Psychiatric Diagnoses with Diagnostic
and Statistical Manual

January 10, 2023

This next few months I am going to blog about different psychiatric diagnoses and thought it best to start with the 2013 update to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders, this manual is recognized and used in the United States and in Canada and serves as the principal authority for psychiatric diagnoses. The manual has a 60 year history of print and 5 revisions to date. Current edition being used is the DSM 5.

The manual also provides treatment recommendations, as well as payment by health care providers, are often determined by a DSM classification, an new versions has a practical importance in the psychiatric and medical field.

Section One, describes the process and reasons of the DSM including field trials, public and professional review. The DSM states that it goal is to harmonize with the International Statistical Classification of Disease and Related Health Problems.

Section Two, Categories and Treatments for mental health disorders

Section Three, Emerging measures for the assessment of symptoms. This section also includes tools and research techniques for used on diagnosis.

The DSM 5 has it critics, some siting poorly written, confusing or contradictory information. It is believed that the psychiatric drug industry may have unduly influenced the manual content given that many DSM 5 work group participants had ties to pharmaceutical companies.

Regardless of the criticism, should you, your child or a family member be diagnosed with a mental disorder then the DSM 5 would have been consulted at some point. Understanding that this is just a means to categories and label presenting symptoms, it is not a life sentence and this is important to remember. It does mean that you need to do your research from unbiased sources to make a decision on how you wish to go forward with treatment.

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