|By Stacey Burling, The Philadelphia Inquirer|
The official theme of the annual meeting, which opens Saturday at the
The current tome, the DSM-IV, was published in 1994 and updated in 2000. The book now in the works, the DSM-5 (yes, they dropped the Roman numerals), is due out by next year's APA meeting.
Supporters say the revisions incorporate more current science into the highly influential book. It also strives for diagnoses that show how seriously ill patients are.
Critics say the changes jump ahead of the science and expand what is considered mental illness. While the association tries to detect illnesses earlier and possibly prevent their most tragic symptoms, it risks calling essentially normal people mentally ill, needlessly exposing thousands to stigma and strong medicines, and handing drugmakers a bonanza.
One hot-button proposal allows grieving people to be considered depressed after two weeks of symptoms. Another addresses children who were being labeled bipolar by creating a different diagnosis: disruptive mood dysregulation disorder. Some worry that diagnoses meant to identify thinking problems in the elderly will turn normal aging into a disorder.
In what is surely biting criticism in the mental-health world,
The APA must have listened a little. It announced this week that it had moved the new attenuated psychosis syndrome, which attempted to identify young people likely to develop psychosis, and mixed anxiety and depression to a book section for conditions that need more research. They also tried to better differentiate normal grief from depression.
Last fall, Elkins, president of the
His and other groups are so miffed that they plan to write their own book. "We are calling for a summit in
One of the most vocal critics is psychiatrist
The new approach, he said, gives "drug companies a free pass to convince everyone in the world that they have one disorder or two or three."
There's also the matter of autism. Its proposed definition is more restrictive. That has caused an outcry from autism advocates, who fear children will lose school services.