I constantly struggle with the backlash against the DSM 5 — the latest revision of the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. Every medical text is revised decade after decade with little significant argument.
But when it comes to mental disorders, apparently there’s a different standard for them — one that is neither equal nor fair when compared to their medical brethren.
The latest article on the controversy comes from Rob Waters writing his hyperbole earlier this week over at Salon.com (ridiculous sample: “As the task force producing it has posted drafts on its website, an undercurrent of dissatisfaction has exploded into a full-scale revolt by members of U.S. and British psychological and counseling organization.” [emphasis added]). Repeating many tired phrases like “bible of mental health” in reporting on this story, it’s not exactly clear there’s any objectiveness. Instead, it’s heavily slanted toward the opponents of the revision of the manual.
The proponents are led, ironically, by the former head of the last revision process, creating the DSM-IV, Allen Frances, who gleefully blogs about all the problems he sees in the DSM-5 revision process over at Psychology Today.
It gets even more ironic when you look at the criticisms leveled at the DSM-5 — criticisms that began a long time ago, in a revision we’re all familiar with called… yes, you guessed it, the DSM-IV.