04 May 2013

NIMH Doubts Utility of DSM-5

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is distancing itself from the the American Psychiatric Association and its upcoming Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
From here.

The process up updating the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DMS) from the fourth edition (DSM-IV) to the fifth edition (DSM-5), has been controversial.  But, in losing the unreserved support of a key constituent like NIMH, the process of finalizing the draft which has been lurching forwards despite many expressions of concern is facing a critical barrier to the wide to the point of universal acceptance that previous drafts of the DSM have attained.

The key issue is that it gives names to syndromes and clusters them on that basis, without providing any real insight into the underlying nature of the conditions:  "DSM diagnoses are based on a consensus about clusters of clinical symptoms, not any objective laboratory measure. In the rest of medicine, this would be equivalent to creating diagnostic systems based on the nature of chest pain or the quality of fever."

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