One line of criticism holds that the DSM focuses too much on superficial symptoms of mental disorders, ignoring underlying dynamics. Instead of focusing on and naming clinical syndromes, critics say, the manual (and the field) ought to target the specific, disordered cognitive processes that underlie labels.
Onset of serious mental illness in late teens and early twenties is very common and often shocking to the families that experience it. The medical community knows this; researchers know this; millions of families know this and yet we wait for the topic to find its time while millions try to cope. Surely we can do better.