APA Press Release: DSM-5 Draft Criteria Open for Public Comment

APA Press Release: DSM-5 Draft Criteria Open for Public Comment

Post #164 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-20I

Commentaries and media, followed by APA Press Release No. 24

(Not specific to DSM-5 third draft: Ethics complaints filed against APA.)

Psychology Today

Science Isn’t Golden
Matters of the mind and heart

Patients Harmed by Diagnosis Find Their Voices
Victims of psychiatric labeling file ethics complaints.

Paula J. Caplan, Ph.D. | April 28, 2012

The American Psychiatric Association’s 2012 Annual Meeting

This coverage is not sanctioned by, nor a part of, the American Psychiatric Association.

From Medscape Medical News > Conference News
DSM-5 Field Trial Results a Hot Topic at APA 2012 Meeting

Deborah Brauser | May 3, 2012

May 3, 2012 — Telepsychiatry, neuromodulation, the role of genetics, and updates for the upcoming Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) are just some of the hot items on the agenda of this year’s American Psychiatric Association’s 2012 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia…

(Not specific to DSM-5 third draft: Letter, AJP re DSM-5 field trial reliability and kappas.)

American Journal of Psychiatry

Letters to the Editor | May 01, 2012
Standards for DSM-5 Reliability

Am J Psychiatry 2012;169:537-537. 10.1176/appi.ajp.2012.12010083

Robert L. Spitzer, M.D.; Janet B.W. Williams, Ph.D.; Jean Endicott, Ph.D.
Princeton, N.J.
New York City

DSM5 in Distress
The DSM’s impact on mental health practice and research.

DSM 5 Rejects ‘Hebephilia’ Except for the Fine Print

Alan Frances MD | May 3, 2012

Scientific American blogs

APA Announces New Changes to Drafts of the DSM-5, Psychiatry’s New “Bible”

Ferris Jabr | May 3, 2012


Opinion, arguments & analyses from the editors of Scientific American

“…This year, the APA is holding its annual meeting from May 5 to 9 in Philadelphia, where much of the discussion will focus on the drafts of the DSM-5 and the results of “Field Trials”—dry runs of the new diagnostic criteria in clinical settings. I am attending the conference to learn more and, next week, my colleague Ingrid Wickelgren at Scientific American MIND and I will bring you a series of blogs about the DSM-5 authored by ourselves and some well-known researchers and psychiatrists. For the duration of next week, we will also publish my feature article about DSM-5 in its entirety on our website. After next week, you can still read the feature in the May/June issue of MIND. Stay tuned!”

About the Author: Ferris Jabr is an associate editor focusing on neuroscience and psychology.

1 boring old man

1 boring old man | May 3, 2012

the future of an illusion IV½…


the future of an illusion IV

1 boring old man | May 2, 2012

Psychology Today | DSM 5 in Distress

Wonderful News: DSM 5 Finally Begins Its Belated and Necessary Retreat
Perhaps this will be the beginning of real reform.

Alan Frances MD | May 2, 2012

MindFreedom International Newswire

Protesters, Rejecting Mental Illness Labels, Vow to “Occupy” the American Psychiatric Association Convention

MindFreedom International
Last modified: 2012-05-01T16:46:46Z
Published: Tuesday, May. 1, 2012 – 9:46 am

PHILADELPHIA, May 1, 2012 — /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — On Saturday, May 5, 2012, as thousands of psychiatrists congregate for the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting, individuals with psychiatric labels and others will converge in a global campaign to oppose the APA’s proposed new edition of its “bible,” the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), scheduled for publication in 2013. Occupy the APA will include distinguished speakers from 10 a.m. to noon at Friends Center (1515 Cherry Street, Philadelphia), and a march at approximately 12:15 p.m. to the Pennsylvania Convention Center (12th and Arch Streets), where the group will protest from approximately 1 p.m. while the APA meets inside…


Wed May 02, 2012

Contact: For Immediate Release                                  
Eve Herold, 703-907- 8640 Release No. 24
Erin Connors, 703-907-8562

DSM-5 Draft Criteria Open for Public Comment
Mental health diagnostic manual available for final online comment period

ARLINGTON, Va. (May 2, 2012) – For a third and final time, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) invites public comment on the proposed criteria for the upcoming fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). DSM is the handbook used by health care professionals as an authoritative guide to the diagnosis of mental disorders.

The public comment period will last six weeks, beginning May 2 and continuing until June 15. All responses submitted via the DSM-5 website will be considered by the DSM-5 Work Groups, which are charged with assessing the latest scientific evidence and recommending the disorder definitions and criteria to be included in the manual. Nearly 10,800 comments from health care professionals, mental health advocates, families and consumers were submitted in the first two public comment periods in 2010 and 2011.

“The comments we have received over the past two years have helped sharpen our focus, not only on the strongest research and clinical evidence to support DSM-5 criteria but on the real-world implications of these changes,” said APA President John M. Oldham, M.D. “We appreciate the public’s interest and continued participation in the DSM-5 development process.”

In preparation for this final comment period, members of the DSM-5 Task Force and Work Groups have updated their proposals for diagnostic criteria. The revised criteria reflect recently published research, results from DSM-5 field testing of the criteria and public comments received since 2010.

