“While DSM has been described as a “Bible” for the field, it is, at best, a dictionary, creating a set of labels and defining each. The strength of each of the editions of DSM has been “reliability” – each edition has ensured that clinicians use the same terms in the same ways. The weakness is its lack of validity. Unlike our definitions of ischemic heart disease, lymphoma, or AIDS, the DSM diagnoses are based on a consensus about clusters of clinical symptoms, not any objective laboratory measure. In the rest of medicine, this would be equivalent to creating diagnostic systems based on the nature of chest pain or the quality of fever. Indeed, symptom-based diagnosis, once common in other areas of medicine, has been largely replaced in the past half century as we have understood that symptoms alone rarely indicate the best choice of treatment.”

Read the full article by NIMH Director Thomas Insel here

There has been widespread opposition to the DSM-5, as noted in this article in Psychology Today.  “Strikingly, there seems to be virtually no support for DSM 5 outside the very narrow circle of the several hundred experts who have created it and the leadership of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) which stands to reap large profits from its publication.”