The imminent new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 may hurt confidence in psychiatric diagnosis. The update includes new diagnoses and perhaps, controversially, reductions in thresholds for old ones that will possibly inflate the already strained boundaries of psychiatry. How the new edition will sustain robust research in the field is now a hotly debated concern. But more so, it’s entirely possible that following the DSM 5 may lead to over-diagnosis and as one consequence over-medication.
It should be said that it’s with fortune that some of the DSM 5’s more contentious proposals were eventually dropped under external pressure. These included, amongst others “psychosis risk”, mixed anxiety/depression, internet and sex addiction, cumbersome personality ratings.
I for one would have preferred further delay in the roll-out of this edition and have the APA more properly field test this edition increasing much needed opportunity for quality control.