What ends up (or doesn’t) in the DSM manual, otherwise known as the bible of psychiatry, can have a major impact on patients, doctors and, of course, Big Pharma. So, it’s no surprise that the debates and discussions around what will be included in the DSM’s fifth edition are already involved and intense, some three years before the guidebook is due to be released. —KA
The New York Times:
The eagerly awaited revisions — to be published, if adopted, in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, due in 2013 — would be the first in a decade.
For months they have been the subject of intense speculation and lobbying by advocacy groups, and some proposed changes have already been widely discussed — including folding the diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome into a broader category, autism spectrum disorder.
But others, including a proposed alternative for bipolar disorder in many children, were unveiled on Tuesday. Experts said the recommendations, posted online at DSM5.org for public comment, could bring rapid change in several areas.
“Anything you put in that book, any little change you make, has huge implications not only for psychiatry but for pharmaceutical marketing, research, for the legal system, for who’s considered to be normal or not, for who’s considered disabled,” said Dr. Michael First, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University who edited the fourth edition of the manual but is not involved in the fifth.
“And it has huge implications for stigma,” Dr. First continued, “because the more disorders you put in, the more people get labels, and the higher the risk that some get inappropriate treatment.”
Mental manual: The fifth edition of the DSM, shown here in its fourth iteration, is currently under construction.