An updated psychiatric guidebook aimed at improving the process of mental illness diagnostics, which debuted in May, only makes matters worse, according to critics. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association, is meant to provide state-of-the-art definitions of psychiatric disorders to help guide diagnosis and treatment.
The guidebook, known as DSM was 14 years in the making for it’s fifth edition. Like its predecessors, it depends measures on subjective symptom descriptions rather than data-driven to identify mental illnesses. However, many observers claim that this policy is no longer sufficient.
Psychiatrist Frank Farley, former President of the United States Psychological Association (USAPA), suggests, our methods of diagnosing psychiatric problems is beyond a simple fix.
“It’s time to rethink the whole concept.”
Thomas Insel, chief of the National Institute of Mental Health, called for a fresh and more stringent age in diagnostics. A reduced limit for diagnosing attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and redefining Asperger syndrome as a form of autism, are particularly controversial modifications of DSM-5.
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