DSM: Paging Through Mental Illness
Will the next edition of the definitive guide to assessing mental health be too broad?
Since 1952 the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has been the bible for psychologists and psychiatrists the world over. Sixteen years have passed since the last major revision, and an updated manual is long overdue, since the current version doesn’t reflect the copious research that has improved understanding of certain diseases. Yet critics claim that not all changes will be for the good, arguing that the next revision of the DSM “will trivialize mental disorder and lead to a deluge of unneeded medication treatments.”
The DSM-5 task force and work groups are reviewing public comments on proposed changes. Next, field trials will test the reliability of revisions. Against this backdrop, here’s a look at how the DSM has evolved over the past 58 years; what changes may be in store for the DSM-5, due out in May 2013; and how the lines are being blurred between illness and life.
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