good article about the implications of this diagnosis that I suggest you read.  It also has a link where you can go and voice your concerns about this new diagnosis.



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