It’s not like Insel is generally an enlightened sort, but this remains fascinating! (updated thoughts below…it’s not as good as it seems, though tossing the DSM is still rocking the boat)
In a potentially seismic move, the National Institute of Mental Health – the world’s biggest mental health research funder, has announced only two weeks before the launch of the DSM-5 diagnostic manual that it will be “re-orienting its research away from DSM categories”.
In the announcement, NIMH Director Thomas Insel says the DSM lacks validity and that “patients with mental disorders deserve better”.
This is something that will make very uncomfortable reading for the American Psychiatric Association as they trumpet what they claim is the ‘future of psychiatric diagnosis’ only two weeks before it hits the shelves. (READ THE REST)
UPDATE: I read the NIMH announcement. (when I first posted this I had just woken up) As I said above, Insel is hardly an enlightened sort. This probably isn’t as positive as it sounds. Although acknowledging the limitations of DSM is good, what will eventually replace it is likely to be even more reductive, i.e. the criteria for diagnosis will likely become all biological based on genetics, scans and other kinds of testing without reference to anything involved outside the patient’s body.
That’s not to diminish the value of discarding conceptual categories. It’s not that long ago that mental illness was mostly classified as hysteria. In any case this is a shake-up and anything that undermines the credibility of the DSM at this juncture is a good thing.
Still the bottom line is that there is no understanding, still, of our deeply holistic natures and how EVERYTHING matters in our lives. Not just the biological.