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Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders


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(DSM)

The manual developed and published by the American Psychiatric Association, containing the list of diagnoses of psychiatric illnesses and the criteria that should be used to arrive at each specified diagnosis. The 4th edition of this manual (DSM-IV) was published in 1994, and a revised version (DSM-IV-TR) was released in 2000. It has been criticized because it may have too many rather arbitrary and artificially narrow categories and because it assigns “disease labels” to conditions that many social scientists and other experts outside the field of psychiatry regard as normal behavioral variations. For example, the sorrow accompanying bereavement is given the label “depression” (implying that it requires psychiatric treatment) if it continues for more than 2 months. For details, see http://www.appi.org/book.cfm?id=2025.

Subjects: public health and epidemiology — social work.


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