DSM-5 released: Media, professional and advocacy reaction: Round up #2

Post #252 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-32B

For earlier responses to release of DSM-5 see Posts #251 and #249


Medpage Today, US: APA Leaders Defend New Diagnostic Guide John Gever, Deputy Managing Editor,  May 18

…DSM-5 is now on sale for $199 in hardcover and $149 in paperback. The APA has never made the DSM freely available (it is an important source of revenue) and no change in that policy is planned…A digital version is promised within a few months through a secure website and also as mobile device applications. Revisions will be more frequent and most likely would be distributed only electronically, Kupfer said.


Wall Street Journal, US: Revised Psychiatric Manual Faces Mixed Reviews Shirley Wang, May 18

The widely criticized new version of the U.S. psychiatric diagnostic manual due out faces a potentially diminished role in research, which would mark a shift for what has been considered the bible of American psychiatry for 30 years.

…Dr. Kupfer, the DSM leader, said researchers should look at the DSM as “a guide but not necessarily the only framework they should use to carry out basic science.”

“For the DSM to be considered primarily a guide for clinicians is a “dramatic backtracking from their prior position as putting themselves out there as the best basis for research,” said Geoffrey Reed, senior project officer at the World Health Organization…Most of the research funded by the NIMH and published in psychiatry journals in the past 20-plus years had to use DSM diagnostic criteria; otherwise, scientists had no hope of publishing, said Dr. Reed.


The Guardian, UK: New US manual for diagnosing mental disorders published Ian Sample, science correspondent, May 18

The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-5, has divided medical opinion

[Ed: Note according to a WPA-WHO 2011 Survey, around 11% of practising UK psychiatrists and around 23% of practising psychiatrists surveyed globally reported using DSM-IV more than ICD-10.]

…Though not used in the UK, where doctors turn to the World Health Organisation’s International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD), the US manual has global influence. It defines groups of patients, and introduces new names for disorders. Those names can spread, and become the norm elsewhere. More importantly, the categories redefine the populations that are targeted by drugs companies.


The Pharmaletter, US: Europe adopting US strategies to diagnose and treat ADHD Industry article, May 16

…Although Europe trails behind the USA in terms of market revenue, ADHD therapeutics markets are expected to show strong growth, with Spain predicted to witness a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8% over 2012-2018, beating the USA’s CAGR of 6% during the same future period. European markets have not yet neared the saturation point that ADHD therapeutics are facing in the USA, and there is an optimistic view for ambitious growth in this region.


Medpage Today, US: DSM-IV Boss Presses Attack on New Revision John Gever, Deputy Managing Editor, May 17

Includes Complimentary Source PDF: http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1688399

…Ironically, DSM-5 has come under attack from the autism community for rewriting the autism spectrum classification in ways that autism advocates have feared will disqualify many children from receiving autism diagnoses — a controversy that Frances did not address…But he did suggest that the DSM in general has become too important after a very modest beginning in the 1950s.

“The DSM … has since acquired perhaps too much real-world influence as the arbiter of who gets what treatment and whether it will be reimbursed; who is eligible for disability benefits, Veterans Affairs benefits, and school and mental health services; and who qualifies to receive life insurance, adopt a child, fly an airplane, or buy a gun,” Frances observed.


Biomedcentral: Patient advocacy and dsm-5 Dan J Stein and Katharine A Phillips, May 17

BMC Medicine 2013, 11:133 doi:10.1186/1741-7015-11-133

Published: 17 May 2013 Abstract (provisional). Complete article is available as free, provisional PDF here

Abstract (provisional)

The revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) provides a useful opportunity to revisit debates about the nature of psychiatric classification. An important debate concerns the involvement of mental health consumers in revisions of the classification. One perspective argues that psychiatric classification is a scientific process undertaken by scientific experts and that including consumers in the revision process is merely pandering to political correctness. A contrasting perspective is that psychiatric classification is a process driven by a range of different values and that the involvement of patients and patient advocates would enhance this process. Here we draw on our experiences with input from the public during the deliberations of the Obsessive Compulsive-Spectrum Disorders subworkgroup of DSM-5, to help make the argument that psychiatric classification does require reasoned debate on a range of different facts and values, and that it is appropriate for scientist experts to review their nosological recommendations in the light of rigorous consideration of patient experience and feedback.


