“Rewriting the Rules” – a look at the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

The “book of books” for mental health professionals is getting a make-over.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) provides the standard criteria for the diagnosis of mental disorders.  It is used by clinicians, researchers, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and policy makers as the guide upon which to base treatments, insurance coverage, pharmaceutical development, research and public policy.  The DSM is published by the American Psychiatric Association and is currently in its fourth edition.

This powerful document is in revision and the new DSM is due out in 2013.

“Voices in the Family” on WHYY Radio hosted a segment devoted to discussing the proposed changes to the DSM and how these changes will effect the diagnosis of juvenile bipolar disorder. Dr. Darrel Regier, vice chair of the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-V task force, presents some of the proposed changes to this manual and the task force’s justifications for such revisions.

Dr. Demitri Papolos, Director of Research for JBRF and author of The Bipolar Child, and Alissa Bronsteen of JBRF discuss the validity and reliability of the DSM and how its categorical approach to defining mental illnesses have failed to adequately describe juvenile bipolar disorder.

Click on the following link to hear this radio segment: “Rewriting the Rules” – a look at the new DSM