by Jacob Goldstein
February 10, 2010
Tomorrow’s mental illnesses went online today: The American
Psychiatric Association posted a draft version of the DSM-V.
Read it for yourself.
DSM (full name: Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) is the book that defines
mental illness in America, so it’s not surprising that revising the
thing is a contentious process that takes years and involves lots of
debate. (The “V” attached to the name is Roman - this will be the
fifth edition, replacing the current DSM-IV.)
Among the changes proposed for DSM-V:
A category called “substance-related
disorders” would include not only drug and
alcohol addiction but also gambling addiction, the
WSJ notes. Other disorders,
including “Internet addiction,” will be “considered as
potential additions to this category as research data
accumulate,” according to the description of the category.
disorder” would be added to the DSM. It would
apply to people who repetitively engage in sexual
“fantasies, urges and behavior” in response to anxiety,
depression, stress or the like, and who repeatedly try and
fail to control or significantly reduce the urges and
Asperger’s disorder would be
folded into the broader category of autism spectrum
disorders. The vice chair of the DSM revision task force
told the WSJ that there isn’t enough evidence to keep it as
a separate diagnosis.
The director of the Global
and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership
told NPR that he agrees
with the reclassification, but added that,
The draft revisions are open for public
comment until April.
After that, they’ll be field tested for
a few years, before DSM-V is finally released in May, 2013, if
everything goes according to plan.