If any of you are currently studying Psychology at uni or maybe in your colleges, there is a lot of talk about the DSM-V coming out in May. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, the DSM is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This giant book (and its very mini version) contain all the diagnostic criteria for every mental disorder that is currently recognised by the American Psychiatric Association. If none of that made any sense, it is basically how psychologists and psychiatrists diagnose people with mental disorders.
Now that that’s sorted, this is what I learned in class today. The fifth version of the DSM is currently being edited and is set to be released sometime around May. According to my Abnormal Psych: Adult Disorders (PSY340) prof, Dr. Morgan, the DSM-V is making some real significant changes, especially pertaining to Personality Disorders – our topic of discussion today.
Currently, the DSM categorises mental disorders on different Axes and based on very specific criteria. At the moment, I am going to stress the word categories. This implies that every mental disorder can be fit into a nice, neat little box. The problem with this is that many categories contain a diagnosis of xxx-Not Otherwise Specified, or NOS. This means that the disorder doesn’t fit nicely into its designated box and thus gets thrown into this other box of Not Otherwise Specified indicating that the individual shows symptoms of the disorder but does not fit all the criteria for the specific disorder. Thus, the first lesson of the day appears: the DSM-V is likely changing many of its categories into spectrums. Cue shining brilliant light bulb with angel voices saying “ahhhhh!”
There are pros and cons to both categories and spectrums that I won’t go into because let’s face it, I’m not that intelligent. Moving swiftly on to the next lesson: substance abuse does not contain gambling addiction. This in turn means that it could not contain internet addiction. Second lesson: DSM-V will not be including internet addiction in it at all.
As a self professed internet addict, I can’t say I’m not relieved. That is a major bullet dodged. There is absolutely no fathomable way now for my parents or friends or other concerned people in my life to say I am addicted to the internet. If it’s not in the DSM, it’s not real. End of.
It has been a good day, people. I’ve learned a lot.