Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition (DSM-5) General Information

I’ve been asked about changes and additions to the next edition of the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) slated for release in 2013.

The controversy surrounding this edition is steeped in political wranglings as well as critics stating their opinions to decisions made by the 13 working groups.The DSM-5 committees, although opening comments to the public, the work-group evaluating and making the final decision of what mental disorders are included is ignoring both laypersons and professional mental-health care providers as well.

How The American Psychiatric Association describes the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition,or DSM-5?

According to the American Psychiatric Association 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). It is used in both clinical settings (inpatient, outpatient, partial hospital, consultation-liaison, clinic, private practice, and primary care) as well as with community populations. In addition to supplying detailed descriptions of diagnostic criteria, DSM is also a necessary tool for collecting and communicating accurate public health statistics about the diagnosis of psychiatric disorders.

“The American Psychiatric Association believes strongly in the work that is being done to revise the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). In preparation for the release of DSM-5, experts from psychiatry, psychology, social work, neuroscience, pediatrics and other fields have committed much of the last five years to reviewing scientific research and clinical data, analyzing the findings of extensive field trials and reviewing thousand of comments from the public.

We welcome scrutiny, not only of this process but of its results.”

Light bedtime reading

Light bedtime reading (Photo credit: Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious)

This book, accepted as the bible of this industry, has been in revision for “much of the last five years” – what does that mean? Much? Is that once a month, once every quarter? Once a year? A document this important, should be in revision all of the past 5 years. This document will impact lives and medical treatment of many people and an impact on other professions, if steeped in controversy without resolution, needs to be worked on for another 5 years or until it is properly written.

What other nonfiction book would be published under such circumstances? Would the author(s) be able to tell the publisher “Well, we worked on the facts for much of the past 5 years, and that’s enough.”  The legal department of any publishing house of substance would not allow such a book to be released.

Ask yourself, who published the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders? Answer: The American Psychiatric Association – again demonstrating that they have no obligation to police themselves or to accurately represent the opinions and concerns of their membership.

The American Psychiatric Association fails to include several additional professional and patient uses of this important document.

First, the APA fails to include the legal profession in their list of experts who use the DSM. Lawyers & judges turn to this document for clarification and uses it to aid in prosecution and in defense of those accused. The legal profession is increasingly forced to give opinions on mental health issues which are beyond the scope of their expertise because time and again those injured have no recourse but the courts to get redress for psychological injury because the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association, the two largest organizations of mental health care providers will not police their membership to ensure that patients get safe and effective psychiatric treatment.

Secondly, many view the DSM as the definitive word on whether or not particular diagnostic categories are accurate and even exist. For example, historically homosexuality was listed as a mental illness, it has since been removed. Multiple Personality Disorder was added then the name changed to Dissociative Identity Disorder following a rash of legal suits against practitioners for medical malpractice.

Third, are insurance companies. The DSM along with mental illness classifications, assigns a number to each one for the purpose of billing for services by professional in the mental health field. Insurance companies take a long time to find that they have been funding pseudo-science and/or pop psychology therapies as in the case of Multiple Personalities. They have yet to fully grasp the fact that the name changed to Dissociative Identity Disorder.

This list will include any change to the DSM-5 so you, the consumer, can evaluate them. The Psychology Industry is dangerously close to pathologizing every human emotion and experience as you will see as this list grows.

Perhaps Insurance companies are better barometers in determining which psychological treatments are effective. Now there’s a twist.

Related Links:

DMS-5 Overview http://www.dsm5.org/about/pages/dsmvoverview.aspx

DSM-5 Facts www.dsmfacts.org

Psychology Today: DSM-5 Continues to Ignore Critics http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dsm5-in-distress/201207/dsm-5-continues-ignore-critics

Mad in America:   http://www.madinamerica.com/2012/05/allen-j-frances-on-the-overdiagnosis-of-mental-illness/

Psychology Today: The Law and the Good Book  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/almost-psychopath/201207/the-law-and-the-good-book

Oregon Counseling: Criticism of America’s Diagnostic Bible- The DSM  http://www.oregoncounseling.org/diagnosis/criticismofdsm.htm


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1 Comment

  1. Jay Cuzey

     /  07/24/2012

    Reblogged this on Blame the Amygdala and commented:
    I do not think I would want the responsibility of being in clinical.



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