Meanwhile, the underlying structure is so shoddy and out of touch with reality that the best thing to do would be to tear the whole thing down and start over. That's the message of the British Psychological Society, the UK’s 50,000-member professional body for psychologists, responding to the latest draft of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. The APA had invited the Society to comment on the DSM-5, currently due out in 2013.
The Society critiqued a range of proposed changes in the DSM, including major changes to the personality disorders as well as (of particular relevance to forensic practitioners) the sexual paraphilias. Particular concern was expressed over a proposed "attenuated psychosis syndrome." This proposal is "very worrying" to the British psychologists, as it will "stigmatize eccentric people" and lower the threshold for prescribing potentially harmful antipsychotic medications.
More broadly, the Society commented, the DSM diagnostic system's limited focus leads practitioners to ignore the relational and environmental contexts for psychological problems:
Retreat from diagnostic labeling urged
Rather than "applying preordained diagnostic categories," the Society recommends cataloging specific symptoms or complaints, such as "hearing voices" or "feelings of anxiety."
The 26-page statement is available HERE.