DSM-5: Shaping the Future of Psychiatric Diagnosis

DSM-5: Shaping the Future of Psychiatric Diagnosis
DSM-5: Shaping the Future of Psychiatric Diagnosis

The American Psychiatric Association has released a draft of the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) for public review at www.dsm5.org.

How is NARSAD involved? First, nine NARSAD scientists are members of the task force reviewing the manual. These include members of the NARSAD Scientific Council, NARSAD Young Investigators, NARSAD Distinguished Investigators, NARSAD Independent Investigators, award-winners and more. An impressive group! The task force is developing “criteria for diagnoses that not only reflect new advances in the science and conceptualization of mental disorders, but also reflect the needs of our patients.”

DSM-5 is reviewed periodically to incorporate developments in neurological science and new knowledge about how the brain is affected by genetics and the environment. As science and research advance, methods of diagnosis and treatments advance, too.

DSM-5 will provide a common language of criteria for diagnosing mental disorders. This is critical for doctors treating patients, as well as researchers (including NARSAD researchers) looking for new treatments and cures. The criteria give researchers a standard diagnosis and treatment to compare among patients, leading to the discovery of risk factors and causes for psychiatric disorders.

NARSAD scientific research and the lives of people living with mental illness are sure to be influenced by the new DSM-5. Give your feedback to the DSM-5 draft at www.dsm5.org.

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Please note that researchers cannot give specific recommendations or advice about treatment; diagnosis and treatment are complex and highly individualized processes that require comprehensive face-to- face assessment. Please visit our "Ask an Expert" section to see a list of Q & A with NARSAD Grantees.
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