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TOPIC: NIMH Abandons Controversial 'Bible' of Psychiatry

NIMH Abandons Controversial 'Bible' of Psychiatry 06 May 2013 15:18 #135

Federal institute for mental health abandons controversial 'bible' of psychiatry
Posted May 3, 2013 by Katie Drummond


In a surprising move, the US government institute responsible for overseeing mental health research is distancing itself from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM. The DSM has, for several decades, been perceived as the "bible" that delegates how psychiatric illnesses are defined, diagnosed, and treated.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) — which funds more research into mental illness than any other agency in the world — this week announced a plan to re-orient its investigations "away from DSM categories." The move comes mere weeks before the publication of the DSM-5, an update to the manual that's been mired in controversy because of several contentious changes to existing diagnostic criteria.

"The strength of each of the editions of DSM has been 'reliability' — each edition has ensured that clinicians use the same terms in the same ways," reads the announcement from NIMH director Thomas Insel. "The weakness is its lack of validity." In particular, Insel notes, diagnostic criteria in the DSM are based on symptom clusters, rather than any objective measures. As experts continue to broaden their understanding of genetics and cognitive science, for instance, Insel anticipates the possibility of more rigorous diagnoses. "Patients with mental disorders deserve better," he added.

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Continue reading: http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/3/4296626/nimh-abandons-controversial-bible-of-psychiatry
Last Edit: 25 Jul 2015 03:51 by michael.bailey.
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