Herald Online, PR Newswire: New Social Media Campaign Features Stories Of Individuals Who Rejected Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5

Campaign timed to coincide with rollout of American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5, Open Paradigm Project

SAN FRANCISCO, May 18, 2013 — /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Open Paradigm Project, in collaboration with MadinAmerica.com, Occupy Psychiatry, and leading organizations in the movement to reform mental health care, announces a social media campaign showcasing video testimonials by individuals negatively impacted by the traditional psychiatric model, which focuses on pathology and illness rather than wellness and recovery. The launch coincides with the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) rollout of its latest revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), taking place at the APA’s annual meeting in San Francisco this weekend. In light of National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) director Thomas Insel’s move away from the DSM (“lack of validity… patients deserve better”) and DSM-5 task force chair David Kupfer’s admission of an absence of biological markers of mental illness (“we’re still waiting”), these stories starkly unveil the failure of, and harm done by, the prevailing model of mental health care…


Vox, Gibraltar: Western Psychiatry in Crisis Vox Editor, May 17

DSM 5 and exclusively biological psychiatry must be completely rethought

The following is an extract of the Mental Health Europe article:

Western psychiatry is in crisis. The direction taken by the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 5), due to be published later this week, has received ample criticism. Moreover, in disagreement with the American Psychiatric Association, the United States National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the world’s largest research institute, has announced they will no longer fund projects based exclusively on DSM categories. Unfortunately, while Mental Health Europe considers the NIMH decision to be the right one, by focusing almost entirely on neuroscience and on so-called disorders of the brain, the NIMH is missing out on the critical importance of user experiences to psychiatric research and to the practice of psychiatry…

…For more information, please contact MHE Information and Communications Manager Silvana Enculescu at silvana.enculescu@mhe-sme.org. MHE Senior Policy Adviser Bob Grove and MHE Policy Officer Yves Brand will be available for interviews.

    Click link for PDF document   More harm than good – DSM 5 and exclusively biological psychiatry must be completely rethought


BBC: Mental health ‘bible’ update due May 18


Psych Central, US: DSM-5 Released: The Big Changes John M Grohol, Psy.D., May 18


Wired Science, US: A Case That Tells the Weird Tale of DSM – and Other Recommended Reading David Dobbs, May 18

For a single post that shows how weirdly and unevenly psychiatric diagnosis actually works (and fails to work) in this country, and what that means for the new DSM, get over to Maia Svalavitz’s clear-eyed account of her own five diagnoses (and the one she never got)…


Independent, UK: Comment: Despite what the DSM implies, medical intervention is not always the answer to mental health issues Frank Furedi, May 18

You don’t need to be a mental health professional to take an interest in the recently published fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

…Recently, the British Psychological Society’s division of clinical psychology has attacked the psychiatric profession for offering a biomedical model for understanding mental distress. But its criticism was not directed at the ethos of medicalisation as such, but only at the tendency to associate mental illness with biological causes. What it offered was an alternative model of medicalisation – one where mental illness was represented as the outcome of social and psychological cause. It seems that medicalization has become so deeply entrenched that even critics of the DSM accept its premise.


OUP Blog (Oxford University Press): Clinician’s guide to DSM-5 Joel Paris, MD, May 18

…The DSM system can be described as flawed but necessary. Clinicians need to communicate to each other, and even a wrong diagnosis allows them to do so.


For earlier responses to release of DSM-5 see Posts #251 and #249

DSM-5 released: Media, professional and advocacy reaction: Round up #1

Post #251 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-32h

Eureka Alert: American Psychiatric Association Press Release: American Psychiatric Association releases DSM-5 May 17


Science Media Centre, UK: Press briefing: Has psychiatry gone too far? May 17

Speakers:

Prof Elizabeth Kuipers, Professor of Clinical Psychology, Head of Department of Psychology, King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry;
Prof David Clark, Professor of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford and Honorary Fellow of the British Psychological Society;
Prof Nick Craddock, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Cardiff and Director of the National Centre for Mental Health, Wales;
Prof David Taylor, Royal Pharmaceutical Society expert and spokesperson on mental health medicines and Editor of the Maudsley Prescribing Guidelines;
Andy Bell, Deputy Chief Executive, The Centre for Mental Health


Medscape Medical News from The American Psychiatric Association’s 2013 Annual Meeting: DSM-5: Setting the Record Straight Jeffrey A Lieberman, MD

