16 June 2011
Action for M.E. responded yesterday to proposals to include a new psychiatric category, Complex Somatic Symptom Disorder (CSSD), in the American Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
The charity believes people with M.E. could be misdiagnosed as having a psychiatric condition when assessed against the proposed criteria.
As previously reported, the CFIDS Association of America has also opposed the change. A number of American and UK groups have now followed suit.
The Manual itself is produced by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). It contains listings, definitions, and explanations of different psychiatric and psychological disorders.
Version four of the manual (DSM-4) is under revision and version five (DSM-5) is due to be published May 2013.
Responding to an earlier draft in 2010 Action for M.E. said:
1. We were gravely concerned and alarmed to hear of the possibility of CFS/M.E. being classified as a psychiatric disorder, based on comments made in the APA Work Group on somatoform disorders.
2. CFS/M.E. is a long-term and disabling Illness which is classified by the World Health Organisation in ICD 10 G93.3 as a neurological disorder. There is a large and growing body of evidence from scientific research and from clinicians which supports the view that the illness is physical in origin.
3. We oppose any attempt to classify CFS/M.E. as a psychiatric disorder either explicitly or implicitly.
Action for M.E. has now reiterated these points, adding: “Our concern increased considerably on reading the latest draft (18 April 2011) of DSM-5 which could have a profound and detrimental impact on people with M.E. who could so easily be misdiagnosed as having a psychiatric condition when assessed against the proposed criteria.”