The fourth edition of the manual, released in 1994, tried to contain the diagnostic inflation that followed earlier editions. It succeeded on the adult side, but failed to anticipate or control the faddish over-diagnosis of autism, attention deficit disorders and bipolar disorder in children that has since occurred.Yes, this book creates disorders out of normal behavior, and is misused by the courts. But bad as the DSM-IV is, it would be much better if courts required psychologists to give their testimony according to DSM-IV guidelines, or the new DSM-5 when it is published. It would limit the arbitrariness of they opinions, and force them to follow accepted standards.
Indeed, the D.S.M. is the victim of its own success and is accorded the authority of a bible in areas well beyond its competence. It has become the arbiter of who is ill and who is not — and often the primary determinant of treatment decisions, insurance eligibility, disability payments and who gets special school services. D.S.M. drives the direction of research and the approval of new drugs. It is widely used (and misused) in the courts.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Tracking the DSM-5
A NY Times op-ed says: