by Jacob Goldstein

February 10, 2010

from TheWallStreetJournal Website

Spanish version

Tomorrow’s mental illnesses went online today: The American Psychiatric Association posted a draft version of the DSM-V. Read it for yourself.

The 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.

  • Hypersexual 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 behavior.

  • 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,

    • “I personally am probably going to have a very hard time calling myself autistic.”

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.