It's About Childhood & Family, Inc.

A Central New York Not-for-Profit Agency Providing
Mental Health Services for Children & Families


Mental Health


Thomas Insel, M.D. - Director
National Institute of Mental Health, April 2013

  • —“[The] DSM … is, at best, a dictionary, creating a set of labels and defining each.”
  • —“ The weakness is its lack of validity.” —
  • —“DSM diagnoses are based on a consensus about clusters of clinical symptoms, not any objective laboratory measure. In the rest of medicine, this would be equivalent to creating diagnostic systems based on the nature of chest pain or the quality of fever.” —
  • —“Symptom-based diagnosis … has been largely replaced in the past half century as we have understood that symptoms alone rarely indicate the best choice of treatment.”
  • —“It is critical to realize that we cannot succeed if we use DSM categories as the “gold standard.” 
  • —“The diagnostic system has to be based on the emerging research data, not on the current symptom-based categories”.
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