Key changes posted for this round of public review include:

Revised proposals to place Attenuated Psychosis Syndrome and Mixed Anxiety Depressive Disorder in Section III of the manual, covering conditions that require further research before their consideration as formal disorders

 Added language to Major Depressive Disorder criteria to help differentiate between normal bereavement associated with a significant loss and a diagnosis of a mental disorder

Added rationale for changes to Personality Disorders, with field trial data now supporting the reliability of dimensional measures and the categorical diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder

Modified diagnostic criteria for Pedophilic Disorder to make the category more consistent with the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases

Condensed diagnoses within Communication Disorders to only include Language Disorders and Speech Disorders

A proposal for a new diagnosis of Suicidal Behavioral Disorder

Modified diagnostic criteria for numerous disorders, including some in the Neurocognitive Disorders and Anxiety Disorders chapters

A proposed Cultural Formulation Interview, which includes specific questions to help clinicians more effectively assess cultural aspects of psychiatric diagnosis

A detailed list of changes made to draft proposals since July 2011 can be found on www.DSM5.org .

Revisions to DSM reflect scientific advances in the field and new knowledge gained since the last manual was published in 1994. Since 1999, more than 500 mental health and medical researchers and clinicians from the United States and abroad have been involved in the planning, review and deliberations for DSM-5. Field trials in both large academic medical centers and routine clinical practices have tested select criteria.

Feedback to the proposed diagnostic criteria can be submitted through www.DSM5.org , which will be available until the comment period ends June 15. After that, the site will remain viewable but will be closed to comments as the Work Groups and Task Force complete revisions and submit criteria for evaluation by the Scientific Review Committee and the Clinical and Public Health Committee. The Task Force will then make final recommendations to the APA Board of Trustees. The final version of DSM-5 is expected to go before the Board of Trustees in December 2012.

“As with every stage in this thorough development process, DSM-5 is benefiting from a depth of research, expertise and diverse opinion that will ultimately strengthen the final document,” noted David J. Kupfer, M.D., chair of the DSM-5 Task Force.

Publication of DSM-5 is expected in May 2013.

The American Psychiatric Association is a national medical specialty society whose physician members specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses, including substance use disorders. Visit the APA at www.psychiatry.org  and www.HealthyMinds.org .


DSM-5 controversies, Cosgrove-Krimsky on potential COIs, counter statement from APA’s John Oldham and APA May Annual Meeting preliminary program

DSM-5 controversies, Cosgrove and Krimsky on potential COIs, counter statement from APA’s John Oldham and APA May Annual Meeting preliminary program

Post #152 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-20e

Update @ March 20, 2012

Medscape Medical News > Psychiatry

APA Criticized Over DSM-5 Panel Members’ Industry Ties

Megan Brooks | March 20, 2012

March 20, 2012 — Two researchers have raised concerns that the upcoming Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) has been unduly influenced by the pharmaceutical industry, owing to financial conflicts of interest (FCOI) among DSM-5 panel members.

In an essay published in the March issue of PLoS Medicine, Lisa Cosgrove, PhD, from the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Sheldon Krimsky, PhD, from the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Tufts University, Boston, say the FCOI disclosure policy does not go far enough and has not been accompanied by a reduction in the conflicts of interest of DSM-5 panel members.

However, John M. Oldham, MD, President of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), “strongly” disagrees.

Read on

At DSM5 in Distress, Allen Frances, MD, who had chaired the task force for DSM-IV, writes:

According to this week’s Time magazine, the American Psychiatric Association has just recruited a new public relations spokesman  who previously worked at the Department of Defense. This is an appropriate choice for an association that substitutes a fortress mentality and  warrior bluster for substantive discussion. The article quotes him as saying: “Frances is a ‘dangerous’ man trying to undermine an earnest academic endeavor.”

Frances asks:

Am I A Dangerous Man?

No, but I do raise twelve dangerous questions

Allen Frances, M.D. | March 16, 2012

published in response to:

TIME Magazine

What Counts As Crazy?

John Cloud | Online March 14, 2012

Print edition | March 19, 2012

…The mind, in our modern conception, is an array of circuits we can manipulate with chemicals to ease, if not cure, depression, anxiety and other disorders. Drugs like Prozac have transformed how we respond to mental illness. But while this revolution has reshaped treatments, it hasn’t done much to help us diagnose what’s wrong to begin with. Instead of ordering lab tests, psychiatrists usually have to size up people using subjective descriptions of the healthy vs. the afflicted.

…Which is why the revision of a single book is roiling the world of mental health, pitting psychiatrists against one another in bitter…

Full article available to subscribers


Should APA Purge DSM Panels With Pharma Ties?

Ed Silverman | March 15, 2012

As publication of the next version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, also known as DSM-5, approaches in May 2013, the so-called bible of psychiatrists is generating increasing scrutiny. The reason, of course, is that classification of various illnesses can help psychiatrists determine how to pursue treatment, which can involve prescribing medications that can ring registers for drugmakers…

Read on

Statement from John M. Oldham, M.D.

Mr Silverman’s report quotes from a statement issued on March 15 by John M. Oldham, M.D., President of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), in response to the Cosgrove and Krimsky PLoS Medicine Essay, “A Comparison of DSM-IV and DSM-5 Panel Members’ Financial Associations with Industry: A Pernicious Problem Persists.”

