Society statement on DSM-5

The Society has today (13 December 2011) released a statement expressing concerns regarding the proposed revisions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association, which is one the main internationally-used classification systems for diagnosis of people with mental health problems in clinical settings and for research trials.

The Society for Humanistic Psychology (Division 32) of the American Psychological Association (APA) has recently published an open letter to the DSM-5 taskforce raising a number of concerns about the draft revisions proposed for DSM-5 and citing a number of issues raised previously by the BPS.

In its statement today, the Society shares the concerns expressed in the open letter from the Society of Humanistic Psychology (Division 32) of the APA and encourages members of the Society to read the letter themselves and consider signing the petition.

David Murphy, Chair of the Society’s Professional Practice Board said:

“The Society recognises that a range of views exist amongst psychologists, and other mental health professionals, regarding the validity and usefulness of diagnostic frameworks in general and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, in particular.

"However, there is a widespread consensus amongst our members that some of the changes proposed for the new framework could lead to potentially stigmatizing medical labels being inappropriately applied to normal experiences and also to the unnecessary use of potentially harmful interventions.

“We therefore urge the DSM 5 taskforce to consider seriously all the issues that have been raised and we would echo the American Psychological Association’s call for the taskforce to adhere to an open transparent process based on the best available science and in the best interest of the public”.

You can read the Society statement in full online.

I have just glanced at DSM-5 American Web Document and have points to consider unless the proposals have gone ahead already for Great Britain.
1. There is a prolific amount of disorders. Does this mean that these exhibited behaviours are considered as a permanent health problem or just being unwell and can be treated ?
2. Is there a continuum which describes ' Normal' behaviours as well, as it seems to me that most people would perhaps experience some of these traits at least once in there life time if under stress.
3. What about people with learning difficulties, are they catered for in this proposal ?
4. Are environmental conditions taken into account in various circumstances?

Please Reply, Best Regards,

Julie Simpson MacLure MA(Honours) MEd MBPsS

We need less labels not more. I agree wholeheartedly with the Society's statement.