In psychology and psychiatry, DSM stands for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This is a manual that is used as a standard across the profession for diagnosing and treating mental disorders.
Within the pages of the DSM are diagnostic codes that are used for billing purposes and data collection by mental health providers across the country. Each disorder listed in the manual features a specific set of diagnostic criteria that must be adhered to when diagnosing a mental disorder. Symptoms and the duration of symptoms must be present in the patient before a true diagnosis can be reached by a clinician.