OMG the DSM-5… look out!

Check out this blog post from Scientific American, “Psychiatry in Crisis! Mental Health Director Rejects Psychiatric “Bible” and Replaces with… Nothing“.

First there was the “Neuroscience Power Crisis“, now “Psychiatry is in crisis”. Does every piece on the internet these days have to contain the word “Crisis” in order to get a few clicks and retweets? Apparently so.

English: official picture of Thomas R. Insel, ...

official picture of Thomas R. Insel, Director, National Institute of Mental Health, as provided by the NIMH Office of the Director (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

However, the article is interesting and worth a read. It discusses Thomas Insel‘s (director of the NIMH) recent announcement that mental health research should be moving away from DSM diagnoses. The DSM is a way for clinicians and researchers to diagnose mental illnesses based on set criteria. The newest rendition of this manual is being published this month and has already been the topic of much controversy (just look at how large the “Criticisms” section under the Wikipedia entry for DSM-5 is!).

Not only did he say research should be moving away from this manual, but they’ve created one of their own manuals just for research, called the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC). But as the author points out, Insel himself admits that the criteria for this manual are not definitive either (I guess that’s why the author took the liberty of implying that Insel replaced the DSM with “nothing” in the title). Then there is a mini-rant about how psychiatry is an indirect science #noduh.

People seem to have very strong opinions about this DSM-5. Myself, being in no way an expert on this topic, even had a dream a few weeks ago (yes, I dream about work) about the DSM-5. It was purple and really really big in the comical way that things in dreams get exaggerated. And in my dream I said aloud: “Every behaviour and feeling that anyone has ever felt must be in there. That means everyone is crazy”.

Wise words to ponder.

More words, wise or otherwise, related to this:


2 thoughts on “OMG the DSM-5… look out!

  1. James Hill says:

    I’m not exactly clear on why clinicians and researchers would need a different diagnostic manual. Aren’t you both looking at the same diseases?

    • You are correct, and it seems that the RDOC (Insel’s criteria) is simply a response to the DSM-5 that it isn’t correct. So they’re arguing. It’s not that he’s saying researchers need different criteria, he’s saying he doesn’t agree with the criteria. Would like to hear others’ thoughts on this, though.

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