• Sun, Dec 2 2012

Psychiatrists Vote On Making Large Changes To Diagnostic ‘Bible’

Yesterday, more than 1,500 experts in various fields evaluated and voted on several revisions to The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM. The book, which identifies and classifies mental disorders, is frequently referred to as the “diagnostic bible.”

The meeting, held in Arlington, Virginia, involved deciding on many changes to develop the newest full revision. There were minor changes to the manual in 2000, but the last full revision was in 1994–and medicine has evolved considerably since then. New criteria will be established for use by psychiatrists and other medical experts in order to diagnose mental conditions.

Autism disorders, such as Aspeger’s Syndrome among others, has received extensive attention in the past decade. The DSM voted to make several alterations to this diagnosis, which the American Psychiatry Associating says will include incorporating “several diagnoses from DSM-IV including autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder (not otherwise specified) into the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder for DSM-5 to help more accurately and consistently diagnose children with autism.”

Hoarding, binge eating and disruptive mood dysregulation disorder will be added to the manual, helping those who have these problems to receive help more easily.

Revisions to DSM is extremely significant to the public for many reasons. For example, whether or not you receive insurance money to treat an ongoing condition can depend on its listing in the book. Schools can use the manual’s criteria to determine special provisions for students. The imprisonment, and even death penalty, of someone who has committed a crime can be affected by a diagnosis using DSM.

Though there are numerous alterations already, the public will not know the full extent of revisions until May, when the new edition is published.

Photo: Shutterstock

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  • Lastango

    I’m interested to see the final product, but I’m not optimistic DSM-5 will reflect the concerns of the large group of petitioners who voiced their objections to the draft:

    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/dsm5/

    For example, petitioners were concerned that “The reduction in symptomatic duration and the number of necessary criteria for the diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder.”

    It’s not good when practitioners can discover Generalized Anxiety Disorder everywhere they look, and then bill for it. Similar objections were voiced about “Mild Neurocognitive Disorder” in the elderly, and Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder or Attenuated Psychosis Syndrome in children. The petitioners felt that “Neither of these newly proposed disorders have a solid basis in the clinical research literature, and both may result in treatment…”.

    Psychology Today has a number of other articles about possible problems with DSM-5.

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/search/query?keys=dsm&x=8&y=9