What’s DSM IV?

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DSM IV is a comprehensive diagnostic manual for mental health treatment, divided into five axes. It will be replaced by DSM V in 2013. Some argue it is imperfect, biased, and doesn’t always fit newer disorders or criteria.

DSM IV is the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the highly trusted and disputed diagnostic volume of mental health treatment in the United States and elsewhere. As of 2013, it will be replaced by DSM V. The book is still very useful, offering a comprehensive assessment, diagnosis, and classification of mental disorders.

It’s not easy to read DSM IV without a sense of its structure, and even then, the average layman might find the medical terms difficult. Mainly, the book is divided into five sections, or “axis”, and each axis deals with a different topic. The five axes discuss several important issues in diagnosis and are divided as clinical syndromes, personality and developmental disorders, physical illnesses, psychosocial factor stress, and assessment of patient’s levels of functioning.

The first two axes may be the most used, while the last three help to make the diagnosis more detailed. It really depends on the conditions and not everyone uses DSM IV that regularly. It can be useful for deriving codes for diagnosis and billing, as most of the codes used in the book align with those used by the insurance industries. This is not always completely accurate, and some psychotherapists or psychiatrists use other coding manuals instead.

Most people working in the mental health profession would admit the usefulness of DSM IV, but could also argue that it is still an imperfect document. There are strong arguments about locating some disorders or defining others. People were deeply glad that the DSM-IV dropped some of the nasty and prejudicial definitions that previous editions contained, such as defining homosexuality as a mental disorder. There has also been a lot of discussion about how to classify autism, and it has been moved from Axis II to Axis I in recent years. People often come up with new disorders or newer criteria that don’t always fit into the DSM, and this can cause annoyance or consternation.

A further argument sometimes advanced against DSM IV and its supporters is that it expresses an extreme clinical bias against some deep or modern psychodynamic approaches, which oppose automatic diagnosis before knowing a patient. This criticism actually speaks to a much larger problem in the mental health world, where clinicians find themselves either anxious to initially diagnose or deeply concerned about patients’ disease pattern that results from this premature activity and its effect on the alliance. therapeutic. The DSM, while concerned about the most scientifically accurate means of diagnosis, is sometimes viewed with disdain because it appears to strongly support the former view.

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