Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Debate Over Mental Illness

A hot debate is brewing within the American Psychiatric Association regarding the definition of mental illness: whether to tighten up the definitions of the current symptoms and categories or to broaden the concept of mental illnesses, "to be broad enough to include mild conditions, which can make people miserable and often lead to more severe problems later," according to an article in today's New York Times.

The trigger for the debate?  The revised diagnostic manual that will appear in 2010 or 2011. 


"Severity is at the core of the debate.  Are slumps in mood bad enough to make someone miss work?  Does anxiety over social situations disrupt friendships and play havoc with romantic relationships?"  according to the article.

When a mental illness becomes a psychiatric disability, of course, the ADA and Section 504, as well as the Office of Civil Rights take notice and expect law schools to make reasonable accommodations.

View the DSM-IV on line (els)

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