On March 25, Fred Friedberg, PhD, president of the International Association of CFS/ME, stated: “We are concerned about the possibility of CFS/ME being classified as a psychiatric disorder” in the upcoming revision of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
Referring to the APA’s newly posted draft revisions for “somatoform disorders”*, Dr. Friedberg has posted two items on the IACFS/ME website at www.iacfsme.org:
• A community call to action. He urges all informed advocates (working professionals in particular - researchers, clinicians, educators) to “submit your comments on this disturbing possibility to the DSM-5 Task Force” (www.dsm5.org - log in to comment, click on somatoform disorders and then complex somatic symptom disorder; comment link at bottom of page). Deadline for comment submission is April 20.
• An open letter to the DSM-5 Task Force on behalf of the 500-plus biomedical and behavioral scientists who make up the IACFS/ME, expressing “deep concern about the possible reclassification of CFS as a somatoform disorder in DSM-5.”
To track all US, UK, and international organizations' submissions and other news regarding the DSM-5 draft proposals, see the DSM-5 and ICD-11 Watch site, maintained by Suzy Chapman.
* Roughly defined, somatoform disorders involve symptoms that result largely from mental factors, not physical disease or injury.