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Open Access Editorial

On identity

Klaus Schmeck1*, Jörg M Fegert2 and Susanne Schlüter-Müller34

Author Affiliations

1 Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Hospital, Psychiatric University Hospitals Basel, Basel, Switzerland

2 Department Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Ulm, Ulm, Germany

3 Practice for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Frankfurt, Germany

4 University of Applied Sciences FHNW, Basel, Switzerland

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Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 2013, 7:24  doi:10.1186/1753-2000-7-24

Published: 31 July 2013

First paragraph (this article has no abstract)

DSM-5 is on the market and found an enormous amount of attention in the media but also critique from scientists and clinicians. In the focus of the debate are reservations against establishing new disorders and lowering the threshold to diagnose mental disorders with the danger of mislabeling normal people [1]. The ambitious goal of the DSM-5 Task Force was to produce a shift of paradigm in psychiatry by introducing a dimensional approach. This was especially true for Axis II of DSM-IV-TR, the section of personality disorders that had been under debate for insufficient reliability and validity and for being too non-specific. This critique is not surprising bearing in mind that the general criteria for personality disorders in DSM-IV didn’t have a sufficient empirical basis. However, after long lasting controversies, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Board of Trustees decided in December 2012 that DSM-5 maintains the categorical model and the DSM-IV-TR criteria of personality disorders. The alternative hybrid dimensional-categorical model is now included in a separate chapter in Section III of DSM-5 to encourage further empirical research [2]. Thus, a process of more than a decade’s intensive work has been stopped abruptly as the Personality Disorder Work Group was obviously not able to reach consensus or to convince the Board of Trustees of the superiority of the new model.