A Closer Look at Pending Changes to the Future of Psychiatric Diagnosis

Article ID: 590122

Released: 7-Jun-2012 9:00 AM EDT

Source Newsroom: Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins

Articles Have Potential to Affect Final DSM-5 Standards as Public comment Period Ends

Newswise — New York, NY (June 7, 2012) – The June issue of The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease (JNMD) features a special section focused on the impending release of the revised Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), an update to psychiatric diagnosis standards. JNMD is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease Editor-in-Chief John A. Talbott, MD, (a past APA president and DSM-III collaborator) comments in his editorial, “The timing of this special section on DSM-5, therefore, is particularly auspicious because it provides the potential for these articles to affect the final DSM-5 decisions.” The DSM-5 manual, currently scheduled for publication in May 2013, is going through its final public comment period through June 15, 2012.

Many articles within the section present criticisms of DSM-5 proposals. Specifically, several authors worry that the new DSM-5 standards may open up more opportunities for false-positives – a doctor diagnosing a condition when it is not present, or providing medication when it is not needed.

• “Diagnostic Inflation: Causes and Suggested Cure” by Batstra and Frances displays the authors’ concern that the proposed changes to DSM-5 will result in diagnostic inflation and inappropriate use of medication. They suggest "stepped diagnosis,” which includes a watch-and-wait period before beginning medication, to combat false-positives. • In “Recurrence of Bereavement-Related Depression: Evidence for the Validity of the DSM-IV Bereavement Exclusion From the Epidemiological Catchment Area Study,” Wakefield and Schmitz contend that the DSM-5 proposal to remove the bereavement exclusion from the definition of a major depressive episode would cause those who are experiencing normal grief after the death of a loved one to be mislabeled as clinically depressed.

Other articles respond to DSM-5 proposals to include new disorders and diagnostic constructs. For example, DSM-5 proposes to reclassify pathological gambling as a behavioral addiction, which may pave the way for other excessive behaviors to be included in this construct in the future.

• Mihordin takes a look at the potential consequences of this change in his article, “Behavioral Addiction V Quo Vadis?” in which he presents hypothetical criteria for the diagnosis of pathological model railroading disorder.

• Good and Burstein respond to the DSM-5 proposal to include a hebephilic subtype to the diagnosis of pedophilia in “Hebephilia and the Construction of a Fictitious Diagnosis”. Additionally, Wakefield examines two DSM-5 proposals on classifying pathological forms of grief as mental disorders in “Should Prolonged Grief Be Reclassified as a Mental Disorder in DSM-5? Reconsidering the Empirical and Conceptual Arguments for Complicated Grief Disorder.”

Included in the special section, “Psychotropic Marketing Practices and Problems: Implication for DSM-5” by Raven and Perry looks at how certain aspects of DSM-5 could be used by the pharmaceutical industry as marketing tools, especially with a wider customer base resulting from false-positive patients. In “A Critique of the DSM-5 Field Trials,” Jones examines problems that may have compromised the usefulness of the DSM-5 field trials.

It is important to note that the articles in the special section of JNMD were written at various points since February 2010 based on the criteria sets posted on the DSM-5 website. Many of these criteria sets have been updated since their initial posting. “Thus, the critiques of certain proposals contained in these articles may no longer be fully relevant to what is actually being proposed for DSM-5,” Dr. Talbott states in his editorial. Visit the DSM-5 website at http://www.dsm5.org/ for the most accurate information on what is being considered for inclusion in DSM-5.

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About The Journal of Nervous and Mental DiseaseFounded in 1874, The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease is the world's oldest, continuously published independent scientific monthly in the field of human behavior. Articles cover theory, etiology, therapy, social impact of illness, and research methods.

About Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW) is a leading international publisher of trusted content delivered in innovative ways to practitioners, professionals and students to learn new skills, stay current on their practice, and make important decisions to improve patient care and clinical outcomes. LWW is part of Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading global provider of information, business intelligence and point-of-care solutions for the healthcare industry. Wolters Kluwer Health is part of Wolters Kluwer, a market-leading global information services company with 2011 annual revenues of €3.4 billion ($4.7 billion).


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