Hold the phone. Apparently, a shitstorm is brewing.
Dr. Allen Frances, who headed the DSM-IV task force, fired the opening salvo with this blistering criticism. He writes:
Undoubtedly, the most reckless suggestion for DSM‐V is that it include many new categories to capture the milder subthreshhold versions of the existing more severe official disorders. The beneficial intended purpose is to reduce the frequency of false negative missed cases thus improving early case finding and promoting preventive treatments. Unfortunately, however, the DSM‐V Task Force has failed to adequately consider the potentially disastrous unintended consequence that DSM‐V may flood the world with new false positives. The reported rates of DSM‐V mental disorders would skyrocket, especially since there are many more people at the boundary than those who present with the more severe and clearly "clinical" disorders. The result would be a wholesale imperial medicalization of normality that will trivialize mental disorder and lead to a deluge of unneeded medication treatments‐‐a bonanza for the pharmaceutical industry but at a huge cost to the new false positive "patients"caught in the excessively wide DSM‐V net. They will pay a high price in side effects, dollars, and stigma, not to mentions the unpredictable impact on insurability, disability, and forensics.
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A third category of DSM‐V innovation would create a whole new series of so‐called "behavioral addictions" to shopping, sex, food, videogames, the Internet, and so on. Each of these proposals has received little research attention, and they all have the potential for dangerous unintended consequences, by inappropriately medicalizing behavioral problems, reducing individual responsibility, and complicating disability, insurance, and forensic evaluations. None of these suggestions are remotely ready for prime time as officially recognized mental disorders.
I do not have space to enumerate the dangers of all the other innovative suggestions for DSM‐V, but I will list just some of the riskiest that require the most careful review and caution: adult attention‐deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and adult separation anxiety disorder; making it easier to diagnose bipolar disorder; pediatric bipolar, major depressive, and trauma disorders; autism spectrum disorders; new types of paraphilias and hypersexuality disorder; and the suggested rating list to evaluate suicidality. [Emphasis added.]
Nice, huh? Sensory processing disorder inspires skepticism, and its inclusion is predicated on copious research. But shopping addiction? That's pathological! Maybe we should dress our sons in Manalo Blahniks? Label that, doc!
You can read the American Psychiatric Association's rebuttal here. The rebuttal has been criticized for its uncivil tone, and lack of substance.
To learn more, read DSM V Badly Off Track.
Source: Michelle Dawson's Twitter account