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DSM-5 First Responses

Having received a heads-up over this subject, I truly believe that The DSM-5 is an important topic for discussion.

Especially since some of our members live in the USA. It seems that I am not alone in this view and I want to thank those who have commented thus far.

But I think that it is such an important subject  that all members and readers should have access to this discussion and to the links included within the comments made.

Comments are great and much appreciated by us all but in some ways they appear in a world of their own and are therefore not seen by all readers.

So instead of simply approving comments as and when they come in and thus running that risk of their not being seen, here instead are those comments so far…


One of our members- Candida Abrahamson PhD from candida abrahamson blog – writes:
Well, here goes, Kevin–and you’re well out of it over there, with the luck of the Irish clinging to you in this case.

Yes, I am extremely aware of the DSM-5 and the uproar surrounding it, enough so that answering #2 could cover pages.

I’ve written extensively about it on my blog (I’ll only share a few with you, so as not to overwhelm, but if anyone wants more info, it’s there), and you of course are free to re-blog.

I think I had just come to accept and work with the DSM-IV to the extent that I developed a comfort with it, and was able to use it to diagnose and guide treatment in a very reasonable way.

I’ve been quite disappointed in the DSM-5 development process, as a mental health professional. My pieces explain why this is so, but additionally because of the somewhat closed way the process is being handled.

So pick your poison. There’s:
1. “Perish the Paranoid: Personality Disorders Pulverized in New Mental Health Manual” at http://wp.me/p22afJ-ZP
2. “Money Motivates Mental Health Moves: DSM-5, Meet Makers of Medicine” at http://wp.me/p22afJ-Zk, or
3. “Pathologizing Grief–Just For Starters: The DSM-5 and My Tripartite Expression of Displeasure, Part II” at http://wp.me/p22afJ-X7

I hope those are helpful in opening dialogue–I’d love to hear what other people’s reactions are.
Thanks for picking up on this timely topic. Best, Candida


Donna Rockwell Psy.D. (who whilst not being a member is most welcome 🙂 ) from Donna Rockwell.com writes:

Existentialism and the DSM-5: Humanizing Mental Health
Donna Rockwell, PsyD
Coalition for DSM-5 Reform
Hope you find this a comprehensive explanation of proposed DSM-5 and the position of many in the psychological community.


Another member – Lizzie cracked from Running Naked With Scissors writes:

I have heard stuff here and there…but I am not one to … read the news and keep up on things. Most of what I have learned is from reading Candida’s blog – solid info anyways..

I have been kind of of the mind that the pharmaceutical companies have too much say in it… but I don’t know if that is a valid thought.


And another member DeeDee from Disorderly Chickadee writes:

Aware of it, mostly the highly criticized consideration of “medicalizing” grief, which I think is a bunch of BS.

I see some pretty big holes in the DSM-IV in terms of the lack of understanding for bipolar disorder, but that’s just the part I’m most familiar with of late. In particular, the criteria of mixed episodes being only Bipolar I, and a lot of the stuff about cycle duration are just not in sync with what people actually experience. More clarity on where the line is between mania and hypomania would help un-confuse a lot of people.

I still don’t see the use of “current or most recent episode manic” types of classifications – I mean really, what does that do for treatment? It just means a constantly changing diagnostic code. The “with anxiety” subtyping does seem useful, since it co-occurs so often for Bipolar. Adding “mixed features” to Bipolar II is a big improvement.

The addition of “Temper Dysregulation Disorder” sounds like a poor excuse for badly behaved children. Perhaps there’s a real issue I don’t recognize, but I don’t seem to remember this being an “issue” when I was a kid.


I think there is some great stuff there and I hope you will all continue to comment and to feedback and discuss the points raised thus far.


Kind Regards



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