…The NIMH’s position on the DSM and need for scientific progress in understanding the genetic and neurobiologic basis of mental disorders has not changed. The DSM is an essential guide to clinicians to facilitate accurate diagnosis and treatment. At the same time, biomedical research cannot be confined by traditional diagnostic constructs and their boundaries. Tom and I, and the APA and NIMH, are in complete agreement on this. The DSM is a valuable guide that helps clinicians in the evaluation of patients to establish an accurate diagnosis and facilitate the most effective treatment. It is designed to reflect the latest scientific knowledge and translate this into a “user-friendly” instrument for clinicians and patients…


Medscape Medical News from The American Psychiatric Association’s 2013 Annual Meeting: DSM-5 Officially Launched, But Controversy Persists Caroline Cassels, May 18

…diagnostic categories represented in the DSM-IV and the International Classification of Diseases-10 (ICD-10, containing virtually identical disorder codes) remain the contemporary consensus standard for how mental disorders are diagnosed and treated.


American Psychological Association: Practice Central Update: Nine frequently asked questions about DSM-5 and ICD-10-CM Practice Research and Policy staff, May 16

APA Practice staff answer questions about billing, determining diagnoses and more related to the two diagnostic classification systems.


Market Place, Health Care, US: How much is the DSM-5 worth? Dan Gorenstein, May 17

It’s 19 years old and it still brings in about $4-5 million a year…with 150,000 pre-orders the DSM-5 is a hot seller. We may do a second printing more quickly than we originally thought,” says Scully. At $199 dollars for the hardcover, $149 for paperback — that’s more than $20 million in sales right there.


BBC Radio 5 live: Friday 10:00, 120 mins

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01sf42v

One of the country’s leading psychologists tells this programme that the way mental health conditions are diagnosed in the UK is “deeply flawed” and too many people are being labelled with specific syndromes like post traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and personality disorders. Dr Lucy Johnstone, from the division of clinical psychology, says we shouldn’t be labelling behaviour as illnesses when in most cases people are just reacting in understandable ways to life experiences. Victoria speaks to Dr Johnstone and to listeners who have been diagnosed with mental health problems.

Clip 14:52: Are we too quick to diagnose mental health illnesses?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0195g8k


RCPSYCH, UK: Troubled waters Blog of the President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Prof Sue Bailey


The Monthly, Australia: DSM-5 and the Mental Illness Make-over Prof Nick Haslam, May 2013


ABC News, Australia: Psychiatry bible receives a makeover Sophie Scott, Michelle Brown, Gillian Bennett, May 19


Daily Telegraph, Australia: New psychiatry manual, DSM5, reclassifies previously normal behaviours as illnesses Sue Dunlevy, May 18


Toronto Star, Canada: DSM-5: Controversial changes to psychiatry’s bible Nancy White, May 17


El Confidential, Madrid: El DSM-5, la nueva biblia de los psiquiatras, atacada por los psicólogos May 14

Sinc habla en exclusive con David J. Kupfer


Psychiatric News, US: Ink Meets Paper as DSM-5 Goes to Press Aaron Levin, May 17


Slate, US: The DSM-5 Is Not Crazy, Psychiatry’s new diagnoses of picking, bingeing, and tantrums sound silly, but they’re useful for me and my patients, Marla W Deibler, May 17


Ottowa Citizen, Canada: Infighting, boycotts, resignations: Psychiatry faces another crisis of confidence Sharon Kirkey, Postmedia News, May 17


Independent, UK: Doctors in dispute: What exactly is normal human behaviour? Jeremy Laurance, May 17


Japan Times: Psychiatrists under fire in mental health battle Jamie Doward, May 18


Reuters: Psychiatrists unveil their long-awaited diagnostic “bible” Sharon Begley, May 17

The medicalisation of childhood: Time for a paradigm shift: BPS Manchester event

Post #251  Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-327

British Psychological Society (BPS) Division of Educational & Child Psychology one-day event

The medicalisation of childhood: Time for a paradigm shift

Friday 28 June 2013 | Manchester United Football Club, Old Trafford, Manchester 

Keynote speakers: Prof Allen Frances, Dr Joanna Moncrieff, Prof Peter Kinderman, Dr Peter Tyrer

Expert Panel: Dave Traxon, Vivian Hill, Brian Apter, Prof Sami Timimi

Click link for PDF document  Educational & Child Psychology Manchester event Flyer

BPSManchester

The medicalisation of childhood: Time for a paradigm shift: BPS House of Commons event

Post #250 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-31Q

British Psychological Society (BPS) Division of Educational & Child Psychology Debate

The medicalization of childhood: Time for a paradigm shift

11 June 2013 2–5pm | Committee Room 12 | House of Commons | John McDonnell, MP

Expert Panel: Prof Allen Frances, Prof Peter Tyrer, Prof Simon Wessely, Prof Peter Kinderman, Vivian Hill

Click link for PDF document   Division of Educational & Child Psychology Flyer
BPSHoC

APA to release DSM-5 at Annual Meeting (May 18-22): What next?

