Some of the Axis I disorders include panic disorder, anorexia nervosa, social anxiety disorder, substance abuse disorders, bipolar disorder, bulimia nervosa and major depression, according to Dr. Matthew Tull for About.com. Dr. Brian Burke for Fort Lewis College says Axis I disorders are disorders that need immediate attention.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is a professional tool used to classify mental disorders. A mental health professional makes a diagnosis by choosing the disorders that most closely match the symptoms exhibited by a patient. The American Psychiatric Association says the DSM also includes a set of diagnostic criteria for each disorder. Mental health professionals use the criteria to diagnose many different types of disorders, from schizophrenia to depression.
DSM-IV had five different axes, three of which include clinical disorders, according to Dr. Burke. Axis IV was used to determine the psychosocial factors affecting each patient, and Axis V was used to indicate a person's level of function. Dr. John Grohol for PsychCentral says the American Psychiatric Association approved a comprehensive update to the DSM in December 2012. With this update, the APA eliminated the multiaxial system. The updated version, DSM-V, consolidated all of the disorders from Axis I, Axis II and Axis III. As a result of this change, mental health professionals use separate notations for psychosocial factors and level of function.