The NIMH Withdraws Support for DSM-5 by Christopher Lane, Ph.D.

“Hey, I have been labeled with disorders by the so called “professionals” since my early 20’s.

The International Institute of Mental Health has withdrawn support for DSM-5. The manual that has been used since the 1980s (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders Fifth Edition) for labeling people with mental problems. If you are a parent and your child has ever been labeled it is important for you to know this information.” – GC

The NIMH Withdraws Support for DSM-5 by Christopher Lane, Ph.D.

Just two weeks before DSM-5 is due to appear, the National Institute of Mental Health, the world’s largest funding agency for research into mental health, has indicated that it is withdrawing support for the manual.

In a humiliating blow to the American Psychiatric Association, Thomas R. Insel, M.D., Director of the NIMH, made clear the agency would no longer fund research projects that rely exclusively on DSM criteria. Henceforth, the NIMH, which had thrown its weight and funding behind earlier editions of the manual, would be “re-orienting its research away from DSM categories.” “The weakness” of the manual, he explained in a sharply worded statement (link is external), “is its lack of validity.” “Unlike our definitions of ischemic heart disease, lymphoma, or AIDS, the DSM diagnoses are based on a consensus about clusters of clinical symptoms, not any objective laboratory measure.”

That consensus is now clearly missing. Whether it ever really existed remains in doubt. As one consultant for DSM-III conceded to the New Yorker magazine about the amount of horsetrading that drove that supposedly “evidenced-based” edition from 1980: “There was very little systematic research, and much of the research that existed was really a hodgepodge—scattered, inconsistent, ambiguous (link is external).”

According to Insel, too much of that problem remains. As he cautioned (link is external) of a manual whose precision and reliability has been overstated for decades, “While DSM has been described as a ‘Bible’ for the field, it is, at best, a dictionary, creating a set of labels and defining each.” And not even a particularly good dictionary, apparently. Of the decision to steer research in mental health away from the manual and its parameters, Insel states: “Patients with mental disorders deserve better (link is external).”

Read the full article at: Psychology Today

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