The Da Vinci Code of DSM-V revealed Wednesday

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, or DSM, is the compendium of mental disorders that psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers use to describe the state of their patients, clients, and sometimes their family members (though they really shouldn’t). The DSM is currently in its fourth edition, “DSM-IV.” However, after over ten years of meetings, a fifth edition is on the way, slated for May 2013, a draft of DSM-V will be released this Wednesday, February 10.

There have been a few concerns about the DSM-V and even accusations from former APA directors that the process has been shrouded in secrecy, a veritable Da Vinci Code of psychiatry! Anyways, all will be revealed Wednesday. In addition to being based more on models suggested by empirical research (research based on disorders listed in the DSM-IV), word has it that there will also be a severity dimension for symptoms (currently symptoms are dichotomous), some sort of accommodation to the frequent comorbidity a disorders (e.g., the reported 80% comorbidity for PTSD with major depression), a “hypersexuality disorder” (oh my), and some reconceptualization of how to deal with those “culturally-bound syndromes” (see January 10 post) at the back of the book.

Here’s the news story from The Economist. Here’s the site for the DSM-V from the American Psychiatric Association.

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