What’s the DSM?

The DSM is the Diagnostic And Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association. This book is used by licensed clinicians - psychiatrists, psychotherapists, and social workers to diagnose mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, ADHD, grief, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder among many others. For each included disorder, individuals must meet a certain number of diagnostic criteria and or specifiers in order for the diagnosis to be given. Diagnoses are written in number form like 309.81 like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These numbers help clinicians communicate quickly and easily about diagnosis when working as part of a treatment team.  If you have recently received a new diagnosis  or have questions about your diagnosis, ask your therapist to share the specifics with you. You have a right to know. 

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