Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters New somatic symptom disorder in DSM-5

Guilty of diagnostic expansion

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 16 April 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2254
  1. James Phillips, psychiatrist1
  1. 1Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, 88 Noble Avenue, Milford, CT 06460, USA
  1. james.phillips{at}

The new diagnosis of somatic symptom disorder seems to confirm that psychiatry will stick a diagnostic label on anything that appears in any way deviant.1

Dimsdale argues that the new disorder will correct the patient unfriendly DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, third edition) notion of “medically unexplained …

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