News FocusPsychiatry

Anything But Child's Play

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Science  05 Mar 2010:
Vol. 327, Issue 5970, pp. 1192-1193
DOI: 10.1126/science.327.5970.1192

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The clinicians and researchers working on revisions to psychiatrists' bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), have been wrestling with how to improve the diagnosis of mental disorders in children and adolescents. It's not clear how their suggestions, released last month, would affect the prevalence of mental disorders if adopted, but they are already altering the discussion. The most substantial proposals include a reclassification of autism spectrum disorders, a new diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder tailored to preschool children, and a brand-new diagnosis called temper dysregulation disorder with dysphoria that members of the DSM work group hope will stem what they see as a false epidemic of juvenile bipolar disorder. Reaction to the proposed changes for the fifth edition of DSM, slated for publication in 2013, is decidedly mixed.