Mind Games

 

My coverage of the furore over the revision of the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders, run as a Herald series called ‘Mind Games’.

A NEW CHAPTER FOR PSYCHIATRISTS’ BIBLE

Madness is being redesigned. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) will be updated this year, meaning what counts as a psychiatric disorder will change. The redesign is a high-stakes process: the last man to attempt it, Allen Frances, says “modest, conservative and non-ambitious” changes caused three epidemics of new mental illnesses.

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LOSING SLEEP OVER A DIAGNOSIS

Experts warn children could be the victims of a new psychiatric epidemic if some DSM proposals, which include creating new disorders, go ahead.

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SEX CRIMES MAY BECOME DISORDERS IN REVAMP

Rapists could be redefined as having mental disorders under proposed changes to the way psychiatric conditions are diagnosed that critics say blur the lines between bad behaviour and mental illness.

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ABOUT-TURN ON TREATMENT OF THE YOUNG

Concerns about the overmedication of young people and rigid models of diagnosis have led the architect of early intervention in Australian psychiatry, Patrick McGorry, to abandon the idea pre-psychosis should be listed as a new psychiatric disorder.

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ONE IN TEN TO HAVE ALCOHOL DISORDER

The number of Australians who will fit the criteria for problematic alcohol use will rise by about 60 per cent – or half a million people – under new criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

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