You may have heard about the DSM-5 which has recently been published, but what is it? It stands for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – 5th edition, which is published by the American Psychiatric Association.
It is a very important work, particularly for anyone working in mental health and related fields, as it is the de facto authority on mental health disorders and their classification. Simply put, it is a manual that describes mental health conditions (such as psychoses and personality disorders) and is used by professionals to aid diagnosis. Being diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder can be very distressing, and it is important that there are consistent standards of diagnosis, which is one of the aims of the DSM-5.
However, the DSM-5 has been crticised for medicalising certain behaviours or conditions that some say should not be classed as mental disorders. Here is an excellent article about the DSM-5 on the Mental Elf website that explains it better than I can, so if you’re interested, do have a read: