This Spring, the American Psychiatric Association is issuing the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Over the last week, psychiatrists got together to vote on what disorders to list and what symptoms to include. You see, picking a new mental disorder is a lot like picking the winner of the Best Actress Oscar, but presumably without the Red Carpet and fashion journalists.
Why do employment lawyers care? Because emotional distress damages can be a major part of the recovery in many types of employment cases and whatever diagnosis a treating healthcare provider or retained expert assigns, has to be supported by this new manual. Also, as psychiatrists come up with new diagnoses, employers are challenged to find new accommodations.
One of the new diagnoses that’s getting attention is Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder — formerly known as temper tantrums. While it appears that this diagnosis is going to be limited to children, can a similar diagnosis for adults be far behind?