The Acronym Sensitivity Syndrome


It’s been two years since Wired magazine ran an article on the DSM as a book of woe, and the anticipated controversy of it’s latest revision, the DSM-V due out in May 2013.  I’ve published before about Optometry’s relationship to childhood behavioral disorders, and the sensitivities about what is or isn’t included in this bible of mental health have been around since its first edition in 1952.  In the new DSM-V Autism will now be listed as Autism Spectrum Disorders, a more encompassing category, and related conditions such as Asperger’s Syndrome (so-called high functioning autism) and PDD-NOS (a wide net category of Pervasive Developmental Disorders – Not Otherwise Specified) will no longer be separately identified.

The controversy about the validity and utility of all-encompassing acronymic syndromes continues.  Here are a few samples:

1) Forbes Magazine

2) Mental Health Article from Serbia

3) Wall Street Journal Article

DSM GraphicThe Wall Street Journal article notes the potential inclusion of a new acronym, DMDD, or Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder.  (Some have suggested an acronym for Disruptive MD Disorder – and I use disruptive here in an innovative way.)  Is the new DSM-V going to change the way we diagnose or treat our patients?  Not very much, from what I’ve seen thus far.  But we should be aware of the controversies.

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