Read Dr Oldham’s statement here in PDF format:

    PDF statement John M Oldham, M.D., March 15, 2012

or full text below:

March 15, 2012

Statement for John M. Oldham, M.D., President of the American Psychiatric Association:

In their article, “A Comparison of DSM-IV and DSM-5 Panel Members’ Financial Associations with Industry: A Pernicious Problem Persists,” which appeared in the March issue of the journal Public Library of Science, and which ABC and other news outlets quoted, Cosgrove and Krimsky question the work of DSM-5’s volunteer Task Force and Work Group members because of publicly disclosed relationships with the pharmaceutical industry. Although we appreciate that Cosgrove and Krimsky acknowledge the commitment the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has already made to reducing potential financial conflicts of interest, we strongly disagree with their analysis and presentation of APA’s publicly available disclosure documents. Specifically, the Cosgrove-Krimsky article does not take into account the level to which DSM-5 Task Force and Work Group members have minimized or divested themselves from relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.

In 2012, 72 percent of the 153 members report no relationships with the pharmaceutical industry during the previous year. The scope of the relationships reported by the other 28 percent of member varies:

• 12 percent reported grant support only, including funding or receipt of medications for clinical trial research;

• 10 percent reported consultations including advice on the development of new compounds to improve treatments; and

• 7 percent reported receiving honoraria.

Additionally, since there were no disclosure requirements for journals, symposia or the DSM-IV Task Force at the time of the 1994 release of DSM-IV, Cosgrove and Krimsky’s comparison of DSM-IV and DSM-5 Task Force and Work Group members is not valid. In assembling the DSM-5’s Task Force and Work Groups, the APA’s Board of Trustees developed an extensive process of written disclosure of potential conflicts of interest. These disclosures are required of all professionals who participate in the development of DSM-5. An independent APA committee reviews these disclosure documents, which are updated annually or whenever a member’s financial interests change. Individuals are only permitted to serve on a work group or the Task Force if they are judged to have no significant financial interests.

The Board of Trustees’ guiding principles and disclosure policies for DSM panel members require annual disclosure of any competing interests or potentially conflicting relationships with entities that have an interest in psychiatric diagnoses and treatments. In addition, all Task Force and Work Group members agreed that, starting in 2007 and continuing for the duration of their work on DSM-5, each member’s total annual income derived from industry sources would not exceed $10,000 in any calendar year. This standard is more stringent than requirements for employees at the National Institutes of Health and for members of advisory committees for the Food and Drug Administration. And since their participation in DSM-5 began, many Task Force members have gone to greater lengths by terminating many of their industry relationships.

Potential financial conflicts of interest are serious concerns that merit careful, ongoing monitoring. The APA remains committed to reducing potential bias and conflicts of interest through our stringent guidelines.

A number of stories followed the publication of the Cosgrove and Krimsky PLoS Medicine Essay. Links for selected reports in this March 14 Dx Revision Watch post:

Cosgrove, Sheldon: 69% of DSM-5 task force members report pharmaceutical industry ties – review identifies potential COIs

Full text of Essay available here on PLoS site under “Open-access”:

A Comparison of DSM-IV and DSM-5 Panel Members’ Financial Associations with Industry: A Pernicious Problem Persists

Or open     PDF here

Long article from Sandra G. Boodman for Washington Post

Antipsychotic drugs grow more popular for patients without mental illness

Sandra G. Boodman | March 12, 2012

Adriane Fugh-Berman was stunned by the question: Two graduate students who had no symptoms of mental illness wondered if she thought they should take a powerful schizophrenia drug each had been prescribed to treat insomnia.

“It’s a total outrage,” said Fugh-Berman, a physician who is an associate professor of pharmacology at Georgetown University. “These kids needed some basic sleep [advice], like reducing their intake of caffeine and alcohol, not a highly sedating drug.”

Those Georgetown students exemplify a trend that alarms medical experts, policymakers and patient advocates: the skyrocketing increase in the off-label use of an expensive class of drugs called atypical antipsychotics. Until the past decade these 11 drugs, most approved in the 1990s, had been reserved for the approximately 3 percent of Americans with the most disabling mental illnesses, chiefly schizophrenia and bipolar disorder; more recently a few have been approved to treat severe depression.

But these days atypical antipsychotics — the most popular are Seroquel, Zyprexa and Abilify — are being prescribed by psychiatrists and primary-care doctors to treat a panoply of conditions for which they have not been approved, including anxiety, attention-deficit disorder, sleep difficulties, behavioral problems in toddlers and dementia. These new drugs account for more than 90 percent of the market and have eclipsed an older generation of antipsychotics. Two recent reports have found that youths in foster care, some less than a year old, are taking more psychotropic drugs than other children, including those with the severest forms of mental illness…

Read on

Financial Times

New autism diagnostic criteria may encourage symptomatic approach to drug use

Anusha Kambhampaty in New York, Abigail Moss in London | March 15, 2012

MedPage Today

DSM-5 Critics Pump Up the Volume

John Gever, Senior Editor | February 29, 2012

…In a conversation with MedPage Today, APA President John Oldham, MD, and DSM-5 task force chairman David Kupfer, MD, defended their handling of the revision and argued that many of the criticisms were off-base.

For starters, Kupfer said, the proposed revisions were still open to change or abandonment. The DSM-5 will assume its near-final form in June or July, he said – meaning that the APA’s annual meeting in May would provide another forum to debate the changes.

“[The proposals] are still open to revision,” he said. “The door is still very much open…”

[Ed: A third and final stakeholder review and comment period is anticipated in “May at the latest.”  Benedict Carey reported for New York Times, January 19, “The revisions are about 90 percent complete and will be final by December, according to Dr. David J. Kupfer…chairman of the task force making the revisions.”]

