Two proposed psychiatric diagnoses failed to make the last round of cuts in the laborious process of revising the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders -- an exhaustive catalog of symptoms used by doctors to diagnose psychiatric illness.
Gone from the latest revision are "attenuated psychosis syndrome," intended to help identify individuals at risk of full-blown psychosis, and "mixed anxiety depressive disorder", a blend of anxiety and depression symptoms. Both performed badly on field tests and in public comments gathered by the group in its march toward the May 2013 publication deadline.
Both have been tucked into Section III of the manual -- the place reserved for ideas that do not yet have enough evidence to make the cut as a full-blown diagnosis.
What has survived, despite fierce public outcry, is a change in the diagnosis of autism, which eliminates the milder diagnosis of Asperger syndrome in favor of the umbrella diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.
But that, too, could still be altered before the final manual is published, the group says. The APA opened the final comment period for its fifth diagnostic manual known as DSM-V on May 2, and it will accumulate comments through June 15.
Dr. David Kupfer, who chairs the DSM-5 Task Force, said in a statement that the changes reflect the latest research and input from the public.
Dr. Wayne Goodman, professor and chairman of the department of psychiatry at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, said he's glad the task force is responding to feedback from professionals and the public.
"I think they are trying to listen," he said.
Goodman agrees with the decisions to drop both of the two disorders in the latest revision.
With the "mixed anxiety and depressive disorder," he said there was a risk that it would capture a number of people who did not qualify under a diagnosis of depression or anxiety alone.