Experts reclassify several health disorders - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Experts reclassify several health disorders

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INDIANAPOLIS -

Health experts are changing the name of the diagnosis for some psychiatric disorders.

Part of the goal is to eliminate a blanket diagnosis and be more specific. That will help health care workers and patients better communicate with each other, but overall treatments are not expected to change.

One change is eliminating Asperger's and moving it to autism spectrum disorder. Eyewitness News asked the experts at Riley Hospital for Children what this means for your kids.

"Your kids are still your kids and we are still looking at them the same way. We are looking at their social and their communication difficulties and their repetitive behaviors, so regardless of what we are going to call it, we are going to continue to work on those core symptoms we know are impairing for these children and these adults," said Dr. Noha Minshawi. "The name is changing and a lot of people do identify with the name of a disorder and I think that is going to be challenging for some families who really identify with Asperger's disorder, for example, but I think in the day-to-day and in the reality of where our medical community is going, we are not going to see substantial changes. We are going to continue to work hard for these kids."

Another diagnosis is being added, called Temper Dysregulation Disorder with Dysphoric Mood, for children who have extreme mood swings and sudden outbursts.

"One of the things that has happened, because there isn't a really good category to capture these kids right now, is there are providers that are going ahead and diagnosing these kids with bi-polar disorder, despite the fact that the children aren't exhibiting what we call 'manic' or 'hypomanic' episodes," said Dr. Ann Lagges. "Bi-polar disorder is obviously a very severe mental illness and our understanding of it is that it is a life-long illness and so to label a child with bi-polar disorder, if they are not meeting full criteria for that disorder, can be damaging in a number of ways. So my hope is that this new category will better communicate what is actually going on with the child may not be as stigmatized and may not cause as many problems for the child down the road."

Another new one is binge eating disorder. It is a true loss of control of eating in a short period of time. There has been bulimia and anorexia and that didn't fit, the patients were classified as an eating disorder not otherwise specified.

Hoarders get their own category and are no longer lumped into obsessive compulsive disorder. The more specific category likely won't change service or treatment, but better communicate what actually is going on with these patients.

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