Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
World J Biol Psychiatry. 2009;10(4 Pt 3):1016-29. doi: 10.1080/15622970701858771.

Volitional disorders: a proposal for DSM-V.

Author information

Anxiety and Depression Research Program, Institute of Psychiatry, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (IPUB/UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.


In the DSM-IV-TR, specific impulse control disorders not elsewhere classified (ICD) have been designated following four principles: (1) through the addition of an adjective that emphasizes the aberrant character of an otherwise normal behaviour (e.g., pathological gambling); (2) by means of metaphors (such as in intermittent explosive disorder); (3) according to the presumably quintessential nature of their main signs and symptoms, such as impulsive (e.g., impulse control disorders not elsewhere classified), compulsive (e.g., compulsive shopping), or addictive (e.g., internet addiction); or (4) using Greek suffix mania (e.g., kleptomania, pyromania, and trichotillomania). Given this flagrant inconsistency, we argue that time has come to adopt a less arbitrary way of describing these disorders, at least until it becomes clearer whether they are really impulsive, compulsive or addictive or if the preoccupation with this distinction is valid. In keeping with DSM's emphasis on descriptive phenomenology rather than on unsupported theory, a less biased terminology is in order. Therefore, we would like to suggest: (1) the substitution of the term ICD by the more neutral expression 'volitional disorders not elsewhere classified'; (2) the use of the classical Greek suffix mania, already present in some DSM-IV-TR ICDs, as the main naming principle to be adopted in the DSM-V; and (3) the creation of compulsive, impulsive, and mixed subtypes of the 'volitional disorders not elsewhere classified', since they are beginning to be validated by treatment trials.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Taylor & Francis
    Loading ...
    Support Center