In 65 years and 5 editions the DSM-5 fails to answer a vital question. The DSM–5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) is a monster of a book. Just short of 1000 pages it diagnoses more than 200 mental disorders. Yet it still fails to answer a glaring question.
Perhaps it can’t.
Noun: “A state of confusion.”
Verb: “disrupt the systematic functioning or neat arrangement of.“
Do you see it yet?
In order to define disorder we need to define order. The DSM-5 does not define what order is. Yet, in order to pursue health instead of just running away from sickness we need to know what health is. We must answer this question:
What is order?
What does it mean for the mind and body to be a well ordered and healthy? What does it mean for the mind and body to be functioning in a systematic, healthy way?
The definition of order is a question of origin The one who has constructed something is in the best place to define the proper order for it. The one who created humans is in the best place to define what order is for them.
I think our definition of order needs to come from God. We need to go to the one who created us to define what it is to be healthy. We need Him to define how to be healthy.
I believe the most complete definition of order can be found in the pages of the Bible. God has spoken much about who we are and how we are ordered. It should be out of a relationship with God that we find our compass for health and order.
Here are two things out of many God says about order:
One: God created order out of disorder
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep…” Genesis 1:1-2 (NV)
The world as it first existed was a world of disorder. God created order out of this disorder. Time after time Genesis records the words, “And God said…” followed by order, beauty and man coming to existence.
“So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 (NIV)
If God made us then we need to look to him to understand how He has ordered us. If God made us in His image, then we need to figure out what that image is.
Two: God communicated order to us
John wrote this about Jesus:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” -John 1:1-5 (NIV)
John wrote about Jesus as the very Word of God. Jesus was the knowledge of Himself that God passed onto the world.
“14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of graceand truth.” John 1:14 (NIV)
God is not silent.
God has a lot to say about order. He talks about right and wrong. He defines relationships. He speaks on life and death and everything in between.
Answering the question, “what is order?” Is the most important question you and I can do in getting to a healthy place in life. I suggest for the Christian, order should be defined out of the word of God. In doing that you and I will find the foundation for wholistic health. Mentally and physically.