- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 15, 2013

An estimated 3,000 doctors have signed a petition of protest against the psychiatric industry’s latest bible for diagnosis and treatment, the DSM-5, charging its contents could lead patients to be prescribed unnecessary medications.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is set for its first update in 19 years. Its findings will be presented in San Francisco on Saturday, Bloomberg reported. The manual is hailed as the “psychiatric bible” for professionals and guides how they diagnose and treat patients; it also influences how they’re reimbursed by insurers for mental disorders, Bloomberg said.

But doctors aren’t happy with the updates — and 3,000 have signed a petition in protest.

The petition states, in part: “We, the undersigned, are concerned that the [DSM-5] includes many diagnostic categories with questionable reliability … [and] did not receive a much-needed and widely requested external scientific review [and] may compromise patient safety through the implementation of lowered diagnostic thresholds.”

Petitioners warn that the new manual “may result in the mislabeling of mental illness in people who would fare better without a psychiatric diagnosis, [and] may result in unnecessary and potentially harmful treatment with psychiatric medication.”

Bloomberg reported that the aim of the fifth edition of the DSM was to include the latest research in several conditions, such Asperger’s syndrome, which now is grouped under the autism category.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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