Media coverage of UK concerns over DSM-5

Media coverage of UK concerns over DSM-5 (Science Media Centre press briefing)

Post #138  Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-1R8

Update: See also

Science Media Centre DSM-5 press briefing: Comments from research and clinical professionals

Criticism of DSM-5 proposals for grief in this week’s Lancet: Editorial and Essay

Round-up: media coverage following Lancet’s criticism of DSM-5 proposals for grief


On February 9, UK Science Media Centre held a press briefing for invited journalists amid mounting concern from mental health professionals for controversial proposals for the next edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

DSM-5 is slated for publication in May 2013.

A third draft of proposed changes to DSM-IV categories and criteria is expected to be posted on the DSM-5 Development site, this May, for a two month long stakeholder review and feedback period.

This final review might be viewed as little more than a public relations exercise given the late stage in the drafting process – according to Task Force chair, David Kupfer, MD, “the revisions are about 90 percent complete.”

Those involved in the press briefing included:

Prof Nick Craddock, MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics & Genomics, Cardiff University School of Medicine

Peter Kinderman, Professor of clinical psychology at the University of Liverpool; honorary appointment as consultant clinical psychologist with Merseycare NHS Trust and a former Chair of the British Psychological Society’s Division of Clinical Psychology

Both have research and clinical interests in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and psychosis.

Psychologists and psychiatrists providing comment on their concerns for potential changes to DSM-IV, included Prof Nick Craddock, Prof Peter Kinderman, Allen Frances, MD, who had chaired the task force that had oversight of the drafting of DSM-IV, Prof Simon Wessely, Prof Richard Bentall, Dr Lucy Johnstone and Prof Til Wykes.

A Reuters News Alert by Kate Kelland, Health and Science Correspondent, issued on February 9, generated considerable interest and has been picked up by dozens of international news sites including Chicago Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, Windsor Star, Psychminded.co.uk, MSNBC, Montreal Gazette, Baltimore Sun and Vancouver Sun.

Professor Peter Kinderman and Dr David Kupfer who chairs the DSM-5 Task Force, debated concerns on Friday’s BBC Radio 4 “Today” programme (link for audio below).

Medical writer, Christopher Lane, author of How Normal Behaviour Became a Sickness, blogged, yesterday, at Side Effects at Psychology Today.

Side Effects
From quirky to serious, trends in psychology and psychiatry.
by Christopher Lane, Ph.D.

DSM-5 Controversy Is Now Firmly Transatlantic

Why the APA’s lower diagnostic thresholds are causing widespread concern.

Proposed draft revisions to the DSM, which the American Psychiatric Association recently made available on its website, are stirring major controversy on both sides of the Atlantic… Read on

John M Grohol, PsyD, editor at PsychCentral, is in a bit of a snit, here.

Comments provided by research and clinical professionals for the Science Media Centre DSM-5 press briefing here: http://wp.me/pKrrB-1TL

For around 100 links for news and media sites that have run DSM-5 stories in the past three weeks or so, open Word file here: Concerns for DSM-5 – Media coverage

Selected UK and international media coverage posted below, as it comes in, most recent at the top:


Insideireland.ie

Shyness: A mental illness?

Sarah Greer | February 13, 2012

British Psychological Society

Is shyness a mental illness?

February 13, 2012

Shyness in a child, and depression following the death of a loved one, could be classed as mental illness under new guidelines. The move could result in millions of people being placed at risk of having a psychiatric disorder, experts have warned.

Guardian

Comment is free

Do we need a diagnostic manual for mental illness?

Profs Richard Bentall and Nick Craddock discuss the controversial revisions to the US Diagnostic and Statistical Manual

Guardian, Comment is free | February 10, 2012

Friday round up…’hypersexual disorder’ is added to the psychiatric bible…

PULSE GP magazine  | February 10, 2012

Financial Times  (Registration may be required)

US mental guidelines attacked

Andrew Jack | February 10, 2012

ABC News

American Psychiatric Association Under Fire for New Disorders

Katie Moisse | February 10, 2012

Shyness, grief and eccentricity could suddenly become mental health disorders if the newest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders goes through as planned. But it won’t if more than 11,000 petitioners, most of whom are mental health professionals, have their way.

