Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

Diagnostic And Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is a manual published by the American Psychiatric Association to help physicians diagnose mental disorders. The DSM-5, which was released in 2013, has been updated with new information on posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar mania, autism spectrum disorder, and more. This blog post will cover some of the changes that have occurred since the last edition.

What Is Diagnostic And Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is a manual that mental health professionals use to diagnose mental disorders. The DSM-IV was published in 1994 and the DSM-V was published in 2013. The DSM-V is the most recent version of the DSM.

The DSM-IV helps to diagnose 374 mental disorders, and the DSM-V contains diagnoses for over 700 mental disorders. Some of the new mental disorders included in the DSM-V are hoarding disorder, binge eating disorder, and internet gaming disorder.

The purpose of the DSM is to provide a classification system for mental disorders so that research on these disorders can be conducted using consistent criteria. The DSM also provides diagnostic criteria for each disorder and information on the symptoms and features. The DSM is used as a guide by clinicians to diagnose people with certain mental disorders.

Categories of Diagnostic And Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

There are many categories of mental disorders in the DSM. Some of these categories include:

Mood Disorders

These disorders involve changes in a person’s mood. This can manifest as feelings of depression, elation, or mania.

Anxiety Disorders

These disorders involve excessive amounts of anxiety and worry. They can be very debilitating and interfere with a person’s ability to carry out their day-to-day activities.

Psychotic Disorders

This category includes disorders such as schizophrenia, where people experience delusions (false beliefs) or hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there).

Personality Disorders

These disorders involve long-standing patterns of behavior and thoughts that cause significant distress or impairment in a person’s life.

Eating Disorders

These disorders are abnormal eating habits. This can lead to serious, long-term physical health problems and/or death in severe cases.

Disruptive Behavior Disorders

This category includes attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well as to conduct disorder, which involves aggressive or violent behavior towards people or animals among other things. It is important to note that these conditions cannot be diagnosed until a child turns 18 years old due to the fact that they have not yet fully developed physically, emotionally, and mentally at this point in time. Finally, there are also substance-related disorders such as alcohol use disorder and drug addiction syndrome. Both of which involve harmful patterns of using psychoactive drugs.

Factitious Disorders

These are psychological disorders in which a person intentionally produces physical or psychological symptoms because they want to draw attention away from another problem that is going on in their lives, such as an underlying illness or relationship difficulties, etc. They may also have the motivation of receiving some kind of benefit by doing so (i.e., avoiding responsibilities at work/home).

The DSM also includes a section on “conditions for further study.” This section includes diagnoses that have not been fully studied yet and may be included in future versions of the DSM. This section is called “V-codes,” and it includes V-code 300.89: Problem Related to Abuse or Neglect which describes a child between ages six and thirteen who experiences emotional suffering from being deprived of parental support, guidance, care, or affection.

Procedure of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

The procedure of diagnosing mental disorders using the DSM-IV follows five steps.

  • The first step is to determine if there are any symptoms present that may indicate a disorder. You can see symptoms of certain disorders in only one week, but other disorders take longer before they become apparent.
  • The second step in the procedure includes rating the severity of each symptom and how long it has lasted for each person who displays these symptoms. For example, some people might have mild cases of depression while others could suffer from very severe forms of depression where suicide becomes an option.
  • The third step involves categorizing all the listed symptoms into specific categories (e.g., mood episodes, psychotic disorder). During this stage, clinicians decide whether or not problems caused by this mental health disorder are severe enough to warrant a diagnosis.
  • The fourth step is to match the symptoms of the person being assessed with the diagnostic criteria. This is for mental disorders found in the DSM-IV. This process can be difficult. It is because different clinicians may interpret symptoms differently and there is some subjectivity involved in diagnosis.
  • The fifth and final step is to determine if any other factors, such as substance abuse or medical conditions, might be contributing to the person’s symptoms.

Uses of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

There are many uses of diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders:


Clinicians use this to access the mental health of their patients. This includes making a diagnosis of the disorder and deciding on an appropriate treatment plan.


Researchers also use it while conducting studies on mental disorders. This is because it provides standardized criteria that allow for comparisons between different studies.

Clinical Practice

Clinicians also use it in their clinical practice. Clinicians can use it to look up information about specific mental disorders, such as the symptoms and features associated with them. It can also be helpful in determining if two or more disorders might be present in a single person.

Diagnosis of Mental Disorders

The DSM helps as a guide to diagnosing mental disorders. However, you should know that there are some limitations of the DSM. This is because different clinicians may interpret symptoms differently. There is subjectivity involving in making diagnoses based on these criteria.

Diagnostic Criteria for Diagnostic And Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

There are twenty-two diagnostic criteria for mental disorders that include in DSM-V. These include:

  • having low self-esteem
  • feeling overwhelmed by daily activities
  • annoying
  • experiencing feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • thinking about death frequently or attempting suicide
  • experiencing difficulty concentrating or staying focused at work/school/home etc.
  • experiencing significant social or occupational impairment
  • feeling very tired most of the time

Benefits of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

There are many benefits of using the DSM to diagnose mental disorders. Some of these are:

Helps To Standardize Diagnoses

The DSM provides a common language for clinicians to use when diagnosing patients. This helps ensure that it can apply the same diagnosis across all mental health professionals and settings, which in turn ensures that diagnoses are more consistent from one person to another.

Helps To Standardize Treatment Options

When there is consistency with how someone’s particular disorder has been diagnosed then this makes it easier for treatment providers to determine what kind of treatment would be best based on their condition/diagnosis etc.

Assists In Clinical Research

Having a standard reference point can help researchers better compare different groups of people who have similar conditions or disorders so they can investigate differences between them (i.e., gender differences Also, being able to conduct research on the same group of people helps to eliminate any discrepancies that might occur from one study to another.

Establishes Baseline For Diagnosing New Disorders

As this identifies new disorders, it can it into future editions of the DSM as appropriate. This ensures that mental health professionals have a guidebook for diagnosing these conditions so patients receive proper treatment options going forward.


In conclusion, the DSM is a very valuable resource for diagnosing mental disorders. It helps to ensure that everyone receives the same diagnosis, receives standardized treatment options, and assists in clinical research. Furthermore, it can add new disorders as you identify and research them. This makes it an ever-evolving document that mental health professionals can continually rely on.

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