Sunday, January 27, 2013

Could this include certain members of Congress?

Time to Recognize Mild Cognitive Disorder? 

By PAULA SPAN, NYT

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published and periodically updated by the American Psychiatric Association, is one of those documents few laypeople ever read, but many of us are affected by.

It can make it easier or harder to get an insurance company or Medicare to cover treatments, for example. It factors into a variety of legal and governmental decisions.

And on a personal basis, a psychiatric diagnosis may be welcome (having a name and a treatment plan for what's bothering us can be comforting) or not (are we really suffering from a mental disorder if we seem depressed after a family member dies?).

That last question refers to a change in the new DSM5, to be published in May, that has generated considerable controversy and that I discussed in an earlier post: the removal of the "bereavement exclusion," once part of the diagnosis of major depressive disorder.

Another element of the revised D.S.M. could also affect readers: It will include something called mild neurocognitive disorder. The task force revising the manual wanted to align psychiatry with the rest of medicine, which has already begun to distinguish between levels of impairment, said its chairman, Dr. David J. Kupfer, a University of Pittsburgh psychiatrist.

(More here.)

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