How is the DSM-V publication used?


Quick Answer

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, gives clinicians a common language for describing, discussing and diagnosing mental disorders, according to the American Psychiatric Association, which is the organization in charge of the manual. It also provides a common language for researchers, which helps coordinate the study of disorders, medications and other treatments.

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Full Answer

The DSM-5 contains information about recognizing and diagnosing various mental disorders, but it doesn't contain information about treating any disorders, states the APA. However, the guide's ability to help clinicians arrive at an accurate diagnosis leads to more effective treatment, and it helps clinicians measure the effectiveness of treatments, as the severity of a patient's condition can affect the diagnosis. The DSM-5 is the first edition to drop the use of Roman numerals, and the APA plans to release updated versions, such as the DSM-5.1, before the release of the DSM-6.

The DSM-5 focuses on providing up-to-date information about describing mental disorders, but insurance companies and other entities rely on the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Disease for classifying conditions, reports the APA. However, the APA works to ensure that the ICD's classifications are maximally compatible with the DSM-5, and that the ICD contains the DSM-5's codes for various diseases, which helps researchers and clinicians organize their efforts.

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