Read full Medpage Today article

Psychiatric News Volume 47, Number 4, February 17, 2012 publishes the preliminary schedule for the APA’s May annual meeting:


Preliminary Schedule

Round-up: Recent commentaries by Allen Frances, MD, on a DSM-5 in distress

Round-up: Recent commentaries by Allen Frances, MD, on a DSM-5 in distress

Post #146 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-1X2

Allen Frances’ Blog at Huffington Post

DSM 5 Freezes Out Its Stakeholders

Allen Frances, MD | February 21, 2012

Scary news. The Chair of the DSM 5 Task Force, Dr. David Kupfer, has indicated that 90 percent of the decisions on DSM 5 have already been made.

Why so scary? DSM 5 is the new revision of the psychiatric diagnosis manual, meant to become official in May 2013. It proposes a radical redefinition of the boundary between mental disorder and normality, greatly expanding the former at the expense of the latter. Understandably, this ambitious medicalization of the human condition has generated unprecedented opposition, both from the public and from mental heath professionals. To top it off, the DSM 5 proposals are poorly written, unreliable, and likely to cause the misdiagnosis and the excessive treatment of millions of people.

Under normal circumstances the DSM 5 team would have taken the many criticisms to heart, gone back to the drawing board, and improved the quality and acceptability of their product. After all, the customer is very often right. But this DSM process has been strangely secretive, unable to self-correct, and stubbornly closed to suggestions coming from outside. As a result, current DSM 5 proposals show very little improvement over poorly done first drafts posted in February 2010.

Is there any hope of a last-minute save? I have gathered opinions from three well-informed DSM 5 watchers. They were asked to assess the current state of DSM 5 and offer suggestions about future prospects. The first comment comes from Suzy Chapman, a public advocate, whose website provides the most comprehensive documentary source on the development of DSM 5 and ICD-11. Ms Chapman writes:

DSM 5 consistently misses every one of its deadlines and then fails to update its website with a new schedule. The Timeline was finally revised a couple of weeks ago, but we are still no nearer to a firm date for the final period of invited public comment. We’ve known since November that DSM 5 is stuffed as far as its planned January-February comment period and that Dr Kupfer now reckons “no later than May” – but all the website says is “Spring.” That’s no use to those of us who need to alert patient groups and their professional advisers…

Psychology Today

DSM5 in Distress
The DSM’s impact on mental health practice and research.
by Allen Frances, M.D.

ICD-10-CM Delay Removes Excuse For Rushing DSM 5 Into Premature Publication: Time needed to avoid harmful document

Allen Frances, MD | February 22, 2012

Until yesterday, there were only two reasons to stick with the projected date of DSM 5 publication (May 2013): 1) the need to coordinate DSM 5 with ICD-10-CM coding, which was scheduled to start Oct 2013; and, 2) the need to protect APA publishing profits in order to meet budget projections.

The first reason just dropped out. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen G. Sebelius has announced that the start date for ICD-10-CM has been postponed. It is not yet clear for how long, but most likely a year (see http://www.dhhs.gov/news/press/2012pres/02/20120216a.html ).

also on Psychiatric Times

Registration required for access

ICD-10-CM Delay Removes Excuse For Rushing DSM-5 Into Premature Publication

and Education Update

Psychology Today

DSM5 in Distress

DSM 5 to the Barricades on Grief

Defending The Indefensible

Allen Frances, MD | February 18, 2012

The storm of opposition to DSM 5 is now focused on its silly and unnecessary proposal to medicalize grief. DSM 5 would encourage the diagnosis of ‘Major Depressive Disorder’ almost immediately after the loss of a loved one—having just 2 weeks of sadness and loss of interest along with reduced appetite, sleep, and energy would earn the MDD label (and all too often an unnecessary and potentially harmful pill treatment). This makes no sense. To paraphrase Voltaire, normal grief is not ‘Major’, is not ‘Depressive,’ and is not ‘Disorder.’ Grief is the normal and necessary human reaction to love and loss, not some phony disease.

All this seems perfectly clear to just about everyone in the world except the small group of people working on DSM 5. The press is now filled with scores of shocked articles stimulated by two damning editorial pieces in the Lancet and a recent prominent article in the New York Times.

The role of public defender of DSM 5 has fallen on John Oldham MD, president of the American Psychiatric Association…

Psychology Today

DSM5 in Distress

Allen Frances, MD | February 17, 2012

Lancet Rejects Grief As a Mental Disorder: Will DSM 5 Finally Drop This Terrible Idea

The Lancet is probably the most prestigious medical journal in the world. When it speaks, people listen. The New York Times is probably the most prestigious newspaper in the world. Again, when it speaks, people usually listen. The Lancet and The New York Times have both spoken on the DSM-5 foolishness of turning grief into a mental disorder. Will DSM-5 finally listen?

Here are some selected quotes from today’s wonderful Lancet editorial

Previous DSM editions have highlighted the need to consider, and usually exclude, bereavement before diagnosis of a major depressive disorder. In the draft version of DSM-5 , however, there is no such exclusion for bereavement, which means that feelings of deep sadness, loss, sleeplessness, crying, inability to concentrate, tiredness, and no appetite, which continue for more than 2 weeks after the death of a loved one, could be diagnosed as depression, rather than as a normal grief reaction.”

