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The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Essay

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The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is the comprehensive guide to diagnosing psychological disorders. This manual is published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and is currently in its fifth revision. Moreover, the manual is utilized by a multitude of mental health care professionals around the world in the process of identifying individuals with disorders and provides a comprehensive list of the various disorders that have been identified. The DSM serves as the essential resource for diagnosis of mental disorders based off of the various signs and symptoms displayed by individuals while also providing a basic reference point for the treatment of the different disorders. The manual attempts to remain scientific in its approach to identifying the underlying symptoms of each disorder while meeting the needs of the different psychological perspectives and the various mental health fields. The DSM has recently gone through a major revision from the DSM-IV-TR to the DSM-5 and contains many significant changes in both the diagnosis of mental disorders and their classifications.
History of change
Originally published in 1952, the DSM has been through a number of revisions in its history. The original manual was the culmination of an extended journey of its own. According to Tartokovsky (2011), the DSM was born out of the need to minimize the confusion that had developed in the world of mental health care with regard to classifying disorders. Prior to this, there had been an initial attempt to create a system of classification that had emerged in 1917 known as the Statistical Manual for the Use of Institutions for the Insane. The manual was written by the early predecessor to the APA and wa...


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...pfer, D. (2013). The DSM-5 - an interview with David Kupfer. BMC Medicine, 11, 203.
Nemeroff, C. B., Weinberger, D., Rutter, M., MacMillan, H. L., Bryant, R. A., Wessely, S., ...Lysaker, P. (2013). DSM-5: a collection of psychiatrist views on the changes, controversies, and future directions. BMC Medicine, 11, 202.
New Diagnostic guidelines redefine addiction: changes may lead to earlier interventions, better prognoses. (2012). Mind, Mood & Memory, 8(10), 6.
Schneider, M. E. (2013, May). Five ways the DSM-5 could change your practice: elimination of five-axis system expected to make diagnoses less burdensome. Clinical Psychiatry News, 41(5), 1+.
Tartakovsky, M. (2011). How the DSM developed: What you might not know. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 21, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/07/02/how-the-dsm-developed-what-you-might-not-know/



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