American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting
American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting
Perspective from Darrel A. Regier, MD, MPH
May 16, 2012
2 min read

Countdown to DSM-5

Perspective from Darrel A. Regier, MD, MPH
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PHILADELPHIA —Researchers assigned to reviewing proposed changes to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders met at the 2012 American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting to discuss details of the revised diagnostic criteria.

Thirteen diagnostic work groups tested planned revisions in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Many of these work groups, according to the APA, cross-collaborated in drafting the proposed criteria. The work groups were assigned to the following classifications:

  • ADHD and disruptive behavior disorders.
  • Anxiety, obsessive-compulsive spectrum, posttraumatic and dissociative disorders.
  • Childhood and adolescent disorders.
  • Eating disorders.
  • Mood disorders.
  • Neurocognitive disorders.
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders.
  • Personality and personality disorders.
  • Psychotic disorders.
  • Sexual and gender identity disorders.
  • Sleep-wake disorders.
  • Somatic symptoms disorders.
  • Substance-related disorders.

Researchers from these work groups, as well as members of the task force itself, offered a number of examples of changes that will be reflected in the DSM-5:

  • The inclusion of dimensional assessments.
  • Replacing substance abuse and dependence with “substance abuse disorder.”
  • Creating two separate classifications for sexual disorders and gender identification.
  • Updating sleep disorders.
  • Elevating binge eating from “not otherwise specified” to a legitimate disorder.
  • Categorizing “substance use disorder” as a unidimensional condition — combining the previous separate substance abuse and substance dependence disorders — and reclassifying “pathological gambling” as “gambling disorder” under the Substance Use Disorder and Other Addictive Disorders chapter.
  • Providing a dimensional measure of severity for each of the criteria domains of autism spectrum disorder.

Darrel A. Regier, MD, MPH, vice chair of the DSM-5 task force, said it was the goal of the work groups to offer the most inclusive and open review process.

All of the diagnoses in the manual have been thoroughly reviewed first by a series of conferences between 2000 and 2008 and since then by thirteen diagnostic area work groups that are composed of a multidisciplinary international group of expert clinicians and research investigators,” Regier told“Their proposals have been put up on our website on three separate occasions for review and comment by clinicians, research teams, advocacy groups and the general public.  This has been very helpful to get the widest possible review of the impact of proposed changes on all of these groups.”

The DSM-5 will be published in May 2013. Draft criteria are open for public comment until June 15.

To review all of the proposed changes to the DSM, visit To view the individual work groups, visit

Disclosure: Dr. Regier reports no relevant financial disclosures.