“Medicalising grief, so that treatment is legitimized routinely with antidepressants, for example, is not only dangerously simplistic, but also flawed…”

Psychology Today

DSM5 in Distress

DSM 5 Minor Neurocognitive Disorder: Let’s Wait For Accurate Biological Tests

Allen Frances, MD | February 16, 2012

Within the next 3-5 years, we will likely have biological tests to accurately diagnose the prodrome of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Much remains to be done in standardizing these tests, determining their appropriate set points and patterns of results, and negotiating the difficult transition from research to general clinical practice. And, given the lack of effective treatment, there are legitimate concerns about the advisability of testing for the individual patient and the enormous societal expense with little tangible benefit. Despite these necessary caveats, there is no doubt that biological testing for prodromal AD will be an important milestone in the clinical application of neuroscience.

How does this impact on the DSM 5 proposal to include a Minor Neurocognitive Disorder as a presumed prodrome to AD…

Psychology Today

DSM5 in Distress

PTSD, DSM 5, and Forensic Misuse: DSM 5 would lead to overdiagnosis in legal cases.

Allen Frances, MD | February 09, 2012

In preparing DSM IV, we worked hard to avoid causing confusion in forensic settings. Realizing that lawyers read documents in their own special way, we had a panel of forensic psychiatrists go over every word to reduce the risks that DSM IV could be misused in the courts. They did an excellent job, but all of us missed one seemingly small mistake– the substitution of an ‘or’ for an ‘and’ in the paraphilia section that lead to serious misunderstandings and the questionably constitutional preventive psychiatric detention of sexual offenders.

DSM 5 is about to make a very different, less crucial, but still consequential forensic mistake. The proposed A criterion for PTSD includes the following wording…

Psychology Today

DSM5 in Distress

Documentation That DSM 5 Publication Must Be Delayed because DSM 5 is so far behind schedule

Allen Frances, MD | February 07, 2012

I wrote last week that DSM 5 is so far behind schedule it can’t possibly produce a usable document in time for its planned publication date in May 2013. My blog stimulated two interesting responses that illustrate the stark contrast between DSM 5 fantasy and DSM 5 reality. Together they document just how far behind its schedule DSM 5 has fallen and illustrate why publication must be delayed if things are to be set right.

The first email came from Suzy Chapman of https://dxrevisionwatch.wordpress.com

also on Psychiatric Times

Registration required for access

Documentation That DSM-5 Publication Must Be Delayed

Additional coverage of DSM-5 controversies

Sidney Morning Herald

About-turn on treatment of the young

Amy Corderoy | February 20, 2012

CONCERNS about the overmedication of young people and rigid models of diagnosis have led the architect of early intervention in Australian psychiatry, Patrick McGorry, to abandon the idea pre-psychosis should be listed as a new psychiatric disorder.

The former Australian of the Year had previously accepted the inclusion of pre-psychosis – a concept he and colleagues developed – in the international diagnostic manual of mental disorders, or DSM, which is being updated this year.

Professor McGorry has been part of a team researching pre- and early-psychosis, and his work in the latter helped secure a massive $222.4 million Commonwealth funding injection for Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centres across Australia…

Sidney Morning Herald

Suffer the children under new rules

Kathryn Wicks | Opinion | February 20, 2012

Canberra Times

A new chapter for psychiatrists’ bible

Amy Corderoy | February 19, 2012

Madness is being redesigned. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) will be updated this year, meaning what counts as a psychiatric disorder will change.

Frances, one of the architects of the current manual, DSM-IV, published in 1994, knows the results of his changes to the definitions of mental illness.

“We were definitely modest, conservative and non-ambitious in our approach to DSM-IV,” he says. “Yet we had three epidemics on our watch…”

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

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

Post #144 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-1V2

Previous Post #143:

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


Christopher Lane, Ph.D.:  Good Grief: The APA Plans to Give the Bereaved Two Weeks to Conclude Their Mourning, Britain’s “Lancet” calls the proposal “dangerously simplistic and flawed.”

Allen Frances, MD: Lancet Rejects Grief As a Mental Disorder, Will DSM 5 Finally Drop This Terrible Idea




Libby Purves, columnist and author, lost a son in his late teens to suicide.

The Times

Why must grief be a sign of mental illness?

Libby Purves | February 20, 2012

Treating the bereaved for depression after two weeks typifies our urge to medicalise everyday experience…

Content behind sub or paywall



From Medscape Medical News > Psychiatry

Lancet Weighs in on DSM-5 Bereavement Exclusion

Megan Brooks | February 16, 2012

February 16, 2012 — An editorial that appears in this week’s Lancet expresses concerns about the proposed elimination of the bereavement exclusion to major depression in the forthcoming fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) from the American Psychiatric Association (APA)…

Read on


Daily Mail

Lancet urges doctors to treat grief with empathy, not pills

Lauren Paxman | February 17, 2012

‘Grief is not a mental illness that should be treated with pills’: Doctors hit back at creeping medicalisation of life events

Treatment of grief with antidepressants is ‘dangerously simplistic’, experts say

Backlash follows the American Psychiatric Association’s reclassification of grief as a mental illness. In an unsigned editorial in the influential medical journal The Lancet, experts argue that grief does not require psychiatrists and that ‘legitimising’ the treatment of grief with antidepressants ‘is not only dangerously simplistic, but also flawed.’ 

Read on


ABC News Radio

February 17, 2012

Grief: Normal, Not A Mental Illness

(NEW YORK) — Grief following the death of a loved one isn’t a mental illness that requires psychiatrists and antidepressants, according to editors of The Lancet, who oppose “medicalizing” an often-healing response to overwhelming loss.

Routinely legitimizing the treatment of grief with antidepressants “is not only dangerously simplistic, but also flawed,” says the unsigned lead editorial appearing in Friday’s edition of the influential international medical journal. “Grief is not an illness; it is more usefully thought of as part of being human and a normal response to the death of a loved one.”

Read On


The Australian

Individual difference suffers in the neverending explosion of mental illness

Frank Furedi | February 18, 2012

YOU may be suffering from a mental illness that you never realised existed. The American Psychiatric Association has just published a draft version of the updated edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. According to this diagnostic bible, called DSM-5, shyness in children and confusion over gender is likely to be labelled as a mental disorder.

Read on for subscribers




Good Grief! Psychiatry’s Struggle to Define Mental Illness Goes Awry

A proposed new definition of depression would include normal bereavement. Why that’s a bad idea.

Maia Szalavitz | @maiasz | February 17, 2012

The editors of the forthcoming fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual — psychiatry’s diagnostic handbook — are having a hard time. They’ve been attacked by autism advocacy groups for proposing to eliminate the Asperger’s diagnosis. They’ve been slammed for adding a diagnosis, or “prediagnosis,” for people determined to be “at high risk” of developing schizophrenia. And, now, they’re being pummeled for introducing a provision to diagnose grief as depression…

Read on



Grief is not an illness, warns The Lancet

Stephen Adams Medical Correspondent | February 17, 2012

Bereaved relatives overcome by grief should not be given pills and treated as if they are clinically depressed, a leading medical journal warns today (Fri).

“Grief is not an illness”, say the journal’s editors in an impassioned editorial, which argues that “medicalising” such a normal human emotion is “not only dangerously simplistic, but also flawed”.

Doctors tempted to prescribe pills “would do better to offer time, compassion, remembrance and empathy”, they write.

The editors are worried by moves which appear to categorise extreme emotions as problems that need fixing.

Their fears have been prompted by the publication of a new draft version of the psychiatrists’ ‘bible’, the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, known as DSM-5…

Read on


Inside Ireland

The Lancet: Grief is not an illness

Sarah Greer | February 17, 2012

A leading medical journal has today warned that bereaved relatives should not be given pills and treated as if they are clinically depressed.

“Grief is not an illness,” the journal’s editors say. They argue that ‘medicalising’ such a normal human emotion is ‘not only dangerously simplistic, but also flawed’, and say doctors who are tempted to prescribe pills ‘would do better to offer time, compassion, remembrance and empathy’.

The editors are worried by moves which appear to categorise extreme emotions as problems that need fixing…

Read on


The Trouble with Timelines: DSM-5 round up

The Trouble with Timelines: DSM-5 round up

Post #136 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-1LJ

In a November 9, 2011 interview with Deborah Brauser for Medscape Medical News, Darrel Regier, MD, APA Director of Research and Task Force Vice-chair, uttered some chilling statements.

According to Dr Regier:

“Our plan is that these [judgements] will be immediately tested once the DSM is official, and then one will be able to see if revisions can be made…

“Our workgroups are struggling with this balance…for what might be the most appropriate fix. Some of these fixes are not as well studied as others and we recognize that. But we can’t move forward without some of these put into practice. So we think this is a much more testable set of scientific hypotheses…”

“And that’s what the DSM is — a set of scientific hypotheses that are intended to be tested and disproved if the evidence isn’t found to support them…”

“We’re thinking of having a DSM-5.1, DSM-5.2, etc, in much the same way is done with software updates…”

So come May 2013, does APA plan to publish an unvalidated beta as though it were the next release of Firefox, test out its pet theories then release post publication “patches” to fix the flaws?


First up, Allen Frances blogging, today, on Psychology Today:

Allen Frances, MD, who chaired the Task Force that had oversight of the development of DSM-IV, is a former chief of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center and currently professor emeritus at Duke

DSM5 in Distress
The DSM’s impact on mental health practice and research.
by Allen Frances, M.D.

APA Should Delay Publication Of DSM 5 until it can achieve adequate reliability and quality

Allen Frances, MD | January 31, 2012

“…With less than a year remaining before DSM 5 is scheduled to go to print, the signs are clear that it cannot possibly be completed on time unless we are willing to settle for a third rate product. The unmistakable red flag is the recent embarrassing admission that DSM 5 will accept diagnoses that achieve reliabilities as unbelievably low as 0.2-0.4 (barely beating the level of chance agreement two monkeys could achieve throwing darts at a diagnostic board). This dramatic departure from the much higher standards of previous DSM’s is a sure tip-off that many DSM 5 proposals must be failing to achieve adequate diagnostic agreement in the much delayed and yet to be reported field trials. Unable to meet expected standards, the DSM 5 Task Force is drastically and desperately trying to lower our expectations…”

“…The wise, safe, and responsible thing for APA to do now is to delay publication of DSM 5 until the missing second stage of rewriting and retesting can be completed. The wordings that do poorly in the first stage of field testing should be rewritten to finally attain the clarity and consistency necessary in an official manual of psychiatric diagnosis. The newly revised (and hopefully final) versions should then undergo the second stage of field testing as originally envisaged to ensure that they now work…”

“…Will APA do what is needed to protect us from a poor quality DSM 5 and instead provide us with one that is safe and scientifically sound? It seems unlikely. The DSM 5 publishing profits that are essential to APA budget projections require there be a May 2013 debut of the manual in bookstores, come hell or high water. So instead of getting DSM 5 up to minimal standards of quality, DSM 5 is trying to drop the standards to minimal – 0.2-0.4 will have to do.

