Abnormal Psychology: Mental Health and Mental Illness

Definitions and Classifications

What is the DSM-IV?

DSM refers to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. DSM-IV is the fourth edition of the DSM, published in 1994. DSM-IV Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) was published in 2000. This edition made minimal changes to the diagnoses, but updated the literature review in the manual. The DSM system provides a standardized method to diagnose mental illness. It is developed in coordination with the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) which is published by the World Health Organization (WHO). Diagnoses are provided on five axes, the first axis (axis I) lists specific clinical syndromes, such as schizophrenia or major depression. The second axis (axis II) lists personality disorders and mental retardation, chronic conditions that affect the full range of a person’s psychological functioning. Axis III pertains to medical conditions that might affect the person’s psychological state, axis IV to psychosocial and environmental stressors, and axis V to the person’s general level of adaptive functioning (the GAF score), which ranges from one to one hundred.


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