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DSM V

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

In May 2013 the new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V), which is the world’s most widely used psychiatric reference book, was released.

position statement on DSM-5 was published and a survey on the responses to this statement was carried out in March-April 2013. The responses, which came from several  countries, stressed the following problems with the DSM-5 and its process:

·         - low reliability and scientific validity,

·         - the mislabelling of mental health problems and the harm caused,

·         - conflicts of interest  of those involved in the process

Overall respondents believed that the DSM-5 was negatively impacted by attempts to influence people to pursue purely bio-medical solutions including by providing less and less alternatives to medication. Proposals for change included encouraging the use of alternative models to the bio-medical approach as well as the use of combinations of models.  

The debate was particularly intense because the manual is both a medical guidebook and a cultural institution. It helps doctors make a diagnosis and provides insurance companies with diagnostic codes without which the insurers will not reimburse patients' claims for treatment. The manual often organizes symptoms under evocative names. Labels like obsessive-compulsive disorder have connotations in the wider culture and for an individual's self-perception.

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Mental Health Europe

Mundo B- Rue d'Edimbourg 26

1050 - Bruxelles

phone: + 32 2 8930881

email info(at)mhe-sme.org

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