The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is due out in 2013. Psychiatrists use the manual to diagnose mental illness. Among the changes in this edition will be the exclusion of five of the 10 personality disorders listed in the current edition. One of those five is narcissistic personality disorder. According to The New York Times, “The central requirement for N.P.D. is a special kind of self-absorption: a grandiose sense of self, a serious miscalculation of one’s abilities and potential that is often accompanied by fantasies of greatness.”

Many psychiatrists aren’t happy about the change. Dr. John Gunderson of Harvard calls the removal “unenlightened” and says, “They have little appreciation for the damage they could be doing.” But for some N.P.D. sufferers, the change brings hope. In two short years, for example, one particular occupant of a majestic white house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will likely be seeking new employment and new living quarters. Better, then, that he’s free to do so without the stigma of this dreadful disorder.


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4 Responses to “The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders”

  1. Alfie Says:

    From the NYT link:

    And clinicians like types. The idea of replacing the prototypic diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder with a dimensional diagnosis like “personality disorder with narcissistic and manipulative traits” just doesn’t cut it.

    I find something to be very concerned about in that. Much like the obscene explosion of the juvenile ADHD constellation of Dx’s which almost inevitably leads to labelling and Rx windfalls and we’ve all seen how that has effected us.
    I was amazed during a three psych rotation back in EMT-P days how easily you can pigeon hole people into the pages of the DSM IV. I think the changes in #5 will promote “new” finds that will ultimately not prove beneficial to the patients.


  2. Patrick Sperry Says:

    I have to agree Alfie, and let’s not forget about all that court ordered counseling for “problems” with no “cure” that result in a life long income for therapists.


  3. mainenowandthen Says:

    I am willing to bet that BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) and its current cousin, PDS (Palin, of course) will not be found in the fifth edition, either.


  4. Patrick Sperry Says:

    LOL! No kidding Maine!


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