Statement of Concern About the Reliability, Validity and Safety of DSM-5

We, the undersigned, are concerned that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5):

Includes many diagnostic categories with questionable reliability, which may lead to misleading assumptions about their scientific validity;Did not receive a much-needed and widely requested external scientific review;May compromise patient safety through the implementation of lowered diagnostic thresholds and the introduction of new diagnostic categories that do not have sufficient empirical backing;Is the result of a process that gives the impression of putting institutional needs ahead of public welfare.

… and, because of the above, we are concerned that DSM-5:

May result in the mislabeling of mental illness in people who would fare better without a psychiatric diagnosis;May result in unnecessary and potentially harmful treatment with psychiatric medication;May divert precious mental health resources away from those who most need them.

What, then, do we recommend?

These concerns shouldbe resolved through concerted, interprofessional, international dialogue and scientific research.

See full Statement of Concern at


Society for Humanistic Psychology, Division 32 of the American Psychological Association


International DSM-5 Response Committee, Division 32 of APA--Society for Humanistic Psychology

Division 32 of APA--Society for Humanistic Psychology


  • Jule Agree, expedited diagnosis is not the answer

  • Tina Hahn Overselling dangerous drugs to children is making my job of reducing childhood obesity impossible and these drugs are dangerous in children and are overused in poor children and those in foster care. Especially those in foster care would be better served with developmental trauma disorder their real diagnosis

  • Esther Herman I am especially concerned about the lack of Aspergers Disorder criteria as a specific diagnosis. I saw a number of children and undiagnosed adults that fit those criteria. I can imagine clinicians spending much time writing justifications of diagnoses just so their services and clinical impressions won't be denied by insurance companies. As one Newsweek Magazine once phrased treatment for Aspergers "Therapy, therapy, therapy, indicating the need for ongoing long term therapeutic work which may not be essential for persons further down.on the Spectrum. Go try to explain that difference to an insurance company!

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    Keith Edwards

    2 weeks ago Institutional affiliation (e.g, University, Hospital, etc.): Open University
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    Rachel Crawford

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    Richard Lapinsky MD, FACC

    1 month ago Institutional affiliation (e.g, University, Hospital, etc.): SUNY Downstate Medical Center
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