Call to action – DSM-5 comments needed by June 15, 2012

Call to action – DSM-5 comments needed by June 15, 2012

Post #173 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-2bO

The stakeholder comment period for the third and final review of draft proposals for DSM-5 categories and criteria closes on June 15. Patients, patient organizations and professional stakeholders have three weeks left in which to submit comments.

US advocate, Mary Dimmock, has prepared a “Call to action”

Call to action – DSM-5 comments needed by June 15, 2012

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is used in the U.S. to categorize mental disorders for patient diagnosis, treatment and insurance. The new version, DSM-5, includes a proposal for Somatic Symptom Disorder (SSD) that will have profound implications for ME/CFS patients. Your input is needed by June 15, 2012 to ensure that the DSM-5 authors understand your concerns…

…SSD can be applied to patients regardless of whether the symptoms are considered to be medically unexplainable or not. Severity is rated by the count and frequency of somatic symptoms. The “Justification for Criteria – Somatic Symptoms”, issued in May 2011, states that CBT, focused on “the identification and modification of dysfunctional and maladaptive beliefs”, is one of the most promising treatments.

Why this matters to ME/CFS patients
A diagnosis of SSD can be “bolted” onto any patient’s diagnosis. All that is required is for the medical practitioner to decide that the patient is excessively concerned with their somatic symptoms and their health. This is done using highly subjective and difficult to measure criteria for which very few independent reliability studies have been undertaken.

For patients with diseases that are poorly understood and misdiagnosed by the medical community, like ME/CFS, this will be disastrous. Once diagnosed inappropriately with SSD, the implications for diagnosis, treatment, disability and insurance will be profound…

Download Mary’s Call to action document here:

Word .docx format DSM-5 Response 2012

Word .doc format DSM-5 Response 2012 (MS 2004)

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