Thursday, February 16, 2012

DSM-5: The Future of Psychiatric Diagnosis

Just following-up from last May's post about the American Psychiatric Association (APA) seeking both professional and public comments and suggestions towards the proposed diagnostic criteria revisions for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) Development Process.

That process has now been extended to a third phase, and again, the APA is asking for your input. According to their website -
The 2nd commenting period was not the final opportunity for you to submit feedback. In spring 2012, we will open the site for a third and final round of comments from visitors, which will again be systematically reviewed by each of the work groups for consideration of additional changes.

During the second comment period, we received over 2000 comments and our work groups are actively reviewing your input. Thank you for taking the time to provide your insights, experiences, and expertise toward these important issues.
Now, don't think that this process is just a ruse, designed to make it seem like they care about your input, but have already decided the changes in advanced, by themselves, behind closed doors. What you have to say may be important to them. For example, it looks like they took my suggestion for inclusion of Superhero Syndrome, but they just renamed it to Delusional Disorder: Grandiose Type.

But all kidding aside, they truly need your input. Trying to apply scientific principles to something as non-scientific as the mind and human behavior is a challenge. Don't forget that in 1952, the American Psychiatric Association listed homosexuality in the DSM as a sociopathic personality disorder.

So, please take the time to share your thoughts. Having someone from outside of their cloistered group providing input may help them see things in a different light. Because if there's one thing that I'm absolutely sure of it's that - to a man with a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail.


  1. Antipsychotic drugs grow more popular for patients without mental illness.

    Source: The Washington Post

  2. Psychiatry's diagnostic guidebook gets its first major update in 30 years. The changes may surprise you. From Scientific American - Psychiatry's "Bible" Gets an Overhaul

  3. Interesting news being reported just before the DSM-5 is about to be released. Maybe everyone sharing their thoughts "did" help them see things in a different light?

    The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) will be re-orienting its research away from DSM categories, and creating their own classification system. According to the NIMH Director's Blog -

    "Patients with mental disorders deserve better. NIMH has launched the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) project to transform diagnosis by incorporating genetics, imaging, cognitive science, and other levels of information to lay the foundation for a new classification system."

  4. DSM contains descriptions, symptoms, and different criteria for diagnosing mental issues. It gives a typical language to clinicians to impart about their patients and establishes steady and reliable conclusions that can be utilized in the examination of mental issues.