For his part, Frances ascribes nothing but good intentions to those who worked on the new DSM, but is concerned that their efforts will lead to bad outcomes.
"The people who are suggesting these changes are experts in their field who are pure of heart, but they have made terrible decisions because they don't understand that new diagnoses that may work well for them can be an absolute disaster in everyday care, especially when drug companies get their hands on them," he said.
Frances has written a new book, Saving Normal, in which he argues that mental illness is over-diagnosed in America. He urged both parents and clinicians to be skeptical when it comes to the DSM-5 and any diagnoses that spring from it.
"My advice to physicians is to use the DSM-5 cautiously, if at all," Frances concluded in his commentary. "It is not an official manual; no one is compelled to use it unless they work in an institutional setting that requires it."
Fore more on the DSM-5, go to the American Psychiatric Association.
SOURCES: Jeffrey Lieberman, M.D., president-elect, American Psychiatric Association; Allen Frances, M.D., chairman, task force, DSM-4, professor emeritus and former chairman, department of psychiatry, Duke University, Durham, N.C.; Karen Rodman, president and founder, Families of Adults Affected With Asperger's Syndrome; May 17, 2013, Annals of Internal Medicine, online
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