Articles on DSM

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When many doctors went through training they would not have learnt adults could suffer from separation anxiety. from www.shutterstock.com.au

Separation anxiety disorder: not just for kids

Adult separation anxiety is a relatively new concept. There are, as yet, no published evidence-based treatments for the condition.
School refusal needs to be recognised as a psychological problem, rather than being glossed over in school attendance policies. from www.shutterstock.com.au

School refusal is not the same as wagging

School refusal is a serious difficulty for many students, but it is often ignored in policies for increasing school attendance.
People who worry excessively about catastrophic consequences of seemingly benign symptoms are known as hypochondriacs. Karrie Nodalo/Flickr

Listen up hypochondriacs, how do you want to be remembered?

We all worry about our health from time to time, at least to some degree, but some people worry excessively about catastrophic consequences of seemingly benign symptoms. They’re known as hypochondriacs…
People are becoming more likely to believe that high-tech visualising techniques might allow us to see psychopathy in the actual physiology of the brain. JE Theriot/Flickr (resized)

Looking for psychopaths in all the wrong places: fMRI in court

In the latest instalment of our series Biology and Blame Micol Seigel poses some important questions about the assumptions behind the legal use of fMRI. Of the current uses of psychiatry in legal settings…
Sluggish cognitive tempo is used to describe kids whose attentional deficits are due to low levels of mental energy. Alec Couros/Flickr

Is ‘sluggish cognitive tempo’ a valid new childhood disorder?

Sociology influences medicine more than we like to admit. One only needs to look at the history of psychiatric disorders – a term used broadly here to incorporate developmental disorders – to see how “normal…
Clinical depression is distinguished severity, duration, persistence, and recurrence. darcyadelaide/flickr

Feeling down: when does a mood become a disorder?

We’ve all felt sad, anxious or down at one time or another, but where does the normal experience of emotion end and the clinical picture of a mood or anxiety disorder begin? Psychiatry has two widely used…
The majority of diagnoses for depression, anxiety and PTSD are made by GPs who don’t use the DSM criteria.

DSM-5 won’t increase mental health work claims – here’s why

The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5) has copped the predicted criticisms since its release on the weekend. Most centre on the idea that more of us will…
Sufferers of internet disorder might find it starts to impose on real life, such as causing difficulties in socialising. Flickr/Fle

Five new mental disorders you could have under DSM-5

Since it was first published in 1952, the DSM has been the has been the diagnostic bible for many psychiatrists. Each time the manual is updated, new conditions are introduced, often amid much controversy…
DSM-5 has been described as the bible of psychiatry but the assumption that professionals use it for their own gain is far fetched. PA

DSM-5 tells us more about psychiatry than psychiatrists

DSM-5, the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, was published in the US at the weekend. Given that not even its most passionate supporters would…
Psychiatric diagnosis relies on identifying a patient’s signs and symptoms rather than clinical tests. PA/Ben Birchall

Explainer: what is the DSM?

Traditional psychiatry uses the approaches of medicine to try to understand mental health problems and guide treatment. This means relying on diagnosis – identifying what are believed to be mental illnesses…
Medication misuse is out of control in the US and more psychiatric labelling in DSM-5 will not help. Whale05/Flikr

Under new psychiatric guidebook we might all be labelled mad

“We are all mad here” explains the Cat to Alice when she wonders about the strangeness of Wonderland. Well, life is starting to follow art. If people make the mistake of following DSM-5, the new diagnostic…
Negative premenstrual moods are neither widespread, nor inevitable. Petras Gagilas

The myth of premenstrual moodiness

From the time of Plato and Hippocrates, women’s emotions have been attributed to the menstrual cycle. The Greeks believed the womb travelled around the body, causing all manner of ailments – sex and pregnancy…
Many of us feel that our internet use verges on problematic but this is different to addiction. justingaynor

Internet use and the DSM-5’s revival of addiction

MATTERS OF THE MIND – a series which examines the clinician’s bible for diagnosing mental disorders, the DSM, and the controversy surrounding the forthcoming fifth edition. The term “addiction” is conspicuously…
It’s normal to have recurring waves of grief after the loss of a loved one but prolonged, severe grief requires treatment. white ribbons

Why prolonged grief should be listed as a mental disorder

MATTERS OF THE MIND – a series which examines the clinician’s bible for diagnosing mental disorders, the DSM, and the controversy surrounding the forthcoming fifth edition. Grief is one of the most universal…
As an adolescent and child psychiatrist, I dispense all sorts of labels – but what do they mean? emildom

Psychiatric labels and kids: benefits, side-effects and confusion

MATTERS OF THE MIND – a series which examines the clinician’s bible for diagnosing mental disorders, the DSM, and the controversy surrounding the forthcoming fifth edition. As a child and adolescent psychiatrist…
Overall, there will be fewer symptoms and disorders listed in the new psychiatry manual. Axel Buhrmann

Redefining autism in the DSM-5

MATTERS OF THE MIND – a series which examines the clinician’s bible for diagnosing mental disorders, the DSM, and the controversy surrounding the forthcoming fifth edition. For autistic people and their…

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