Diagnostic Manual Update for Psychologists

Fitness, which includes physical activity, healthy eating, AND emotional well-being, are all interrelated. This makes the rare update to the psychologist’s diagnostic manual important for all health care professionals.
dsm-5The DSM or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual is published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and is a manual for how to diagnose mental disorders. In addition to helping physicians diagnose their patients, the manual is important for the insurance industry in deciding what treatment to pay for, and it helps schools decide how to allot special education
The manual has not been updated since 1994. The newest version of the DSM, DSM-5, will be released in May 2013 and some of the updates were announced at the end of last year.  Read More
Here are some highlights of what will be and will not be included in DSM-5. Many of these changes have been debated due to their social, rather than scientific, reasons for the changes.
  1. Obesity and Overeating will NOT be included.  Binge Eating will be added. “B. Timothy Walsh, MD, who heads up the team deciding all things related to eating and psychiatric diagnosis, determined that current research just doesn’t support any link between food intake and mental disease. The exception? Binge eating, defined as eating more than most people during a single sitting, will make it into the new DSM, due out Spring 2013. And Walsh did add that an overeating syndrome or obesity may very well end up in a future edition if the burgeoning research demonstrates a link with psychiatry”  Read more from Psychology Today  and MedPage.
  2. Asperger’s will no longer be a true diagnosis, the person will instead be diagnosed with an ‘Autism Spectrum Disorder” “A major change proposed for DSM-5 was a reorganization that would collapse a number of autism-related conditions treated as separate disorders in DSM-IV into a single “autism spectrum disorder” category.” Read more from MedPage.
  3. Depression can now be diagnosed and treated sooner after the death of a loved one “Additional controversial changes include the elimination of “Bereavement exclusion,” which stated that people who suffered the death of a loved one could not diagnosed with depression until two months had passed. In DSM-5, patients suffering this loss may be diagnosed with depression sooner” Read more from Salon.
  4. A new diagnosis for severe recurrent temper tantrums – disruptive mood dysregulation disorder. This addition is to deter overdiagnosis of bipolar disorder
  5. Gender identity disorder.” will be replaced with “Gender Dysphoria” to avoid adding a stigma to those who believe that they were born the wrong gender. Supporters equated the change with removing homosexuality as a mental illness in the diagnostic manual, which happened decades ago.
  6. Dyslexia was almost dropped as a diagnosis, but the APA decided to keep it.

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