Personality Disorders in DSM-5: A Commentary on the Perceived Process and Outcome of the Proposal of the Personality and Personality Disorders Work Group

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Abstract

There has been much discussion and controversy concerning the process undertaken and the decisions made with respect to the Personality and Personality Disorders Work Group (PPDWG) proposal for DSM-5, as well as the rejection of the work group’s final proposal, by the American Psychiatric Association Board of Trustees. This commentary suggests that the way the PPDWG members were selected and the perceived secrecy associated with the PPDWG’s deliberations almost assured that, despite the hard work and good intentions of the group members, the proposal would raise controversy and could ultimately fail. This commentary provides a personal perspective on some of the issues, assumptions, and preconceptions that arose between members of different theoretical and conceptual camps within the field of personality disorders. It concludes with suggestions as to how we might avoid these mistakes in the future and also how we might take advantage of the PPDWG’s substantive work as we make future attempts to improve diagnosis in the area of personality disorders.

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