What Is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM)?
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition text revision (DSM-IV-TR) is used by clinicians and psychiatrists to diagnose psychiatric illnesses. The DSM-IV-TR is published by the American Psychiatric Association and covers all categories of mental health disorders for both adults and children. The manual is non-theoretical and focused mostly on describing symptoms as well as statistics concerning which gender is most affected by the illness, the typical age of onset, the effects of treatment, and common treatment approaches.
The DSM-IV was originally published in 1994 and listed more than 250 mental disorders. An updated version, called the DSM-IV-TR, was published in 2000 and contains minor text revision in the descriptions of each disorder. Mental health providers use the manual to better understand a client’s potential needs as well as a tool for assessment and diagnosis.
The DSM-IV TR is based on five different dimensions. This multiaxial approach allows clinicians and psychiatrists to make a more comprehensive evaluation of a client’s level of functioning, because mental illnesses often impact many different life areas.
- Axis I: Clinical Syndromes
This axis describes clinical symptoms that cause significant impairment. Disorders are grouped into different categories, including adjustment disorders, anxiety disorders, and pervasive developmental disorders.
- Axis II: Personality and Mental Retardation
This axis describes long-term problems that are overlooked in the presence of Axis I disorders. Personality disorders cause significant problems in how a patient relates to the world and include antisocial personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder. Mental retardation is characterized by intellectual impairment and deficits in other areas such as self-care and interpersonal skills.
- Axis III: Medical Conditions
These include physical and medical conditions that may influence or worsen Axis 1 and Axis II disorders. Some examples may include HIV/AIDS and brain injuries.
- Axis IV: Psychosocial and Environmental Problems
Any social or environmental problems that may impact Axis I or Axis II disorders are accounted for in this assessment. These may include such things as unemployment, relocation, divorce, or the death of a loved one.
- Axis V: Global Assessment of Functioning
This axis allows the clinician to rate the client’s overall level of functioning. Based on this assessment, clinicians can better understand how the other four axes are interacting and the effect on the individual’s life.
While the DSM-IV-TR is an important tool, it is important to note that only those who have received specialized training and possess sufficient experience are qualified to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. Clinicians also use the DMS-IV to classify patients for billing purposes, since the government and many insurance carriers require a specific diagnosis in order to approve payment for treatment.
Say which of these statements are true or false
1. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV TR) was published by the World Health Organization
2. Psychological disorders are common
3. The aim of the diagnosis is just to apply a label to a problem
4. 2000 mental disorders are described in the DSM-IV TR
5. Only doctors who have received specialized training and possess sufficient experience are qualified to diagnose and treat mental illnesses
6. The DSM IV TR describes mental health disorders only for adults
7. Personality disorders cause significant problems in how a patient relates to the world
8. Psychosocial problems include HIV, AIDS and brain injuries
Match the terms and the definitions
histrionic personality disorder
a pattern of excessive emotions and attention-seeking, including an excessive need for approval, usually beginning in early adulthood
a short-term condition that occurs when a person is unable to cope with, or adjust to, a particular source of stress, such as a major life change, loss, or event
a group of disorders characterized by physical symptoms suggesting a medical disorder.
the extreme disapproval of (or discontent with) a person or group on socially characteristic grounds that are perceived, and serve to distinguish them, from other members of a society.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV TR)
A manual published by the American Psychiatric Association that provides a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders.
mental illness, arrested or incomplete development of mind, psychopathic disorder, or any other disorder or disability of the mind
a company selling the insurance
a critical, detailed, and formal inspection
the presence of one or more disorders (or diseases) in addition to a primary disease or disorder, or the effect of such additional disorders or diseases
Use synonyms for the underlined words
1. Mental illnesses often influence on many different life areas.
2. Mental health providers use the manual to better understand a client’s potential needs as well as a tool for evaluation and diagnosis.
3. Those who have sufficient experience are qualified to diagnose and treat mental illnesses.
4. The survey also indicated that nearly half of all adults suffer from some form of mental disorder at some point in their life.
5. Clinicians utilize the DSM-IV TR to find out whether a set of symptoms or behaviors meets the criteria for diagnosis as a psychological disorder.