Look out – DSM V is just over the horizon

DSM V? – I’m talking about the next version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – this is the ‘bible’ when it comes to manuals of mental disorders…

The foremost definitions of depression are those developed by panels of experts convened by the American Psychiatric Association. The APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual was first compiled in 1952 to assist the national census of mental disability, but has since been transformed. It was produced by a panel of experts from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) – an organisation close to and funded by the drug companies.

The fourth edition, known as DSM-IV, was published in 1994 and is now internationally recognised as the prime definition of how to recognise depression and, implicitly, when and how to treat it. DSM-IV definitions are also closely linked to those in the WHO’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) and arguably now drive them.

In 1952 there were 106 different kinds of depression – by DSM IV in 1994 there were over 350 different kinds of depression listed.

In authenticating more and more diagnoses, the DSM process has helped to legitimise a dramatic increase in drug use (the dominant treatment mode) for conditions that become wider and wider in scope.

The work on DSM V is on-going thanks to a partnership between the American Psychiatric Association and the National Institute of Mental Health.

Whose best interests will be served by this new edition, I wonder?

(Thanks to Truthman30 for making me think about this)

3 Responses to “Look out – DSM V is just over the horizon”

  1. pythia Says:

    Like the other issues of DSM it will most likely serve the interests of the pharmaceutical companies, psychiatrists and other people who benefit from trying to make psychiatry look like science.

  2. Matthew Holford Says:

    Interestingly (or not) the DSM IV definition of depression does not include “isolation,” or something similar amongst its list of symptoms. It was only a small poll, but when I asked members on the Uncommon Knowledge Depression Forum what their worst experience of depression was, the single largest factor was, yep, isolation.

    So, on that limited basis, I am skeptical immediately as to the quality of DSM IV’s diagnostic criteria.

    Matt

  3. Rewriting the Psychiatrist’s Bible « seroxat secrets… Says:

    […] more – or just enter ‘DSM’ in search box on the left. Look out – DSM V is just over the horizon Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: turning normal behaviours into sickness […]


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