April 2, 2013

Happy Autism Awareness Day!

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to say Happy Autism Awareness Day!   I thought today would be a good opportunity to open up a discussion about changes to the DSM 5.  As most of you are probably aware all of the information about changes to the DSM had been taken down, in preparation for the new edition coming out on May 22, 2013.  However, in the last couple weeks some of these changes have begun to surface in articles and blogs.  

One of the many changes that was debated, and as this blog discusses was changed was ASD/PDD.  

What do people think about the changes to ASD?  

What do people think about some of the other proposed changes?  (i.e. personality disorders)

How do you feel about being a student in the middle of this shift from the DSM-IV-TR to the DSM 5?  What are you excited about?  What are you concerned about?

Feel free to comment on anything you want related to this topic!  I would love to get a discussion going as we prepare for the new DSM in May!



  1. Hello all,

    I can address one small point:

    How do you feel about being a student in the middle of this shift from the DSM-IV-TR to the DSM 5? What are you excited about? What are you concerned about?

    My advisor was a student when the DSM shifted from III to IV and he told us that generally everyone was very excited about that change. The revisions were expected to finally provide a large leap in linking the science and practice of mental health treatment. It was seen as a potential breakthrough.

    However, the current zeitgeist seems to be very different. There are many dissenting voices and concerns about the validity, scientific support, and conflicts of interest that led to the proposed changes. I have not heard too many people viewing the change as a great leap forward. If anything I have heard for a call to change from the DSM to the ICD. So, in general that has me concerned.


    1. I hear your concerns Eugene. In fact, it seems to me that DSM 5 is not a huge leap anywhere. It seems that the vast majority of potential changes didn't materialize, and that the bulk of disorders, particularly anxiety and mood where so many of our patients fall, have almost no update at all. With the original plans of increasing dimensionality and bringing science to bear on changes, I was excited. Now? I think unfortunately apathetic...

  2. I agree with both of you. It seems like a majority of the most questionable changes have been scrapped, and some sections have been left completely untouched (e.g., personality disorders). To the extent there's a buzz in the scientific community, it's about projects to develop alternatives to the DSM.

  3. FYI, for those planning on taking the EPPP, I heard that the test will incorporate DSM-V starting next summer. Might want to get it in before then if possible!