“The research carried out through the years was judged to strongly justify this change, and the hope is that women with this condition can more easily receive treatment and, potentially, insurance coverage for that treatment,” Oldham said.
Binge-eating disorder was also moved from the appendix to Section 2, and it is thought to affect both men and women about equally.
One of the more controversial new diagnoses is disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD). Oldham said that there has been an increase in children diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which is generally treated with medication. However this new disorder appears to potentially be a better diagnosis for children instead of bipolar disorder.
Shryer believes the new DMDD could lead to pathologizing of normal behavior, including temper tantrums caused by poor parenting.
Another change in the DSM is the removal of the bereavement exclusion in the diagnosis of major depressive disorder (MDD). He said this revision will allow people to get help if a major depressive episode is triggered by the loss of a loved one.
“This in no way means that people experiencing normal bereavement would be inappropriately diagnosed, since they would not meet the criteria for a depressive illness,” Oldham said.
He added that he doesn’t believe the changes in the DSM will affect health insurance coverage greatly, but it’s hard to predict what will happen. He said some coded diagnoses will change and new ones will be added, but the new DSM has fewer overall diagnoses than the previous edition.
Rachel Thomasian, a licensed marriage and family therapist, said she has noticed many of her clients suffer from skin-picking issues, and that new diagnosis could allow for better treatment and coverage.
“I believe because it is not a current diagnosis, it often gets pushed aside and the more prominent (existing) diagnosis is focused on,” Thomasian said. “I think there is also a lot of shaming because these individuals have never heard of this being a problem, so it takes them a while to come forward with it.”
American Psychiatric Association.