The DSM–V development process started with a grand ambition to provide a ‘paradigm shift’ in psychiatric diagnosis, based initially on the identification of biological markers. This is clearly unattainable, and so energy has now been diverted into developing other major changes, including the development of dimensional ratings and the formal diagnosis of prodromal and subthreshold disorders. It is argued that this process could lead to false positive ‘epidemics’ with harmful excessive treatments. The better, more modest, alternative is to reassess the text descriptions of the disorders and join with ICD–11 in creating a single nested system for both DSM–V and ICD–11.
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