The bible for diagnosing and treating mental illness, what The New York Times calls “the guidebook that largely determines where society draws the line between normal and not normal,” http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/10/health/10psych.html?em
is undergoing some revisions that could have affect litigation and lawsuits.
The updating of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has been the subject of much lobbying by various advocacy groups. The proposed changes to the book, which physicians rely on to categorize their patients’ illness, were released Tuesday. http://www.dsm5.org/Pages/Default.aspx
Both The Times and AOL News noted that any changes in the this manual of mental ailments have “huge implications” — not just for psychiatrists but for the legal system, government programs and pharmaceutical companies – in terms of who is considered normal or who is considered disabled.
One of the revisions that has some experts worried is a new “at risk” category for those who show early signs of illnesses like dementia. The fear is that this new label will stigmatize patients.
Another recommendation is the creation of a new childhood disorder, temper dysregulation disorder with dysphoria. It’s a new category for aggressive children who previously might have been misdiagnosed as having bipolar disorder, and then were given antipsychotic drugs that have serious side effects.
New proposed categories for the DSM include one for sex addiction, “hypersexuality,” defined as when “a great deal of time is consumed by sexual fantasies and urges; and in planning for and engaging in sexual behavior.”
And binge eating is a new suggested disorder, defined as at least one binge a week for three months, followed by guilt and mood swings.
Interesting that the news doesn’t focus on the bogus definition of Post Concussion Disorder in the Appendix’s of the DSM-IV. Through two revisions, the drafters of this “bible” have been unable to agree on what defines a concussion. The proposed definition still contains a requirement of a 5 minute loss of consciousness, a requirement that has uniformly been rejected by the American Academy of Neurologists, the CDC, the United States Armed Services and virtually every peer reviewed research article this century.