DSM IV Ends; DSM V StartsThe American Psychiatric Association has just approved revisions to the manual used to diagnose the things that go bump in your soul. The first revision of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in twenty years dictates who gets treatment and how it is treated for the foreseeable future. There are some big changes in store for you and your shrink.
The DSM-5 will be published in May 2013 (doesn't mean it will be) and reflects a titanic effort on the part of American psychiatric community. The last version of the manual, DSM-IV, was published in 1994, and the process of revising the manual for the DSM-5 began all the way back in 2006.
The new manual has been subjected to enormous public scrutiny and supposedly reflects the latest and best of what we know about psychiatry. The changes affect the most commonly discussed disorders and conditions including revised classifications for Asperger's syndrome, hoarding, and substance abuse. Here's a rundown of the change regarding autism, selected from the APA's press release:
Autism spectrum disorder: The criteria will incorporate several diagnoses from DSM-IV including autistic disorder, Asperger's disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder (not otherwise specified), into the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder for DSM-5 to help more accurately and consistently diagnose children with autism.
This means that the way we look at Aspergers will change dramattically. For the better or for the worse, we don't know yet.