Post #249 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-313

Media coverage following release of DSM-5 is compiled in Posts #251 and #252


Update: APA issued this press release today

Click link for PDF document   APA Press Release No. 13-31 May 17, 2013

American Psychiatric Association Releases DSM-5, Publication of diagnostic manual culminates 14-year development process


Purpleblue1DSM-5 is scheduled for release at the 2013 American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting (May 18-22), in San Francisco. The official APA publication date is May 22.

Amazon US had been quoting a release and shipping date of May 22, but the site currently gives May 27 for both hardback and paperback editions. Amazon UK currently gives the release and shipping date for both hardback and paperback as May 31.

APA is anticipated to release DSM-5 on Saturday, May 18, with an early morning press briefing.

No heads-up yet from UK Science Media Centre, but SMC New Zealand has already put out press briefing materials here.

Australian SMC DSM-5 background briefing materials and presentation here:
BACKGROUND BRIEFING: DSM 5 – Psychiatric bible or fatally flawed?

DSM-5 will launch; a lot of stuff will be written about it.

What next?

On Monday, May 13, the Division of Clinical Psychology, a division of the British Psychological Society, published a “Position Statement on the Classification of Behaviour and Experience in Relation to Functional Psychiatric Diagnoses, Time for a Paradigm Shift.”

You can download a copy of this document here: Position Statement on Diagnosis.

Two new platforms for discussion launched this week:

The first, Dx Summit website. Article on Mad in America here DxSummit Officially Launches, by Jonathan Raskin, May 15.

http://dxsummit.org/

DxSummit Officially Launches

by Diagnostic Summit Committee

DSM-5 Is Widely Criticized, and Pursuit Of Alternatives in Mental Health Care Is Underway

For Immediate Release:

The latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) of the American Psychiatric Association is being released on May 22, 2013. It is the fifth revision of this widely influential manual for diagnosing mental distress and illness, and has been the subject of national and international criticism for the quality of its science, its criteria for defining disorders and categories, its rationale for inclusion or exclusion of particular symptoms or features, and the considerable inflation in its number of diagnosable disorders since the original DSM was published in the 1950s. Over the past several decades, there has been sharp criticism of the various DSM revisions, but in the case of DSM-5, a critical mass of scholarly opposition has reached a tipping point, including an unprecedented rebuke by the U.S. government’s National Institute of Mental Health, which has stated it will be reorienting away from research that involves the DSM-5. For many mental health professionals it seems clear that fresh thinking–about ways to possibly improve the DSM, prospects for developing possible alternatives to it, and what those prospects might look like–are called for. Regardless of where one stands on these issues, it is clear that new approaches to diagnosis are sorely needed, as both a national and global health concern.

To that end, a new website (dxsummit.org) has been launched to help create an on-line, on-going global forum for scholarly and professional dialogue of humane approaches to mental health diagnosis. Sponsored by the Diagnostic Summit Committee (DSC), a national committee of concerned psychologists, this collaborative effort provides an opportunity for the widest possible input and deliberation of mental health diagnosis from the ground-up. Offering blogs, discussion posts, and psychiatric and psychological articles by stakeholders and leaders in the field, dxsummit.org will open up the discussion of diagnosis to its full range of possibilities, from brain science to cultural variations to the examination of normal human responses to difficult life challenges. The website, underwritten by the efforts of the Society for Humanistic Psychology (SHP) will be a platform for international debate and consensus of comprehensive and valid approaches to mental health diagnosis.

Media inquiries should be directed to Dr. Frank Farley, co-chair of the DSC, and former President of the American Psychological Association and the SHP, at frank.farley@comcast.net or (215) 668-7581; or Dr. Donna Rockwell.

+++
The second new platform is Tom Nickel’s DSMOOC, introduced by Allen Frances, MD, in a May 16 blog at Huffington Post:

DSM-5: Where Do We Go From Here? 

