For the first time in 20 years, the American Psychiatric Association has made changes to its diagnosis manual. The new manual removed some disorders and added others.
The biggest subtraction from the newest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, or DSM is the removal of Aspergers Disorder as a diagnosis. Instead, Aspergers and a few other disorders will be lumped together under Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Some school districts across the country are worried that no more Aspergers Diagnoses means no government funding for special education. In Virginia, schools receive special education funding under a broad umbrella; Autism, so their state funding shouldn't be impacted.
"Since Asperger's Disorder is considered part of Autism or a type or variant of autism, some say a high functioning autism. It will still be funded as if it were autism so it shouldn't be a problem," said Dr. Thomas Milam, the head of Psychology for Carilion.
An addition to the new DSM is "Binge Eating Disorder." Dr. Thomas Milam says America has an eating problem. Unhealthy eating disorders aimed at losing weight like anorexia and bulimia have been in the manual for years.
Milam says the idea behind adding Binge Eating Disorder as a psychological problem is to raise awareness.
"Many people do eat in large bursts in these binges and feel like they cannot control it. So what this does is begins to open up the diagnosis for further exploration because once something makes its way into the D-S-M-four, then it's fair game to be studied more as well," said Milam.
On the whole, all eating disorders are better defined with more precise criteria for diagnosis.
There are also more specific outlines regarding Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder. With the number of veterans coming home from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, those criteria will help them and anybody else suffering from PTSD.