Wednesday, August 29, 2012

NAMI | The Proposed DSM-5: Alterations and Altercations


One of the biggest stories in mental health over the past few years has been the proposed revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). As the main guide used by psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers in the U.S. to diagnose mental illness, the DSM is an important factor in our mental health system. The manual often influences what type of care people get (or should get), how practitioners are reimbursed, and how people diagnosed with mental illness view themselves and their recoveries.
While the DSM-5 has not been finalized, there are several big changes from the last manual (DSM-IV) starting with the title. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) used roman numerals (i.e., I, II, III) on previous editions but will now use Arabic numbers (i.e., 1,2,3) for two reasons. Firstly, Arabic numbers are more universally recognized. Secondly, updates to the manual will be easier to track. Prior changes were denoted by abbreviations such as –R or –TR, which did not indicate which came first. New updates will be denoted DSM-5.1, DSM-5.2, etc., to clearly show which version is latest.

NAMI | The Proposed DSM-5: Alterations and Altercations

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