Last week, the proposed new DSM-5 revision of the American Psychiatric Association’s “Bible of Psychiatry” came under yet more criticism.
Aaron T. Beck, the father of currently-mega-popular cognitive behavioural therapy, started it off with an attack on the upcoming changes to one diagnosis, Generalized Anxiety Disorder; but many of the points also apply to the other DSM-5 proposals:
The lack of specific features, which is the primary issue for GAD, will not be addressed in DSM-5. The hallmark of the condition will remain pathological worry, although it also characterizes other disorders. Likewise, the proposed behavioral diagnostic criteria lack specificity for GAD, and it is not clear how these will be assessed. The proposed changes will lower the diagnostic threshold for GAD in DSM-5… many currently subthreshold cases will qualify for this diagnosis. The likely inclusion of many such “false-positives” will result in an artificial increase in the prevalence of GAD and will have further negative consequences.