ADAA's Position on Proposed Changes to DSM-5

Read the ADAA letter below to the DSM-5 Committee, and make your comments known.

ADAA questions the recommendations that posttraumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder be reclassified outside of anxiety disorders and that agoraphobia be separated from panic. Read more below.

June 10, 2011

DSM-5 Committee
American Psychiatric Association
1000 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1825
Arlington, VA 22209-3901

Dear DSM-5 Committee:
 
I am writing on behalf of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America to thank you for providing the opportunity for broad community input. We applaud the time and effort of the many scientists and clinicians involved in drafting the DSM-5 criteria.
 
ADAA’s members include psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, counselors, and others who conduct basic and clinical research and treat individuals with anxiety and related disorders.

Our journal, Depression and Anxiety, has published many papers from the workgroups. We appreciate the chance to promote the science surrounding the discussions to develop criteria for DSM-5. In addition to promoting the open comment period to our members, we have highlighted this to our consumer supporters, urging their comments as well.
 
It is difficult to find consensus among such a diverse membership. Our members are committed to the evolution of criteria that are scientifically supported, improve diagnosis and treatment, and advance neurobiological understanding. In reviewing the proposed criteria and structure, we would appreciate understanding the rationale of the DSM-5 committee for making recommendations that are not supported by the workgroups or the current scientific base (i.e. the recommendations that posttraumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder be reclassified outside of anxiety disorders and that agoraphobia be separated from panic). Very specifically, we recommend that posttraumatic stress disorder remain within the anxiety disorders and that there be a re-review of the data addressing these other decisions.

We recognize that this is an enormous undertaking. We look to the new criteria in helping improve diagnosis and treatment of patients with anxiety and related disorders.
 
Sincerely,

Alies Muskin
Executive Director
Anxiety Disorders Association of America