"Next week the American Psychiatric Association is publishing its fifth take on the classification of psychiatric disorders, the DSM-5. Judging by the sound and fury, you might be forgiven for thinking that this is something radical – a great breakthrough in our struggle to better understand mental disorders, or alternatively a dastardly plot to extend the boundaries of psychiatry into everyday life and emotions at the behest of greedy drug companies. Or, if the position statement from the Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP) is to be believed, an attempt to emphasise the biological causes of mental disorders over the social and psychological.
In fact, it is none of the above. . .
So why the fuss about DSM-5? After all, it's hardly a good read – not the kind of book anyone will take on holiday – and it isn't the system of classification that we use over here in any case. In practice, most UK mental health professionals will barely notice much difference. Some diagnostic criteria will have improved, others less so, and no doubt there will be some "only in America" stories about the inevitable daft new category. But most of those in the business of helping those with mental disorders will be less concerned with what is in and what is out than with the reality of underfunded and overstretched services. The idea that we are part of a conspiracy to medicalise normality will seem frankly laughable as we struggle to protect services for those whose disorders are all too evident under any classification system."
Do we need to change the way we are thinking about mental illness? | Science | The Observer http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2013/may/12/dsm-5-conspiracy-laughable