For those following the developments of the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) it is not news that this bible of The Psychology Industry is under construction of the 5th edition slated for publication in 2013. It is also not news that the work groups and designers of this widely-used publication have consistently ignored professional & lay person’s critics.
What is the DSM? From the American Psychiatric Association DSM website:
“Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is the standard classification of mental disorders used by mental health professionals in the United States and contains a listing of diagnostic criteria for every psychiatric disorder recognized by the U.S. healthcare system. The current edition, DSM-IV-TR, is used by professionals in a wide array of contexts, including psychiatrists and other physicians, psychologists, social workers, nurses, occupational and rehabilitation therapists, and counselors, as well as by clinicians and researchers of many different orientations (e.g., biological, psychodynamic, cognitive, behavioral, interpersonal, family/systems). “
Retrieved 07/20/12. http://www.dsm5.org/about/Pages/Default.aspx
The above description of the DSM fails to include the legal profession. Judges & lawyers routinely turn to the DSM to aid them in prosecution, defense, and sentencing of the accused which adds another level and dynamic to this important publication.
The United States & other Western countries are dangerously close to pathologizing every human emotion. To what end, consumers of mental health care & professionals critical of this document ask? Is it simply for job-security for psychology-type providers? Is it prestige & power?
Mental health consumers depend on the accuracy & scientific data behind medical opinions that lead to diagnosis & treatment. When the bible of The Psychology Industry is steeped in controversy before publication indicates a serious problem is present. Problems lalso indicate the depth of political and personal investment by some professionals who place their needs before those of of mental health care consumers whom they treat.
DSM-5 Continues To Ignore Critics
“The petition to reform DSM-5 speaks with the powerful voice of more than fifty mental health associations. Perhaps more important to APA’s publishing ambitions and budgetary needs, it represents a significant percentage of the potential customers who eventually will have to decide whether or not DSM-5 is worth buying and using. Displaying its usual ‘the customer is always wrong’ arrogance, APA has previously been dismissive of the completely reasonable recommendation that there be an independent scientific review of all controversial DSM-5 suggestions.
The letter: “We remain concerned about a number of the DSM-5 proposals, as well as the apparent setbacks in the development process.”
- relatively little empirical support and/or research literature that is relatively recent
- lowering of diagnostic thresholds
- unnecessarily complex and idiosyncratic system
- development of novel scales (e.g., severity scales) with little psychometric testing
Regarding the development process:
- continuing delays
- substandard results
- cancellation of the second set of field trials.
- lack of formal forensic review.
- Ad hominem responses to critics.
- The hiring of a PR firm to influence … which is not standard scientific practice.
“As the deadline for the future manual approaches, we urge the DSM-5 Task Force and all concerned mental health professionals to examine the proposed manual with scientific and expert scrutiny. It is not only our professional standards, but also –and most importantly– patient care that is at stake.”
American Psychiatric Association DSM-5 webpages http://www.dsm5.org
The DSM_5 & the Do Ron Ron The DSM-5 and the do ron ron (kenyatta2009.wordpress.com)