You don't need to be signed in to read BMJ Group Blogs, but you can register here to receive updates about other BMJ Group products and services via our Group site.

DSM-5 online

11 Feb, 10 | by Steven Reid, Evidence-Based Mental Health

Following a year of bitter exchanges about secrecy with accusations flying of vested interests and industry ties the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has posted the new, fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders online. Often called the psychiatrist’s bible but perhaps more aptly thought of as the psychiatrist’s cookery book the next update of the Manual is not due for release until May 2013 but the taskforce is looking for comments from clinicians, researchers and the general public (submissions welcome until April 20, 2010).

At first glance the most notable change is, of course, the decision to use an Arabic rather than Roman numeral in the title. Other changes include the likely introduction of Psychosis Risk Syndrome which will certainly prove controversial given the limited evidence for such a diagnosis having much predictive value. It looks like Compulsive shopping disorder and Internet addiction disorder are not going to make it in, but the currently topical Hypersexual disorder is. More to follow, but comments will be welcome here as well as at the APA site.

By submitting your comment you agree to adhere to these terms and conditions
  • It is a concern of increasing intensity about the development of the DSM-V. In an era where contents and concepts of the Bible are scrutinised by the scientific world, DSM-V could easily step down into the status as a compendium of beliefs rather than an evidence-based disease classification manual. I tried not to be drawn into this controversial current revision with so much self control ( lost it now ). The reason for this are two fold: (1) as a psychiatrist I prefer to be unbiased as much as possible and (2)my experience of using both ICD 10 and DSM in clinical practice.
    The question I have is simple : what exactly do the revision team hope to accomplish through this current revision ? Is it primarily to boost own self respect or desires or unmet needs? Do they want to present the scientific world a better manual of Psychiatric Disorders backed up with the best available evidence? Or the team do not care if it turns out to be a word salad that will be a popular reading material for the wider public who then will find it equally amusing like the Bible?The
    authors of the new edition cannot ignore the simple fact that ICD 10 has already been considered by more Psychiatrists world-wide as much more authentic a book reflecting scientific and medcial validity than the DSM revisions including IV Text Revision. Any regression will be a huge mistake. How many of the revision committee members can sincerely say that they are willing to give up their proposed ideas and comments for a good cause ? And how can we foster better acceptance of DSM V by practising Psychiatrists? Other medical specialties do the same when they revise the manual for diagnosis and classification of diseases or disorders. Please safeguard the available ‘science’ within Psychiatry rather than further diluting the field into the level of Philosophy. Please do
    invite and accept sharp criticisms at this eleventh hour which would be better than publishing another biblical style book. With best wishes.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
EBMH blog homepage


A quarterly digest of the most important clinical research of relevance to clinicians in mental health.Visit site

Latest from Evidence-Based Mental Health

Latest from Evidence Based Mental Health