The DSM, the 900-page “bible” of psychiatric symptoms published by the American Psychiatric Association, has been around since 1952. But the fifth and latest edition, scheduled for publication in May 2013, has come under attack for “medicalizing” behaviors that some people would consider normal. The 11,000 petitioners are challenging proposed changes they say would label millions more Americans as mentally ill…

Read on

BBC News website and BBC Radio 4 Today programme

http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9694000/9694926.stm

0831
A new draft of the “psychiatric bible” – DSM5 – has provoked anger for its definitions of behaviours indicative of mental illness. Already, more than 11,000 have signed a petition calling for it to be rewritten and re-thought. David Kupfer who chairs the DSM 5 committee for the American Psychiatric Association, which put the book together, and Peter Kinderman, professor and honorary consultant clinical psychologist with Mersey Care NHS Trust, debate its pros and cons.

Quirk or mental illness?

[Audio interviews with DSM-5 Task Force Chair, David Kupfer, and Prof Peter Kinderman]

The new psychiatric bible, DSM 5, which is the world’s most widely used psychiatric reference book, has been released in draft form. Already, more than 11,000 people have signed a petition calling for it to be rewritten and re-thought. Some claim the new edition broadens the range of behaviours considered indicative of mental illnesses to a point where normal quirks of personality will lead to erroneous diagnoses.

David Kupfer who chairs the DSM 5 committee for the American Psychiatric Association, which put the book together, and Peter Kinderman, professor and honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist with Mersey Care NHS Trust, debate the pros and cons of the book.

Behind a subscription or pay for access

BMJ News

News
Critics attack DSM-5 for overmedicalising normal human behaviour
BMJ 2012; 344 doi: 10.1136/bmj.e1020 (Published 10 February 2012)
Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1020

News Bullet.in

Grieving, shyness to be called mental illness

Courtesy: Fox News | February 10,  2012

MILLIONS of healthy people – including shy or defiant children, grieving relatives and people with fetishes – may be wrongly labeled mentally ill by a new international diagnostic manual according to a report which appeared in Fox News.

The new classification is expected to figure in the influential Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). According to Fox News, psychologists, psychiatrists and mental health experts said its new categories and “tick-box” diagnosis systems were at best “silly” and at worst “worrying and dangerous…”

Read on

Daily Mail

Shyness in a child and depression after bereavement could be classed as mental illness in controversial new reforms

Jenny Hope | February 9, 2012

Childhood shyness could be reclassified as a mental disorder under controversial new guidelines, warn experts.

They also fear that depression after bereavement and behaviour now seen as eccentric or unconventional will also become ‘medicalised’…

Read on

Telegraph

also Independent.ie

Shyness could be defined as a mental illness

By Donna Bowater | February 10, 2012

SHYNESS, bereavement and eccentric behaviour could be classed as a mental illness under new guidelines, leaving millions of people at risk of being diagnosed as having a psychiatric disorder, experts fear.

Under changes planned to the diagnosis handbook used by doctors in the US, common behavioural traits are likely to be listed as a mental illness, it was reported…

Read on

Independent

Lonely? Shy? Sad? Well now you’re ‘mentally ill’, too

Expanded psychiatric ‘bible’ will see more people needlessly medicated, experts warn

Jeremy Laurance | February, 10 2012

Mild eccentrics, oddball romantics and the lonely, shy and sad could find themselves diagnosed with a mental disorder if proposals to add new conditions to the world’s most widely used psychiatric bible go ahead, experts have warned.

A major revision of the the 1994 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, whose fifth edition is due for publication next year, threatens to extend psychiatric diagnoses to millions of people currently regarded as normal, they say. Among the diagnostic labels are “oppositional defiance disorder” for challenging adolescents, “gambling disorder” for those compelled to have a flutter, and “hypersexual disorder” for those who think about sex at least once every 20 minutes. People crippled by shyness or suffering from loneliness could be diagnosed with “dysthymia”, defined as “feeling depressed for most of the day”.

More worrying, according to some experts, are attempts to redefine crimes as illnesses, such as “paraphilic coercive disorder”, applied to men engaged in sexual relationships involving the use of force. They are more commonly known as rapists…

Read on

Psych Central Blogs

Could Sadness And Shyness Be Mental Illnesses?

Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC | February 10, 2012

C.R. writes: No. The title of this blog post isn’t a joke. It is based on a series of alarming articles I just read about the new edition of the perennially controversial DSM.
 
In a Reuters piece, Peter Kinderman, a British clinical psychologist and head of the Institute of Psychology at Liverpool University was quoted as saying:
 
“The proposed revision to DSM … will exacerbate the problems that result from trying to fit a medical, diagnostic system to problems that just don’t fit nicely into those boxes,” said Peter Kinderman at a briefing about widespread concerns over the book in London.
 
He said the new edition – known as DSM-5 – “will pathologise a wide range of problems which should never be thought of as mental illnesses”.
 
