The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of
Mental Disorders, published and periodically updated by the American
Psychiatric Association, is one of those documents few laypeople ever read, but
many of us are affected by.
When you have an elderly loved
one, it’s wise to keep abreast on the ever-evolving medical world and all the
new findings for mental health as a person ages. One committee with which you
should become most familiar is the American Psychiatric Association and their
upcoming best-seller, the DSM5. The book may usher in new ways of approaching
elders and depression, and some are apprehensive about the book’s impact.
The concern over the DSM5 has
come to a slow boil. The conversation about DSM5 has begun seeping out from the
academic literature and into the public square with articles like a recent
piece in The New York Times titled “Time to Recognize Mild Cognitive Disorder?”
The DSM5 will be the sequel to
the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder IV (DSM-IV), the
utterly necessary reference book and dust-gatherer of psychologists, doctors,
insurance companies, bureaucrats, and lawyers alike. DSM-IV chronicles known
and diagnosable psychological disorders.
For seniors, the new disorder
making the rounds is “mild cognitive disorder.” This diagnosis is an attempt to
bring to psychiatry the same awareness to levels of cognitive senility that
medical doctors know all too well and yet still understand too little. If the
DSM5 is published as is, and becomes the go-to reference, then we’re likely to
see many more elderly diagnosed into categories that have only just now been
It’s useful to understand the
basis for any diagnosis made by doctors when it comes to our elderly loved ones
or even ourselves as we age. Don’t forget – proper planning now can give you peace of mind for any
future diagnosis concerning your healthcare needs.
Reference: The New York
Times – The New Old Age Blog (January 25, 2013) “Time to Recognize Mild Cognitive Disorder?”