The Diagnostic or Statistical Manual is being revised.
The book is used by psychologists and psychiatrists. It is also used by people in the courts, social services and pharmaceutical companies.
It is the listing and diagnostic criteria for the major psychiatric disorders.
The DSM has classification information for about three hundred mental disorders. It’s in the process of a major revision – its fifth since its first publication by the American Psychiatric Association in the early 50’s. It has not been updated since 1994.
Entries have narratives and checklists. If a person exhibits certain symptoms for a certain amount of time, they then have a certain disorder.
The DSM is co-chaired by David Kupfer, Medical Director at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and Darrel Regier director of Research at The American Psychiatric Association. They oversee a little over a hundred people who are divided into workgroups. The disorders are split into categories–such as mood disorders, which include bipolar and depression or sleep disorders like narcolepsy or insomnia. Others serve as consultants. They meet; hold conference calls and email to discuss the criteria for each diagnosis, drawing upon data and research.
The workgroup assignments are prestigious – and voluntary.
People on the workgroups are psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, pediatricians, internists and neurologists.
The DSM revision started in 1999. Next year a preliminary version will be released. The DSM- V will be published in 2012.
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