Leading psychologists in UK and Europe have cast doubts over the upcoming edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which terms shyness and rebellious nature of children as mental illness.
The DSM-5 will also categorize uncertainty over gender, loneliness and unhappiness following bereavement as chronic depressive disorder while a serial rapist is to be categorized as suffering from paraphilic coercive disorder.
The updated edition, which is to be published in May by the American Psychiatric Association, has already garnered controversy in Europe with leading psychologists stating that a number of "symptoms" should not be viewed as mental illnesses.
The experts added that while hundreds of thousands of people can be wrongly termed as mentally ill, sex offenders can easily escape any punishment by stating that they were mentally ill as per the manual.
"Many people who are shy, bereaved, eccentric, or have unconventional romantic lives will suddenly find themselves labeled as mentally ill. It's not humane, it's not scientific, and it won't help decide what help a person needs", Peter Kinderman, a clinical psychologist and head of Liverpool University's Institute of Psychology, said.