chapter  11
14 Pages

The Problem with Soma

As we have stepped over the threshold of the 21st century, we ask, What is the prob lem with psychiatry? Psychiatry confronts many problems, yet most of these prob lems are not as severe as some of psychiatry’s critics imply. Psychiatry is not so paralyzed, conflicted, or impotent to be in imminent danger of disappearing or selfdestructing. For example, psychiatry is not inventing diseases to treat with its diagnostic classification system, as suggested by Allan Horwitz in Creating Mental Illness.2 The people psychiatrists see in their clinics, by and large, experience signif icant and severe emotional suffering or behavioral dysfunction. Despite the expan sion of the nomenclature, psychiatrists are not treating the worried well.