The Diagnostics and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders, commonly referred to as the "DSM", is one of our most popular health and medicine reference books. The book, published by the American Psychological Association (APA), is designed as a manual for mental health professionals containing descriptions, symptoms and other criteria for diagnosing mental disorders. The release of the DSM-5 will be the fifth major revision of the manual since its original publication in 1952.
Since the DSM sets the primary criteria for how mental health disorders are diagnosed, new editions can have significant changes on how mental disorders are diagnosed and reported. This can lead to a large amount of debate within the psychology profession, as well as among the general public.
One of the minor changes to the DSM-5 is the change from a Roman numeral numbering system from editions I-IV, to an Arabic number system starting with the DSM-"5". The most important changes, however, have to do with diagnostic criteria and categorization of mental disorders. The APA has recently published a list of highlighted changes (pdf) to the DSM-5. These include the addition of "autism spectrum disorders" as a category which encompasses autism, Asperger's disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorders; the addition of hoarding disorder, excoriation (skin-picking) disorder and disruptive mood disorder; significant changes to the section covering posttraumatic stress disorders; removal of the bereavement exclusion for diagnosing depressive disorders; as well as many other changes in naming and criteria for diagnosing existing disorders.
More information about the DSM-5 can be found on the APA's DSM-5 webpage. The following books may be of interest as well:
The Family Guide to Mental Health Care by Lloyd I Sederer, MD
Autism Spectrum Disorders: What Every Parent Needs to Know
Getting Help: The Complete & Authoritative Guide to Self-Assessment and Treatment of Mental Health Problems by Jeffrey C. Wood
The Psychology Book
The User's Guide to the Human Mind: Why Our Brains Make us Unhappy, Anxious, and Neurotic, and What We Can Do About It by Shawn T. Smith
Find this article at