“What about the DSM 5 claim that its field trials so rigorous that we should entertain only the lowest possible expectations of them? This is nonsense. The DSM 5 field trials were in fact conducted under very privileged circumstances that would guarantee much higher levels of reliability than could ever be achieved in everyday clinical practice: 1) Testing was performed in academic centers with a homogeneous corps of well trained raters interested in psychiatric diagnosis and trying their best because judgments were being observed; 2) Raters had access to the results of a computerized self report instrument, thus reducing information variance; 3) Each site specialized in a limited number of target diagnoses that were known to the raters who would therefore be on the watch for them; 4) The unrealistically high prevalences of target disorders in the sites made agreement much easier than the more needle-in-haystack situation of routine practice; 5) Academic settings attract a selected group of the more severely ill patients who are easier to diagnose reliably; and 6) The time allotted for diagnostic interviews exceeded what is typical in clinical practice…”

“…The May 2013 publication date appears to be completely unrealistic unless we are to settle for a DSM 5 so poorly done that its reliabilities will return us to the dark ages of DSM II. DSM 5 is in a very deep hole with very few remaining options.

“My recommendations: 1) Make the publication date flexible and contingent on delivery of a quality product that the field can trust; 2) Subject the current drafts and texts to extensive editing for clarity and consistency; 3) Drop the controversial suggestions that risk harmful unintended consequences or at least subject them to external scientific review; 4) Have the rewritten drafts reviewed word for word by many experts in the clinical, research, and forensic uses of DSM 5; and 5) Field test again to make sure the new versions work adequately…”

Full commentary here on DSM5 in Distress


On Monday, William E. Narrow, MD, in a Q & A for Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

William E. Narrow, M.D., M.P.H., is Associate Director, Division of Research, Research Director, DSM-5 Task Force for American Psychiatric Association

Q&A with Dr. William Narrow, research director for the DSM 5 Task Force

William Narrow | January 30, 2012

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette asked the American Psychiatric Association to comment on the DSM 5:

Q: Do you think the final form of the DSM-V will differ substantially from the current draft version?

A: There is currently no draft version of DSM-5. The information on the DSM-5 Web site consists of proposed DSM-5 diagnostic criteria and assessment instruments, along with rationales for all changes that have been proposed. The first draft version of the DSM-5, which also includes explanatory text for each disorder and introductory chapters, is currently being developed. We anticipate that many of the proposed changes will be officially adopted. Most notable among these is the proposed change in chapter organization to better reflected a developmental, lifespan approach as well as purported neuroscientific and genetic linkages between diagnostic categories (e.g., placement of the psychosis chapter alongside the bipolar disorders chapter, then followed by the mood disorders chapter). We also anticipate that the proposed inclusion of dimensional assessments will be accepted for DSM-5, although these too were field tested and results are currently being examined. Proposed changes that are considered minimal (e.g., minor changes in wording or criteria) that did not require field testing and, at this point, appear to be sufficiently supported by findings from the literature have a high likelihood of being adopted.

Read the rest of Dr Narrow’s responses here


From January 6, John M. Oldham, M.D., President, American Psychiatric Association comments on the APA’s December Board of Trustees meeting, in Psychiatric News:

Psychiatric News | January 06, 2012
Volume 47 Number 1 page 4-6
© American Psychiatric Association

From the President

Your Board’s Agenda Focuses on the Future

John M. Oldham, M.D.

At the  foot of Dr Oldham’s Board meeting commentary you will find a link for a collection of PDF files of meeting materials available to download as a “Board packet”. (This bundle of PDFs may take a while to load.)

See file 11 Item 11.A – DSM Task Force Report.pdf   Retrieved: 01.31.12

Item: 11.A
Board of Trustees
December 2011


APA Division of Research Report to the APA Board of Trustees
Submitted by: David J. Kupfer, M.D. and Darrel A. Regier, M.D., M.P.H.


This report contains:

An overview of DSM-5 text development activities;
Current progress and timeline for the DSM field trials;
Scientific Oversight Committee’s (SOC) current progress and timeline for DSM field trials;
Scientific Oversight Committee’s progress in reviewing proposed DSM-5 disorders;
Overview of a Clinical and Public Health (CPH) review process that is to take place in conjunction with the Scientific Oversight Committee’s review;
Plans for the remainder of 2011 and for 2012.

Under Plans for 2012 it reports:

That the primary focus for 2012 will be on completion of initial draft text for all proposed DSM-5 disorders and data analysis of information gathered from the Large Academic Site and the Routine Clinical Practice (RCP) Field Trials.

That all of the text will receive editorial review throughout December and January.

That a penultimate draft of DSM-5 will be presented to the DSM-5 Task Force for their recommendations by February 1, though portions, it says, will be provided beginning in December, as these become available.

That the SOC and CPH will continue to conduct reviews through Spring of 2012.

That DSM criteria and text will continue to undergo changes based on reviews and recommendations of these various parties as well on comments received from a third public posting of the DSM-5 criteria on the DSM5.org web site, slated for May, 2012.

That the final draft of DSM-5 will be submitted to the APA Assembly and to the Board of Trustees in Fall of 2012 and submitted to APPI press for publication by December 31.

