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The fifth and newest revision of the psychology handbook the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-5, is filled with conditions you've probably heard of before, such as anxiety and amnesia, but a few conditions that might be added in the new edition may be less commonly understood.
Experts are now reviewing the new version of the book, due to be published in May 2013, and determining which new diagnoses to include.
To make the cut, a condition should have a unique set of symptoms and a verifiable medical cause, said Dr. Theodore Stern, director of psychiatric consultation at Massachusetts General Hospital and professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, who is not involved in the review process.
Here are seven conditions under consideration for inclusion in the new edition.
Hypersexual DisorderSlide 2 of 15
Former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) is the latest politician to get caught in an embarrassing sex scandal and bring renewed attention to this condition (though that's not to say he's been diagnosed with it). Hypersexual disorder involves recurrent and intense sexual fantasies, sexual urges and sexual behavior lasting at least six months, according to the experts considering its inclusion in the DSM.
These experts say there's a need to label this disorder as a unique mental health condition because some people have "recurrent, 'out of control' sexual behaviors that are not inherently socially deviant." Deviant behaviors, such as pedophilia and fetishism, are already included in the DSM.
Stern said "most people would endorse that some people have symptoms that are considered 'hypersexual,'" but added that research is ongoing to determine whether the behavior rises to the level of a disorder.
Other symptoms of hypersexual disorder include spending excessive time on sexual fantasies or behavior, and experiencing excessive sexual behavior or thoughts in response to stressful life events. Further, for a person who has the condition, attempts to control the behavior are unsuccessful, and he or she usually engages in this behavior despite potential harm to themselves or others, the DSM experts say.Slide 3 of 15
Premenstrual Dysphoric DisorderSlide 4 of 15
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
Many women are familiar with premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, which can occur a few days before the onset of a period and has a wide variety of symptoms, including mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability and depression, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD, is considered a more serious condition, and may affect up to 2 million American women, according to the experts studying this condition for the DSM revision. PMDD can bring marked irritability or anger, markedly depressed mood, feelings of hopelessness, marked anxiety, tension and feelings of being "on edge."
Unless it's included in the DSM, physicians might assume the patients with PMDD are suffering from PMS or another disorder, resulting in the wrong treatment, the experts say.
Stern said this could be a case of needing to determine where to draw a line between PMS and PMDD. A larger body of research exists for this condition than some others being considered for inclusion, he added.Slide 5 of 15
Binge Eating DisorderSlide 6 of 15
Binge Eating Disorder
The researchers working on DSM-5 are reviewing the way behavioral addictions and substance addictions are defined and grouped, and binge eating disorder is among them.
The experts define binge eating as eating any amount of food that is larger than what most people would eat in a given period of time under similar circumstances. Further, a person with the condition feels they have no control while eating.
This is not a case of simply overeating at the holiday dinner table; instead, it's compulsive in nature. For example, a binge eater could eat much more rapidly than they do normally, eat until feeling uncomfortably full or eat large amounts of food when not feeling hungry.
The binge eating occurs, on average, at least once a week for three months. The condition is distinct from bulimia and anorexia because it is not associated with purging. The researchers say it may also be tied to obesity, but that further research is needed to make that determination.
Stern said that eating disorder behaviors, in general, have been extensively researched, and are among conditions that have discrete symptoms that can be easily identified.Slide 7 of 15
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Preschool ChildrenSlide 8 of 15