Psychology and Education @St. Thomas

June 13, 2013

Diagnostic & Statistics Manual, 5th edition (DSM5) on Psychiatry Online (and the ICD-10)

Filed under: Databases,Research Topics — merriealynn @ 8:01 pm

DSM5 coverWell, if you have anything to do with psychology, counseling, or diagnosing psychiatric disorders, you probably know that the new DSM5 has been published. And published amid a lot of hullaballoo. (We have the DSM5 online through Psychiatry Online. Have fun reading through it!)

The director of NIMH, Dr. Thomas R. Insel, announced that grants would preferentially go to researchers who decided against using the DSM5 to categorize their participant pool. Instead, he encourages researchers to look at biological markers that distinguish among participants. NIMH backpedaled a bit later, stating that the DSM was the best resource we have at the moment.

Many researchers, counselors, and therapists have responded with whole-hearted delight. They are  hoping that the definitions of mental illnesses will be based on research, especially genetic and other biological information, rather than on what people feel are similar disorders. But they also want these disorders to be seen as social/spiritual/interpersonal issues. Insel’s statement fails to address this aspect of the DSM.

Social/spiritual interpretations of mental illness defeat chemical definitions because the DSM5 has sunk their boat

By Don Piraro at

I think this is quite interesting. My feeling has always been that once the causes of a psychiatric illness are determined to be biological, that disease is generally considered a neurological, rather than psychiatric disorder. So Alzheimer’s is now considered a neurological disorder. It’s given more respect as an illness, and generally taken from the purvey of psychiatrists and given to neurologists to treat, though they are still listed in the DSM.

On the other hand, “disorders” that we don’t find a biological or genetic marker for will probably be considered to be social or psychological in origin and not a real illness. But as my adviser in grad school said, anything experienced will imprint in some way on the brain. A biological marker doesn’t necessarily mean an etiology. Of course, it’s cyclical — a change in the brain affects the emotional state of the owner of the brain.

Anyway, have fun with the DSM5. Earlier versions are also posted on Psychiatry Online, so you can easily compare the DSM IV-TR with the newer version.

Mental health providers will be reporting using the ICD-10 classification. The ICD used to be published on PsychiatryOnline, but I can no longer find it there. However, we’ll be getting books on using the ICD-10 online in a few weeks. So you’ll be able to find all the information and help you’ll need on the library’s website. (The DSM5 does list the ICD-10 codes next to their own codes.)

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid website has a lot of help for providers and others for transitioning to the ICD-10.

Let me know if you need anything. I’m here to help!


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