Dr Frances writes:

“That’s why I am so pleased that Thomas Nickel Ph.D., Head of Continuing Education at Alliant International University, has set up a new interactive DSMOOC web site that will undoubtedly become the focal point for diagnostic discussion and remediation. Check it out.

Dr. Nickel writes:

“Now that DSM-5 is about to be released, it is time to determine how best to reduce, if not entirely eliminate, the risk that people will be misdiagnosed and improperly treated.”

“Solutions will not come from one group or one project. As one of what will hopefully be many initiatives, we have developed a MOOC (Massive Open Online Conversation) to bring together concerned clinicians and the public in order to give voice to the many different perspectives about psychiatric diagnosis.”

“Our intention is to stimulate conversations that will lead to useful products. People will find each other and work together to produce materials that can empower patients and influence practitioners. Suggestions for guidelines, practice standards, public policy, and research will hopefully emerge. Certainly, we will make every effort to facilitate this.”

“Previous MOOCs have resembled traditional university courses with lectures and quizzes on technical topics like artificial intelligence or mechanical engineering. Until now, MOOCs have not been closely linked to events happening in the world, nor have they been a channel for real world action. In this regard, a MOOC focused on DSM-5 may be pioneering.”

“Our MOOC will consist of about 15 channels, each one dedicated to one area of significant change or controversy in DSM-5. Each will provide background information; videotaped discussions by leading experts and consumer advocates; references; links; vivid portrayals of psychiatric diagnosis in films and fiction; and an opportunity for discussion. There are even Google Hangouts all set up for study groups to use.”

“Our DSMOOC should be equally interesting for professionals and consumers- and will provide a uniquely open forum for interaction between them.”

“We hope that you will roll up your virtual sleeves, join us at: http://discuss.thementalhealthmanual.com

Follow DSMOOC on Twitter @RethinkingDSM

+++

DSM-5 Development site

The APA’s DSM-5 Development site will remain online.

On May 15, the Home Page text was revised and the site’s content is being reorganized. As everything on the site is nailed down with Licensing and Permissions clauses, you will need to visit the site to read what new text has gone up so far. No doubt APA would like to register the trademark rights to hex #260859, too.

See: UNDER CONSTRUCTION: DSM-5 Implementation and Support

According to what little text is currently displaying, the site will be reorganized to serve as a resource for stakeholders: providers, payers, researchers and patients.

New content is planned to include FAQs, information on implementation of the manual and a mechanism for submitting questions and feedback. Professional users will be able to provide feedback on online assessment measures; there will be links to educational webinars and training courses for US and other countries. The site will list DSM-5 corrections.

+++
Additional media coverage from this week

Too much to include this week, so just a few links:

Concern for the implications of DSM-5‘s new Somatic Symptom Disorder was highlighted by Allen Frances in a Diane Rehm radio broadcast, on May 14. The programme also included an interview with DSM-5 Task Force Chair, David J Kupfer, MD, on the understanding that he would not be engaging with Dr Frances.

The Diane Rehm Show May 14, 2013: http://tinyurl.com/byxupm6

Transcript

Listen again: http://thedianerehmshow.org/audio-player?nid=17729  [51.40 mins including listener phone in]

The site page includes an excerpt from the book “Saving Normal: An Insider’s Revolt Against Out-of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life” by Allen Frances. Published by William Morrow. Copyright © 2013 by Allen Frances. Reprinted with permission.


Somatic Symptom Disorder also featured in a Susan Donaldson James’ article, for ABC News Health, on May 14:

Brain Science Upstages DSM-V, So-Called Mental Health ‘Bible’


Christopher Lane, Ph.D., published The Distortion of Grief on May 14, which has been widely syndicated.


DSM-5: Mental Health Professionals, Critics Face Off Over Upcoming Psychiatric Manual by Lindsey Tanner at Huffington Post, May 15:

“The psychiatric industry, allied with Big Pharma, have massively misled the public,” the Occupy Psychiatry group contends. Organizers include Alaska lawyer Jim Gottstein, who has long fought against overuse of psychiatric drugs.

“The new manual “will drastically expand psychiatric diagnosis, mislabel millions of people as mentally ill, and cause unnecessary treatment with medication,” says the website for the Committee to Boycott the DSM-5, organized by New York social worker Jack Carney.”


More on Occupy APA from Jack Carney, DSW, for Mad in America, May 17:
Occupy APA in San Francisco: Joined in Spirit

NIMH Director issues joint statement with APA President-elect on DSM’s validity as diagnostic tool

NIMH Director issues joint statement with APA President-elect on DSM’s validity as a diagnostic tool

Post #248 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-308

180degrees

Less than two weeks after throwing DSM under the bus, NIMH’s Director, Thomas Insel, has issued a joint statement with APA President-elect, Jeffrey Lieberman.

