As the DSM-V looms closer to becoming a reality, I can’t help but think of words from the man who chaired the committee for the DSM-IV. Allen Frances, M.D., wrote in the in the LA Times:
As chairman of the task force that created the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), which came out in 1994, I learned from painful experience how small changes in the definition of mental disorders can create huge, unintended consequences.
Our panel tried hard to be conservative and careful but inadvertently contributed to three false ‘epidemics’ – attention deficit disorder, autism and childhood bipolar disorder. Clearly, our net was cast too wide and captured many ‘patients’ who might have been far better off never entering the mental health system.