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February 1, 2011
by root
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Finding fault with the DSM proposal

I must say I wasn't confused before reading the article “Diagnostic uncertainty” (September/October 2010 issue), but I surely am now. I disagree with doing away with the “abuse” level of diagnosis in the DSM-5 and replacing it with a “moderate” severity category.

I also find it peculiar that at the end of the article Marvin Seppala states that we will adapt. Wouldn't it be better to have usable criteria as opposed to finding ways to adapt to language that does not fit the need?

John B. French

Mobile, Ala.

The need to talk it out

I agree with everything Brian Duffy wrote in “The road to clarity” (September/October 2010 issue). I'm in my 29th year of recovery (AA), and he put into words what I have been observing and thinking about for a long time.

Originally I'm from western New York but I now live and work out of Florida. There are a lot of graybeards here who like to hear themselves talk in meetings. The new people who need to hear themselves talk are often excluded and are not aggressive enough to “fight for the floor.”

Someone once said, “You know how AA works; you start talking until you think of something to say.” Kind of cynical, but often people learn by hearing what they say, not by what they think.

My sponsor is a retired chief city court judge and has 54 years of sobriety. The most important, most comforting words he ever said to me were, “I know how you feel.” How can we know how people are feeling if we don't give them a chance to express themselves?

Donald J. McHenry, CCDC, BRI-II

The Villages, Fla.

Addiction Professional 2011 January-February;9(1):7