Changes to the DSM-5-TR: here’s what you need to know
The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) is a handbook for clinicians and psychiatrists that assists them in diagnosing and treating mental disorders in adults and children. As well as a description and symptoms of each disorder, the DMS gives statistics (such as, who is affected by the disorder, when the onset of the disorder occurs), and typical treatments.
What does ‘DSM 5-TR’ mean?
The ‘5’ in DSM-50TR means this is the fifth edition, and ‘TR’ refers to ‘Text Revision’. With each revision of the manual, there are updates of new disorders or modifications to the criteria of any of the 70 plus disorders already listed. The latest revision has a few additions worth mentioning.
Prolonged Grief Disorder
In this latest edition, Prolonged Grief Disorder has been included after being researched for a number of years. This disorder is identified in a patient, who after a year of grieving has lapsed, is experiencing increasingly worse pain from their grief.
In the new DSM5-TR (released 2022) more changes have been made. Once again, the diagnostic criteria of Autism has been restructured. This is because within the medical world, Autism seems to be over diagnosed. Mentioning the over diagnosing issue, Dr Michael First talks about the problematic wording in the previous DSM 5. Read more here.
Suicide comes into this edition so clinicians can indicate suicidal behaviours independent of other disorders. There is also a new code to recognise suicidal behaviours and assist clinicians in diagnosing patients. This includes describing suicidal behaviour under the following categories: current suicidal behaviour, history of suicidal behaviour, current non-suicidal self injury, and history of non-suicidal self injury.
Unspecified mood disorder
Unspecified mood disorder has been added back into the DSM to allow clinicians flexibility in diagnoses and avoid labelling a patient incorrectly. For example, because clinicians are required to give some sort of a diagnosis, a patient presenting with irritability, agitation and sadness may be diagnosed as ‘bipolar unspecified ‘or ‘depressive disorder unspecified’. However, the terms ‘bipolar’ and ‘depressive’ have implications in patient medical records that last their lifetime. By using Unspecified Mood Disorder it is less stigmatising for patients, whilst still being a legitimate diagnosis until a more specific disorder is found.
All of these changes will allow more effective diagnoses and as a consequence, hopefully assist more people experiencing mental disorders.