DSM-V Prelude Project

DSM-5__DSM-IV-TR-300x225 DSM-V Prelude Project


“The DSM has seen criticisms through the years. A Columbia University team headed by Robert Spitzer, an editor of the DSM, acknowledges a concern about the DSM in their annual report of 2001, “Problems with the current DSM-IV categorical (present vs. absent) approach to the classification of personality disorders have long been recognized by clinicians and researchers.” Among the problems, they list “arbitrary distinction between normal personality, personality traits and personality disorder” and point out the fact that the most commonly diagnosed personality disorder is 301.9, Personality Disorder not Otherwise Specified. [5]

There have also been questions of potential bias of DSM authors who define psychiatric disorders. According to The Washington Post, an analysis published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics[6] pointed out that “every psychiatric expert involved in writing the standard diagnostic criteria for disorders such as depression and schizophrenia has had financial ties to drug companies that sell medications for those illnesses.”[7] However, an important limitation of this study was that the analysis did not reveal the extent of their relationships with industry or whether those ties preceded or followed their work on the manual.

In the United States, health insurance typically will not pay for psychological or psychiatric services unless a DSM-IV mental disease diagnosis accompanies the insurance claim. The website of the DSM-V Prelude Project[8] covers shortcomings of the DSM-IV that may be subject for improvements for the DSM-V.”




“Welcome to the DSM-V Prelude Project. Although the DSM-V revision process will not formally begin until 2006 or 2007 (see timeline), the American Psychiatric Association has created this web site in order to keep the public and professionals informed about the plans for DSM-V as well as the ongoing effort to enrich the research base in advance of starting formal work on DSM-V. In addition, this web site provides an opportunity for you to alert us to problems in the DSM-IV that you may have encountered and to provide your suggestions for DSM-V.”

Oh  boy, do I ever have suggestions?


  1. I think, like a lot of things, it’s too black and white to think of sionthmeg as normal’ or not normal’, that these things are on a scale. Like a lot of mood disorders’, some will feel anxious or depressed to various degrees, some of us binge to various degrees and it’s how it impacts on our lives and our functioning. Like you Audrey, the awareness that we develop about our own coping strategies enables us to see it more clearly in others too, and I would say that there is a huge chunk of the population that use food to comfort or soothe. I guess when it becomes a disorder’ will vary from person to person too. I think that if it enables people to obtain help and support when they need it, it can only be a good thing. Likewise, if it raises awareness within the medical profession, I remember being told by my GP that it was OK to binge, just binge on low fat yoghurts and fruit! Oh, problem solved!


  1. […] Michael First, a Columbia University psychiatrist who headed up the DSM-5’s Prelude Project to solicit feedback before the revision, believes that implementing dimensional assessment right […]

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