“Since the publication of DSM-IV in 1994, the rates of 3 mental disorders have skyrocketed: Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) tripled, autism increased by 20-fold, and childhood Bipolar disorder by 40-fold.”
Boston.com, By Claudia M. Gold
June 12, 2013
Allen Frances, professor of child psychiatry at Duke University and chair of the DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) task force hit the nail on the head in a recent commentary “Why So Many Epidemics of Childhood Mental Disorders?” in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. Because he makes his argument so clearly and persuasively (and the full article is only available to those who subscribe to the journal) I will quote it at length.
Since the publication of DSM-IV in 1994, the rates of 3 mental disorders have skyrocketed: attention deficit disorder (ADD) tripled, autism increased by 20-fold, and childhood bipolar disorder by 40-fold. It is no accident that diagnostic inflation has focused on the mental disorders of children and teenagers. These are inherently difficult to diagnose accurately because youngsters have a short track record; are in developmental flux that makes presentations transient and unstable; are sensitive to family, peer, and school stresses; and may be using drugs. If ever diagnosis should be conservative, it should be in kids. Instead, we have experienced an unprecedented diagnostic exuberance encouraged in part by DSM-IV, but mostly stimulated by the powerful external forces of drug company marketing and the close coupling of school services to a diagnosis of mental disorder.
Read the rest of the article here http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/health/childinmind/2013/06/too_many_psychiatric_diagnoses.html