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'Errors' v Opinions-Reply

Janet B. W. Williams, DSW; Robert L Spitzer, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1984;41(1):108. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1984.01790120112021.
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In Reply.—  We are sorry that our colleagues and friends Helzer, Robins, and Stoltzman are miffed by our statement that their article contained "serious errors" and "misleading statements." We know that DSM-III and RDC contain numerous ambiguities that result in legitimate differences of interpretation. The reader can decide for himself or herself whether or not the following statements from their original article reflect only "differences of interpretation."1. "In the DSM-III and Feighner systems, but not the RDC, the presence of organic brain syndrome preempts depression." Not true. In the introduction to the RDC the following statement appears: "All of the conditions in the RDC (with the exception of Alcoholism, Drug Use Disorder and Other Psychiatric Disorder) are to be diagnosed only when there is no likely known organic etiology for the symptoms."12. "Neither DSM-III nor the RDC specifies a primary/secondary distinction (in affective disorder)...." As every user of


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