Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tracking the DSM-5

A NY Times op-ed says:
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.

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.

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.

1 comment:

solano courts said...

Hey thanks for the post...I missed the article in the NY Times but came across your blog. I agree with article that the DSM is badly abused in Court proceedings. I was hoping that parental alienation child abuse would be included to make life easier for all. I noticed your Blog is called the Angry Dad, so I suspect that we share a lot. Keep up the good work.