DSM V Is Out!!!! — ADD Tip o the Day 402

The new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual is just published.  Yawn.  The effect on the diagnosis of ADD or ADHD is minimal, mainly a change from the symptoms had to be present from before 7 years old to some of them had to be present before 12.  This catches people like me, who had some mild symptoms early which grew worse later, but I didn’t really hit the wall till college – school was easy up till then tho I certainly had behavioral problems from 4th grade on.

The whole DSM V seems to me, so far, to be a waste of time and effort, straining to produce an elephant and coming out with a gnat (is that the right metaphor?).  And the heated controversy over nit picking details also seems a little silly; does anyone other than researchers actually use the thing?

The DSM V, and the controversy around it, seems to me to illustrate again, that tho we have gained a lot of knowledge about mental illnesses, what we don’t know far outweighs what we do know.  For example, the part on depression is pretty good, but the schizophrenia part is silly – clearly schizophrenia is several different illnesses, but that is not addressed in DSM V nor in most research, which is therefore also mostly a waste of effort.  We still mostly are describing clusters of symptoms rather than truly being able to diagnose true specific illnesses.

Still this is better than nothing and we are becoming more able to help more people in spite of these limitations.



add,adhd,adult add, adult adhd,attention,deficit,dsm

About doug with ADHD

I am a psychiatric physician. I learned I have ADHD at age 64, and then wrote two ADHD books for adults, focusing on strategies for making your life better. I just published my first novel, Alma Means Soul. Your Life Can Be Better; strategies for adults with ADD/ADHD available at amazon.com, or smashwords.com (for e books) Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD: 365 Tips O the Day ( e-book). This is one tip at a time, one page at a time, at your own pace. It's meant to last a year. As a child, I was a bully. Then there was a transformation. Now I am committed to helping people instead abusing them. The Bully was published in January, 2016. It's in print or e book, on Amazon.
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2 Responses to DSM V Is Out!!!! — ADD Tip o the Day 402

  1. Anthony Laws says:

    Interesting view…. but not helpful.
    Any one who has a critical view of the DSM-V and doesn’t leave his full name and qualifications, begs a question, as to what is he trying to prove.
    The DSM-V and its pervious editions have been a very useful resource to help develope a better understanding to mental health conditions and disorders. As our knowledge of these listed conditions, disorders, and diagnosis develope, the ability to better communicate with our colleagues and other health care professionals. This does include ADHD. The previous names of this condition was the “hyperactive child syndrome” and ” miniimal brain dysfuction”, which clearly is a misnomer. It’s only been in the last 10 – 12 years that many physicians said one will out grow ADD/ADHD.
    Our knowledge of this condition, (ADHD/ADD). and its sub types have benefited many children and adult persons /patients. The DSM, in part, has been a part of this improved understanding. The DSM helps me to do my job better, not only for ADHD, but for many other Mental Health condtions.
    Anthony R. Laws, M.D., Medical Director
    ADHD/ADD Assessment & Research Center
    Hamilton, Ontario, Canada


    • dr law,
      thank you for your helpful comment. my full name is douglas a puryear, md, and among my qualifications are many years of the practice of psychiatry.
      i must agree that the dsm has been useful in pulling things together and organizing. but not too useful beyond that. i think my comments were really coming more from thinking that dsm v is not much change or progress from IV and that i still try to diagnose my patients clinically rather than by reading criteria and i don’t forsee that dsmv is going to help me help patients.
      the name changes you mentioned were nice, but what real difference did name changes make? I certainly agree that increased knowledge has been helpful, but i dont see how that connects with dsm. ok, tho i do see that it is helpful in research.
      oh, i wasnt trying to prove anything, just offering my viewpoint. i can understand that yours might be different, tho i have to agree with some of it. i think i am thinking clinically and you more from research.
      thank you for commenting, you have made me think more about it.


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