Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

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The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is published by the American Psychiatric Association and provides a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders. It is used in the United States and in varying degrees around the world, by clinicians, researchers, psychiatric drug regulation agencies, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and policy makers.

The DSM has attracted controversy and criticism as well as praise. There have been five revisions since it was first published in 1952, gradually including more mental disorders, although some have been removed and are no longer considered to be mental disorders, most notably homosexuality.

The manual evolved from systems for collecting census and psychiatric hospital statistics, and from a manual developed by the US Army, and was dramatically revised in 1980. The last major revision was the fourth edition ("DSM-IV"), published in 1994, although a "text revision" was produced in 2000. The fifth edition ("DSM-5") is currently in consultation, planning and preparation, due for publication in May 2013.[1]

ICD-10 Chapter V: Mental and behavioural disorders, part of the International Classification of Diseases produced by the World Health Organization (WHO), is another commonly used guide, more so in Europe and other parts of the world. The coding system used in the DSM-IV is designed to correspond with the codes used in the ICD, although not all codes may match at all times because the two publications are not revised synchronously.

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