This week, DSM…

…represents the best information currently available for clinical diagnosis of mental disorders

In a Pharmalot report titled NIMH Director Says The Bible Of Psychiatry Is Valid, After All, Ed Silverman writes:

‘Just 10 short days after trashing the widely regarded bible of psychiatry for lacking validity, National Institutes of Mental Health director Tom Insel has had a change of heart. Along with American Psychiatric Association president-elect Jeff Lieberman, he has now issued a statement saying the forthcoming version…is a valuable diagnostic tool. Their missive amounts to a combination of face saving and damage control…’

Report, here, from Sharon Jayson, for USA Today:

NIH official clarifies criticism of diagnostic manual

‘The groups also make it clear that DSM-5 isn’t going away.

‘DSM-5 and RDoC represent complementary, not competing, frameworks…As research findings begin to emerge from the RDoC effort, these findings may be incorporated into future DSM revisions and clinical practice guidelines,” the statement says. “But this is a long-term undertaking. It will take years to fulfill the promise that this research effort represents for transforming the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.”‘

1 Boring Old Man’s take here: a long and winding road…

Gary Greenberg at the New Yorker: The Rats of N.I.M.H.

Tuesday’s joint statement from Thomas Insel and Jeffrey Lieberman, here:

 Click link for PDF document   Joint APA and NIMH Statement

Or here on NIMH site: DSM-5 and RDoC: Shared Interests

Full text APA Release No. 13-37

For Information Contact:
Eve Herold, 703-907-8640 May 14, 2013
press@psych.org Release No. 13-37
Erin Connors, 703-907-8562
econnors@psych.org
DSM-5 and RDoC: Shared Interests
Thomas R. Insel, M.D., director, NIMH
Jeffrey A. Lieberman, M.D., president-elect, APA

NIMH and APA have a shared interest in ensuring that patients and health providers have the best available tools and information today to identify and treat mental health issues, while we continue to invest in improving and advancing mental disorder diagnostics for the future.

Today, the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), along with the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) represents the best information currently available for clinical diagnosis of mental disorders. Patients, families, and insurers can be confident that effective treatments are available and that the DSM is the key resource for delivering the best available care. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has not changed its position on DSM-5. As NIMH’s Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) project website states, “The diagnostic categories represented in the DSM-IV and the International Classification of Diseases-10 (ICD-10, containing virtually identical disorder codes) remain the contemporary consensus standard for how mental disorders are diagnosed and treated.”

Yet, what may be realistically feasible today for practitioners is no longer sufficient for researchers. Looking forward, laying the groundwork for a future diagnostic system that more directly reflects modern brain science will require openness to rethinking traditional categories. It is increasingly evident that mental illness will be best understood as disorders of brain structure and function that implicate specific domains of cognition, emotion, and behavior. This is the focus of the NIMH’s Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) project. RDoC is an attempt to create a new kind of taxonomy for mental disorders by bringing the power of modern research approaches in genetics, neuroscience, and behavioral science to the problem of mental illness.

The evolution of diagnosis does not mean that mental disorders are any less real and serious than other illnesses. Indeed, the science of diagnosis has been evolving throughout medicine. For example, subtypes of cancers once defined by where they occurred in the body are now classified on the basis of their underlying genetic and molecular causes.

All medical disciplines advance through research progress in characterizing diseases and disorders. DSM-5 and RDoC represent complementary, not competing, frameworks for this goal. DSM-5, which will be released May 18, reflects the scientific progress seen since the manual’s last edition was published in 1994. RDoC is a new, comprehensive effort to redefine the research agenda for mental illness. As research findings begin to emerge from the RDoC effort, these findings may be incorporated into future DSM revisions and clinical practice guidelines. But this is a long-term undertaking. It will take years to fulfill the promise that this research effort represents for transforming the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.

By continuing to work together, our two organizations are committed to improving outcomes for people with some of the most disabling disorders in all of medicine.

The American Psychiatric Association is a national medical specialty society whose physician members specialize in diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses including substance use disorders.

Visit the APA at www.psychiatry.org
###

 

More on the RDoC from the NIMH website

Research Domain Criteria

The National Institute of Mental Health Strategic Plan Released August 2008