This is an embarrassing situation for the DSM 5 task force. Consider the following:

  • The ICD coding system began in 1893.
  • In 1946, ICD codes expanded into mental health disorders, with the release of ICD 6.
  • In 1993, ICD 10 codes are published. Note: 1993 was over 20 years ago!

For reasons that are purely political, and because the DSM is a competitor to ICD codes, the DSM-IV task force opted to use ICD 9 codes, not ICD 10 codes (even though the ICD 10 had been available for several years).

Now, fast forward to the DSM 5. Surely the DSM 5 will publish ICD 10 codes, as they’ve been out for more than 20 years, right!?

Well, no.

The DSM 5 task force, out of pure political nonsense, decided that they would publish the DSM 5 with ICD 9 codes AGAIN, and then update the text later with ICD 10 codes.

There was just one problem. ICD 11 is slated to be released in October 2015.

As a last-minute scramble, the DSM 5 was published with ICD 9 codes, but also includes ICD 10 codes in the fine print. What!?

Needless to say, this has been one of the embarrassing criticisms of the DSM 5, along with several other poor editorial decisions, such as the inclusion of Restless Leg Syndrome and Dissociative Identity Disorder. But these will be addressed in another post…