What is DSM?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is used by clinicians and psychiatrists to diagnose psychiatric illnesses. In 2013, the latest version, known as the DSM-5, was released. The DSM is published by the American Psychiatric Association and covers all categories of mental health disorders for both adults and children.

The DSM is utilized widely in the United States for psychiatric diagnosis, treatment recommendations, and insurance coverage purposes. Clinicians use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to diagnose people with substance or behavioral addictions. To meet the criteria for a substance use disorder, a person must display at least 2 of the following behaviors over the course of a year:

  • Using more of the substance or using it over a longer period than intended.
  • Desire to stop using or trying to quit but not being unsuccessful.
  • Spending more and more time getting the substance, using it, or recovering from using.
  • Having powerful urges, or cravings, for the substance.
  • When substance abuse interferes with responsibilities at work, school, or home.
  • Continuing the use of the substance even though it has created social or personal problems or those problems have become worse by drug use.
  • Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed, in favor of drug use.
  • Using drugs or being under the influence in dangerous situations, such as while driving or operating machinery.
  • Continuing the use of the substance even when clear about the physical or the mental problems caused or made worse by drug use.
  • The need to use more and more of the substance to become intoxicated or experience the effect experienced before, due to developing tolerance.
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when stopping or delaying the use, or using the drug to prevent withdrawal symptoms.

Getting a diagnosis of addiction can be difficult to deal with. But if you or a loved one is seeking treatment or have any concerns about a diagnosis, ask a therapist for information. Your diagnosis can open up resources that help you get the proper treatment and find out about insurance coverage that makes treatment possible. Having an accurate diagnosis will greatly benefit patients, especially those who have co-occurring mental health conditions that normally act as obstacles to sobriety.

For information about addiction and mental health treatment at Florida Center for Recovery please call us at (800) 851-3291 or click on the link below to send us an e-mail.

Florida Center for Recovery
Clinical Excellence & Compassionate Care in a Healing Environment