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DSM-5 proposed disorders under scrutiny (USA)

December 1, 2011

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5), to be published in 2013, is receiving push back from some experts in the form of an open letter and on-line petition.

The DSM is used extensively in the clinical field of mental health to diagnose and treat individuals identified with a recognized disorder. The fifth edition has received complaints that proposed new disorders being added to the manual are in some cases normal processes of human development and do not constitute disorders. The authors of the petition state that the additions are not founded on scientific evidence and are calling for an independent review. The on-line petition which has been posted since October 2011 has gathered over 7,000 signatures to date and prompted a reply from the DSM-5 taskforce.

The taskforce assured the psychologists logging the complaints that the new disorders are being extensively researched through clinical and field trials, and will only be added if they pass these tests. In addition, some of the disorders – such as parental alienation – were suggested by the public and not the taskforce. All submissions are being carefully examined. Final draft criteria will be going out to the public for comment in 2012.

See “Psychologists challenge proposed new diagnoses in DSM-5,” available at www/

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