A draft of the next edition of the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual (DSM-V) has been posted to their website and open for comments by users. The website breaks out the changes being considered in categories so it is easy to find your area of interest. The final edition isn’t expected until 2013.
Diagnostic changes can be a help and a problem at the same time. When DSM IV removed Multiple Personality Disorder in favor of multiple diagnoses for clarifying dissociative symptoms, that helped clinicians be more descriptive of their client’s struggles. In this new proposal, they plan on eliminating Asperger’s Disorder and subsuming a number of diagnoses (Retts, PDD, etc.) into one diagnosis: Autistic Disorder. I would think this would not be helpful as it reduces specificity.
How about this new entry: Temper Dysregulation Disorder with Dysphoria? A new diagnosis for children? I think it may help in that it might hinder the ever popular “bi-polar” label given too quickly to children (and accompanied with serious meds). On the other hand, it probably will make quite a few roll their eyes. The label doesn’t have that ringing medical sound to it. Not that I’m disparaging the symptoms it tends to cover. There are children who mood is so easily dysregulated, whose reaction to frustrations are way over the top. These children tend to be impulsive to boot. Something isn’t right, but what best identifies their struggles; the etiology of their problems?