If you have been exposed to modern psychiatry, you have been exposed to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in one way or another, whether or not you are aware of it. This book, often referred to as the "psychiatrist's bible," is the go-to manual for diagnostic criteria of a wide range of mental disorders. Its current incarnation, the DSM-IV-TR (text revision), includes nearly 400 disorders.
Throughout the coming month, we will be delving into some of these disorders in more detail. Before we do that, I think it is important to take a critical look at the DSM system, including historical perspectives and future implications.
History of the DSM
The DSM-I was published in 1952 and included 106 mental disorders. It was developed as something of a union between the United States War Department classification system, which had been in place for nearly ten years, and the World Health Organization's International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD), which in modernization attempts included a new section on mental disease. (Read more...)