This report provides further confirmation that in December, it was anticipated that the third and final public review of proposals for changes to DSM-IV categories and criteria would be held in May, this year. (Note that the DSM-5 Development website Timeline was updated a few days ago but gives, only vaguely, “Spring”, as the date for a two month public review and comment period).


On January 29, Gary Greenberg, author of Inside the Battle to Define Mental Illness, Wired, December 2010, for NYT Op-Ed:

Op-Ed Contributor

Not Diseases, but Categories of Suffering

Gary Greenberg | January 29, 2012

“…On the other hand, given that the current edition of the D.S.M. has earned the association — which holds and tightly guards its naming rights to our pain — more than $100 million, we might want to temper our sympathy. It may not be dancing at the ball, but once every mental health worker, psychology student and forensic lawyer in the country buys the new book, it will be laughing all the way to the bank…”

The Autism Society and Autistic Self Advocacy Network have put out a joint statement on DSM-5:

“The Autism Society and Autistic Self Advocacy Network encourage other organizations and groups to join with us in forming a national coalition aimed at working on issues related to definition of the autism spectrum within the DSM-5.”

The joint statement by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and the Autism Society of America on the DSM-5 can be read here


Benjamin Nugent, Op-Ed piece, NYT:

New York Times

Op-Ed Contributor

I Had Asperger Syndrome. Briefly.

Benjamin Nugent | January 31, 2012

FOR a brief, heady period in the history of autism spectrum diagnosis, in the late ’90s, I had Asperger syndrome…”

Psychologists call for independent review of DSM-5

Psychologists call for independent review of DSM-5

Post #126 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-1DC

The Coalition for DSM-5 Reform is calling on the American Psychiatric Association to submit its draft proposals for new categories and criteria for DSM-5 to independent scientific review.

An Open Letter and Petition sponsored by the Society for Humanistic Psychology (Division 32 of the American Psychological Association), in alliance with several other American Psychological Association Divisions, attracted nearly 7000 signatures in its first three weeks. Since launching the petition, on October 22, over 10,300 mental health and allied professionals have signed up with over 40 organizations publicly endorsing the Open Letter.

You can view the Open Letter and iPetition here

Yesterday, January 09, Division 32 Open Letter Committee sent another call to the American Psychiatric Association Board of Trustees and DSM-5 Task Force to submit controversial proposals for DSM-5 to independent scrutiny.


January 9, 2012

ATTENTION:                                                                                                                                                                                    David J. Kupfer, M.D., Chair of DSM-5 Task Force
Darrel A. Regier, M.D., M.P.H., Vice Chair of DSM-5 Task Force
John M. Oldham, M.D., President of the American Psychiatric Association
Dilip V. Jeste, M.D., President-Elect of the American Psychiatric Association
Roger Peele, M.D., Secretary of the American Psychiatric Association

To the DSM-5 Task Force and the American Psychiatric Association:

We appreciate your opening a dialogue regarding the concerns that the Division 32 Open Letter Committee and others have raised about the proposed DSM-5.  Your willingness to do this suggests that both the Task Force and our committee are in basic agreement that we both want the DSM-5 to be empirically grounded, credible to mental health professionals and the public, and safe to use.  In keeping with this spirit of open dialogue, we are writing in regard to what we view as a critically important issue.

You will recall that the Division 32 Open Letter Committee, along with the American Counseling Association, recently asked the DSM-5 Task Force and the American Psychiatric Association to submit the controversial portions of the proposed DSM-5 for external review by an independent group of scholars and scientists who have no ties to the DSM-5 Task Force or the American Psychiatric Association.

As you know, it is common practice for scientists and scholars to submit their work to others for independent review.  We believe it is time for an independent group of scientists and scholars, who have no vested interest in the outcome, to do an external, independent review of the controversial portions of the DSM-5.  We consider this especially important in light of the unprecedented criticism of the proposed  DSM-5 by thousands of mental health professionals, as well as mental health organizations, in the United States and Europe.

Will you submit the controversial proposals in DSM-5 to an independent group of scientists and scholars with no ties to the DSM-5 Task Force or the American Psychiatric Association for an independent, external  review?  

We respectfully ask that you not respond again with assurances about internal reviews and field trials because such assurances, at this point, are not sufficient.  We believe an external, independent review is critical in terms of ensuring the proposed DSM-5 is safe and credible.  If you are unwilling to submit the controversial proposals for external, independent review, we respectfully ask that you provide a detailed rationale for your refusal.  Because the DSM is used by hundreds of thousands of mental health professionals, we are publicly posting this letter and will also post your response.   We believe mental health professionals, along with concerned mental health organizations, in the United States and Europe will be very interested in this important exchange.


David N. Elkins, PhD,  Chair of the Division 32 Open Letter Committee   Email:  David Elkins

Frank Farley, PhD, Member of Committee
Jonathan D.  Raskin, PhD, Member of Committee
Brent Dean Robbins, PhD,  Member of Committee
Donna Rockwell, PsyD, Member of Committee


Open Letter and iPetition

Coalition for DSM-5 Reform on Twitter    @dsm5reform

Coalition for DSM-5 Reform on Facebook

Coalition for DSM-5 Reform website

This initiative is also being covered on

The Society for Humanistic Psychology Blog

The Society for Humanistic Psychology on Twitter    @HumanisticPsych

The Society for Humanistic Psychology on Facebook

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