The newest version of the mental illness bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual on Mental Illnesses will probably be released in 2013. This is a critical document both for the VA and Social Security Administration since they both rely on this manual that outlines the diagnostic criteria used to classify and award benefits for the most common mental illnesses. It should be expected that any amendments or changes used to classify the most common illnesses would cause amendment to various regulations controlling listings or ratings for mood or affective disorders that are most frequently seen for disability. The document is drafted by the American Psychiatric Association and for the first time includes gambling and eating disorders, but not sex and gambling addiction disorders. The last time the manual was revised was 1994. The manual is actually out for public comment until April. Also its expected that the manual will consolidate various disorders such as for autism that will be combined with Asberger’s Syndrome–typically considered to be a more mild form of Autism. A category of autism spectrum will be combine these impairments into one category. This is likely to be a source of contention. Given the nature of mental illness its likely that any revisions will always be met with resistance since its very difficult to objectively identify the existence or the severity of any given mental illness.
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