15 New Mental Illnesses in the DSM-5


The new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, now in its 5th edition (DSM-5), from the American Psychiatric Association has sparked controversy on many fronts and from many groups.

The book is often referred to as the "psychiatric bible" and is the guide by which most psychiatric professionals base their diagnosis and which many insurance companies use as their reference for coverage.

The new revisions of the manual, which released earlier this month, includes no less than 15 new diagnoses for mental illnesses and eliminates and combines many others from the previous, fourth edition.

15 New Mental Illnesses in the DSM-5

Binge Eating Disorder
One of the less controversial new entries, this disorder is similar to other eating disorders but is not the same as overeating or bulimia. The disorder is characterized by eating large amounts of food, usually when alone, very quickly, often to the point of creating physical pain.

Caffeine Withdrawal
Controversial, to say the least, critics often include those who have had serious addictions to illicit drugs, alcohol, or nicotine who scoff at the idea that caffeine can have much of a withdrawal effect. Nevertheless, this is one of the appendices to DSM-IV that is now official in DSM-5.

Cannabis Withdrawal
Similar to caffeine above, this one has generated much controversy. Some studies have shown that marijuana addiction, though not necessarily serious, does likely exist in some users. It can now be treated in a way similar to how withdrawal from other prescribed drugs are handled.

Central Sleep Apnea
One of the major revamps the DSM-5 makes is to separate and make more clear many sleep disorders. This new disorder is not actually new, just more precise, and is meant to match current medical knowledge of sleep disorders.

Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder
Often mistaken for ADHD, this is a disorder in children marked by impulsive, inattentive behavior. It has been removed from Reactive Attachment Disorder, as the American Psychiatry Association says it may not actually include a lack of attachments.

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
Limited to children under 18, it is meant for kids with chronic temper tantrums defined as "extreme, explosive rages."

Excoriation (Skin-picking) Disorder
Added to the list of obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCDs), this condition is characterized by the chronic picking or scratching of skin. Enough so that if it causes wounds (scabs), it is a disorder when not a symptom of another disorder.

Hoarding Disorder
The subject of much commentary and late night jokes, Hoarding Disorder is considered very real by many psychologists and is defined as "persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions due to a perceived need to save the items and distress associated with discarding them."

Major Neucognitive Disorder with Lewy Body Disease and Mild Neurocognitive Disorder
This long-named disorder is an expansion of the dementia section of the DSM. This is actually more than one diagnosis, with Major being more severe than Mild, and matches the similar diagnoses given by neurologists.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
Destined to provoke outrage from some groups and be the butt of jokes for others, this disorder has symptoms similar to but much more severe than Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS).

Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Behavior Disorder
Often called REM Behavior Disorder, this is characterized by not just sleepwalking but also acting out dreams while doing so. It was brought to the fore by comedian Mike Birbiglia in his autobiographical film Sleepwalk with Me in 2012.

Restless Leg Syndrome
Long known and recognized unofficially by psychiatrists and medical professionals, Restless Leg Syndrome is only now getting official recognition in the DSM. Also called the Willis-Ekbom Disease, it affects up to 10 percent of people in the U.S.

Sleep-related Hypoventilation
Similar to Central Sleep Apnea, this is a new designation for specific symptoms that were formerly included as part of other, larger, less precise sleep disorders.

Social (Pragmatic) Communication Withdrawal
This is a speech or written language problem that is unrelated to autism or diminished cognitive ability, with symptoms including "inappropriate responses in conversation."

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