Psychologist publishes major new paper examining methods of classifying mental disorder
Mental illnesses, such as major depression, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, affect nearly 1 in 5 adults in the United States, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Many aspects of these illnesses remain something of a mystery, despite the progress made in understanding them by researchers studying these disorders in the last half century.
Lee Anna Clark, the William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Professor of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame, along with a small team of other experts, wants researchers and clinicians to revisit how these illnesses are approached. “The phenomenon of mental illness or psychopathology is much more complex, much more multi-determined, much less categorical than any of us ever thought going into it and than the public realizes,” Clark said.
Researchers propose new diagnostic model for psychiatric disorders
Published: September 11, 2017
A consortium of 50 psychologists and psychiatrists from around the world has outlined a new diagnostic model for mental illness, in what researchers hope will be a paradigm shift in how these illnesses are classified and diagnosed.
Lee Anna Clark, William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Professor and Chair of Psychology, and David Watson, Andrew J. McKenna Family Professor of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame, who both are members of the consortium, say that the current model of diagnosis and classification — the DSM-5 — is fundamentally flawed.
“The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) — which is overseen and published by the American Psychiatric Association — currently is the dominant diagnostic model in North America; it also is highly influential around the world,” Watson said. Although he and Clark were involved in the revisions for the DSM’s fifth edition, he said, “Quite frankly, we were not satisfied with the revisions that were made. We felt that DSM-5 was far too conservative and failed to recognize and incorporate important scientific evidence regarding the nature of psychopathology.”