Petition against DSM-5 is launched in Britain

A group of British mental health professionals has issued a statement of concern about the Reliability, Validity, and Safety of DSM-5. The publication of the statement is reported in The Times this morning (subscription required).

The concerns the professionals list are that DSM-5:

  • includes many diagnostic categories with questionable reliability, which may lead to misleading assumptions about their scientific validity;
  • did not receive a much-needed and widely requested external scientific review;
  • may compromise patient safety through the implementation of lowered diagnostic thresholds and the introduction of new diagnostic categories that do not have sufficient empirical backing;
  • may result in the mislabeling of mental illness in people who would fare better without a psychiatric diagnosis;
  • may result in unnecessary and potentially harmful treatment, particularly with psychiatric medication;
  • may divert precious mental health resources away from those who most need them.

The Stop the Insanity website, which publsishes the statement, also invites readers to sign a petition. This calls on clinicians, researchers, journal editors, healthcare planners, managers and commissioners, the pharmaceutical industry and the media to avoid use of DSM-5 wherever possible until these concerns have been resolved.

In December 2011 the British Psychological Society expressed its own concerns about DSM-5.

Our Division of Educational and Child Psychology are holding a one-day event on 'The medicalisation of Childhood: Time for a Paradigm Shift' on the 28 June 2013 in Manchester. Click here for the full details and to book.