Tag Archives: DSM-5

Mediation: DSM-5 and the RDoC

Diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders in personal injury and insurance litigation can be highly controversial, and important new changes are afoot. DSM-5, the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (“DSM”) published by the American Psychiatric Association has drawn many detractors, including some prominent names in the field of psychiatry. Concurrently, a major new research initiative launched within the last few years by the National Institute of Mental Health, called the Research Domain Criteria (“RDoC”), aims to develop and validate new ways of classifying psychopathology based on neurobiological measures building on recent breakthroughs in genetics and molecular, cellular and systems neuroscience in the hopes of ultimately reaching a point where classification of mental disorders can be neuroscience-based and not wholly dependent on clinical observation. As criticism of the DSM’s methodology predictably increases, accompanied by publication of new scientific findings under the RDoC, the forensic dynamics associated with mental disorders and psychiatric evaluation and testimony may change significantly. Therefore, new developments under the RDoC will be closely monitored by legal practitioners. Sources: DSM-IV-TR; “Another go round in the saga of psychiatry’s bible,” USA Today (May 13, 2013); www.nimh.nih.gov/research-funding/rdoc/index.shtml.