The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual is the primary reference catalog for mental health illnesses. But whereas a medical textbook will show you the picture of a broken bone or a tumor, leaf through the DSM and you will find just one thing: lists of symptoms. Who creates these lists, and based on what criteria? Do such lists really capture the nature of a mental illness? What does it mean to be a disease of the mind versus a disease of the body? Does our classification system construct mental illness, or does it reveal underlying facts from genetics or neuroscience?

Controversy and the DSM V

Sep 4, 2013

Producer: Lisa Denenmark

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has long been a Bible for mental health treatment.

Some clinicians say call the latest edition of the DSM a deeply flawed manual, but with a necessary common language for researchers and mental health professionals.

Some are outright rejecting it, saying that the new edition -- the DSM V -- is just a tool for the psychiatric drug industry to create more patients and prescribe more drugs.

Is it time for the DSM to go?