Rumor has it that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) is on the way. Apart from giving the American Psychiatric Association an enormous financial boost, this should be an opportunity to improve on some of the terrible intellectual lapses of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition-Revised (DSM-IV-R), to bring DSM and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) schemes closer together, and to expand on biological and other markers as diagnostic components in the classificatory process. It is hoped that more than the first of these possibilities will be realized.
Since the publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition, (DSM-III), the DSM manuals have brought a measure of good sense to clinical practice and have improved communication among researchers, so that at least in theory schizophrenia is similar on both sides of the Atlantic, and most probably is similar on both coasts of the United States. The slavish adherence to listed criteria has developed a sense of renewed interest in phenomenology of a practical kind, and exclusion criteria mean that not all individuals who visit a psychiatrist's office can be guaranteed a diagnosis. The distinction between Axis 1 and Axis 2 categories and the removal of any psychoanalytic taints was a stunning acceptance of Jaspers pace Freud.