Media debate over psychiatric diagnosis

The Society’s Division of Clinical Psychology is today issuing a statement calling for a ‘paradigm shift’ in how issues of mental health are understood to coincide with the publication of the new fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5).

The statement argues that “psychiatric diagnosis is often presented as an objective statement of fact, but is, in essence, a clinical judgment based on observation and interpretation of behaviour and self-report, and thus subject to variation and bias”.

It has already received publicity in the media, with Dr Lucy Johnstone, one of its authors, appeared on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning. There was also a major feature in Sunday's Obsererver.

You can find the submissions made on behalf of the whole Society during the consultation on DSM-5 on this website: Society statement on DSM-5 and The British Psychological Society still has concerns over DSM-5.

We shall respond to the publication of DSM-5 once we have seen the extent to which the concerns we expressed there have been met.