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Manual of Mental Disorders Flawed?

Additions and revisions to a diagnostic guide used by mental health professionals around the world could lead to more misdiagnoses.

Cristina Luiggi

DREAMSTIME, ALEKSANDER LOBANOV

There is widespread concern about the revisions to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) among mental health professionals, Nature reported. After psychologist David Elkins of Pepperdine University in California posted an online open letter in October warning that the revisions might elicit a slew of misdiagnoses and unnecessary medication prescriptions, among other things, 2,800 people signed it in support.

Specifically, professionals worry that the diagnostic guide, which will be published in 2013, contains new disorders as well as some changes to the definitions of existing mental conditions that could lead to clinical diagnoses of people exhibiting normal behaviors Critics claim, for example, that instead of modifying the criteria for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and bipolar disorder—something healthcare professionals have been calling for in order to control the number of diagnoses made in children—the DSM-V added...

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