“Many people who are shy, bereaved, eccentric, or have unconventional romantic lives will suddenly find themselves labeled as mentally ill,” he said. “It’s not humane, it’s not scientific, and it won’t help decide what help a person needs…”
 

Wales Online

Fears that grieving relatives could be labelled mentally ill

Madeleine Brindley Health Editor | February 10, 2012

CHANGES to the American “bible” of mental health disorders could see grieving relatives labelled mentally ill, experts have claimed.

In a backlash to the proposed reforms to the fourth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – known as DSM-5 – thousands of experts have spoken out against the changes…

Read on

Guardian

Psychologists fear US manual will widen mental illness diagnosis
Mental disorders listed in publication that should not exists, warn UK experts

Sarah Boseley Health editor | February 9, 2012

Hundreds of thousands of people will be labelled mentally ill because of behaviour most people would consider normal, if a new edition of what has been termed the psychiatrists’ diagnostic bible goes ahead, experts are warning…

Read on

Reuters | February 9, 2012

Shyness an illness in “dangerous” health book-experts

• Grieving relatives could be classed as ill

• Revisions mean broader diagnoses of mental disorders

• Petition signed by 11,000 health workers calls for halt

By Kate Kelland, Health and Science Correspondent

LONDON, Feb 9 (Reuters) – Millions of healthy people – including shy or defiant children, grieving relatives and people with fetishes – may be wrongly labelled mentally ill by a new international diagnostic manual, specialists said on Thursday.

In a damning analysis of an upcoming revision of the influential Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), psychologists, psychiatrists and mental health experts said its new categories and “tick-box” diagnosis systems were at best “silly” and at worst “worrying and dangerous”.

Some diagnoses – for conditions like “oppositional defiant disorder” and “apathy syndrome” – risk devaluing the seriousness of mental illness and medicalising behaviours most people would consider normal or just mildly eccentric, the experts said.

At the other end of the spectrum, the new DSM, due out next year, could give medical diagnoses for serial rapists and sex abusers – under labels like “paraphilic coercive disorder” – and may allow offenders to escape prison by providing what could be seen as an excuse for their behaviour, they added.

The DSM is published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and has descriptions, symptoms and other criteria for diagnosing mental disorders. It is used internationally and is seen as the diagnostic “bible” for mental health medicine.

More than 11,000 health professionals have already signed a petition (at http://dsm5-reform.com ) calling for the development of the fifth edition of the manual to be halted and re-thought.

“The proposed revision to DSM … will exacerbate the problems that result from trying to fit a medical, diagnostic system to problems that just don’t fit nicely into those boxes,” said Peter Kinderman, a clinical psychologist and head of Liverpool University’s Institute of Psychology at a briefing about widespread concerns over the book in London.

He said the new edition – known as DSM-5 – “will pathologise a wide range of problems which should never be thought of as mental illnesses”.

“Many people who are shy, bereaved, eccentric, or have unconventional romantic lives will suddenly find themselves labelled as mentally ill,” he said. “It’s not humane, it’s not scientific, and it won’t help decide what help a person needs.”

RADICAL, RECKLESS, AND INHUMANE

Simon Wessely of the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London said a look back at history should make health experts ask themselves: “Do we need all these labels?”

He said the 1840 Census of the United States included just one category for mental disorder, but by 1917 the APA was already recognising 59. That rose to 128 in 1959, to 227 in 1980, and again to around 350 disorders in the fastest revisions of DSM in 1994 and 2000.

Allen Frances, Emeritus professor at Duke University and chair of the committee that oversaw the previous DSM revision, said the proposed DSM-5 would “radically and recklessly expand the boundaries of psychiatry” and result in the “medicalisation of normality, individual difference, and criminality”.

As an unintended consequence, he said an emailed comment, many millions of people will get inappropriate diagnoses and treatments, and already scarce funds would be wasted on giving drugs to people who don’t need them and may be harmed by them.

Nick Craddock of Cardiff University’s department of psychological medicine and neurology, who also spoke at the London briefing, cited depression as a key example of where DSM’s broad categories were going wrong.

Whereas in previous editions, a person who had recently lost a loved one and was suffering low moods would be seen as experiencing a normal human reaction to bereavement, the new DSM criteria would ignore the death, look only at the symptoms, and class the person as having a depressive illness.

Other examples of diagnoses cited by experts as problematic included “gambling disorder”, “internet addiction  disorder” and “oppositional defiant disorder” – a condition in which a child “actively refuses to comply with majority’s requests” and “performs deliberate actions to annoy others”.

“That basically means children who say ‘no’ to their parents more than a certain number of times,” Kinderman said. “On that criteria, many of us would have to say our children are mentally ill.” (Reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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