The flat out rejection of DSM-5 by National Institute of Mental Health is a sad moment for mental health--and an unsafe one for our patients. The APA and NIMH are both letting us down, failing to be safe custodians for the mental health needs of our country.
As most mental health professionals know by now, psychiatry's D-Day is rapidly approaching. DSM-5 addresses diagnostic categories, but there has never been an official treatment manual to complement the diagnostic one.
The intense level of international interest in DSM-5 is a great surprise. Although DSM has become a research standard around the world, it is rarely used by clinicians outside the US and therefore poses a much lesser threat to their patients. So why all the prominent media coverage in countries outside of the US?
The liveliest debate in psychiatry today is where to draw the line between mental disorder and mental health. So much rides on the decision—who gets treated and how, who pays for it, whether a criminal is deemed mad or bad, whether someone gets damages in tort cases, who qualifies for disability payments and eligibility for extra school services, whether someone can adopt a child—and there's a whole lot more.