Updating the DSM is no easy task

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Changes to the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) are forthcoming. The fifth edition of the DSM is under review and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) is accepting feedback from its members having posted a draft of the new manual online at http://www.psych.org/dsmv.aspx. The APA will be accepting feedback regarding the draft through April 20th. During a press briefing the APA released highlights of some of the more prominent revisions to the DSM; they are as follows:

Including a category of “risk syndromes” for psychosis and cognitive impairment, intended to capture mild versions of these conditions that do not always progress to full-blown psychotic disorders or dementia, but often do

Adding a new disorder in children, “temper dysregulation with dysphoria,” for persistent negative mood with bursts of rage

Revising criteria for some eating disorders, including creation of a separate “binge eating disorder” distinct from bulimia

Using “dimensional assessments” to account for severity of symptoms, especially those that appear in multiple diagnostic categories

Recategorizing learning disorders, including creation of a single diagnostic category for autism and other socialization disorders, and replacing the controversial term “mental retardation” with “intellectual disability”

Eliminating “substance abuse” and “substance dependence” as disorders, to be replaced with a single “addiction and related disorders” category

Creating a “behavioral addictions” category that will include addictions to gambling but not to the Internet or sex

Offering a new assessment tool for suicide risk

Click here to visit the APA’s DSM-V draft site

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