Since the mid-1990s, the number of children diagnosed with bipolar disorder has increased a staggering 4,000 percent. But some psychiatrists have long argued the label has created a flood of misdiagnosis. An industry working group proposes what it says is a better definition of what these children, torn apart by their own anger, are going through.
The American Psychiatric Association is asking doctors to abandon the checklist system for diagnosing mental illness, saying it doesn't reflect the real world of mental health. Under the checklist approach, a patient wouldn't get a diagnosis of depression if he had fewer than five out of nine symptoms. But what if one of his symptoms was repeated suicidal thoughts?
A proposed change in the standard manual for psychiatric diagnosis would eliminate Asperger's disorder and lump patients into a broader autism category. The shift strikes at the identity of some people and could also affect access to health services.
The American Psychiatric Association is releasing a new draft of its book of mental disorders Wednesday, and one of the changes is to recognize binge eating as a disorder. Proponents say this could stimulate more research and help further develop treatments.
February 10, 2010
Audio for this story from Talk of the Nation will be available at approx. 6:00 p.m. ET
Read About The New DSM:February 10, 2010
Mental health providers and insurers all rely on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders— the DSM — to classify and diagnose mental disorders. Dr. David Kupfer, chair of the DSM task force, and NPR's Alix Spiegel and Jon Hamilton discuss what the updated DSM means for people diagnosed with mental illnesses.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
DSM-V and Mental Health on NPR
Some good segments. The Talk of the Nation segment is good, but will not be available until 6 pm tonight.