<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

The DSM-5 also provides information about comorbidity    ; the co-occurrence of two disorders. For example, the DSM-5 mentions that 41% of people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) also meet the diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder ( [link] ). Drug use is highly comorbid with other mental illnesses; 6 out of 10 people who have a substance use disorder also suffer from another form of mental illness (National Institute on Drug Abuse [NIDA], 2007).

A Venn-diagram shows two overlapping circles. One circle is titled “Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder” and the other is titled “Major Depressive Disorder.” The area in which these two circles overlap includes forty-one percent of each circle. This area is titled “Comorbidity 41%.”
Obsessive-compulsive disorder and major depressive disorder frequently occur in the same person.

The DSM has changed considerably in the half-century since it was originally published. The first two editions of the DSM, for example, listed homosexuality as a disorder; however, in 1973, the APA voted to remove it from the manual (Silverstein, 2009). Additionally, beginning with the DSM-III in 1980, mental disorders have been described in much greater detail, and the number of diagnosable conditions has grown steadily, as has the size of the manual itself. DSM-I included 106 diagnoses and was 130 total pages, whereas DSM-III included more than 2 times as many diagnoses (265) and was nearly seven times its size (886 total pages) (Mayes&Horowitz, 2005). Although DSM-5 is longer than DSM-IV, the volume includes only 237 disorders, a decrease from the 297 disorders that were listed in DSM-IV. The latest edition, DSM-5, includes revisions in the organization and naming of categories and in the diagnostic criteria for various disorders (Regier, Kuhl,&Kupfer, 2012), while emphasizing careful consideration of the importance of gender and cultural difference in the expression of various symptoms (Fisher, 2010).

Some believe that establishing new diagnoses might overpathologize the human condition by turning common human problems into mental illnesses (The Associated Press, 2013). Indeed, the finding that nearly half of all Americans will meet the criteria for a DSM disorder at some point in their life (Kessler et al., 2005) likely fuels much of this skepticism. The DSM-5 is also criticized on the grounds that its diagnostic criteria have been loosened, thereby threatening to “turn our current diagnostic inflation into diagnostic hyperinflation” (Frances, 2012, para. 22). For example, DSM-IV specified that the symptoms of major depressive disorder must not be attributable to normal bereavement (loss of a loved one). The DSM-5, however, has removed this bereavement exclusion, essentially meaning that grief and sadness after a loved one’s death can constitute major depressive disorder.

The international classification of diseases

A second classification system, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD)    , is also widely recognized. Published by the World Health Organization (WHO), the ICD was developed in Europe shortly after World War II and, like the DSM, has been revised several times. The categories of psychological disorders in both the DSM and ICD are similar, as are the criteria for specific disorders; however, some differences exist. Although the ICD is used for clinical purposes, this tool is also used to examine the general health of populations and to monitor the prevalence of diseases and other health problems internationally (WHO, 2013). The ICD is in its 10th edition (ICD-10); however, efforts are now underway to develop a new edition (ICD-11) that, in conjunction with the changes in DSM-5, will help harmonize the two classification systems as much as possible (APA, 2013).

A study that compared the use of the two classification systems found that worldwide the ICD is more frequently used for clinical diagnosis, whereas the DSM is more valued for research (Mezzich, 2002). Most research findings concerning the etiology and treatment of psychological disorders are based on criteria set forth in the DSM (Oltmanns&Castonguay, 2013). The DSM also includes more explicit disorder criteria, along with an extensive and helpful explanatory text (Regier et al., 2012). The DSM is the classification system of choice among U.S. mental health professionals, and this chapter is based on the DSM paradigm.

The compassionate view of psychological disorders

As these disorders are outlined, please bear two things in mind. First, remember that psychological disorders represent extremes of inner experience and behavior. If, while reading about these disorders, you feel that these descriptions begin to personally characterize you, do not worry—this moment of enlightenment probably means nothing more than you are normal. Each of us experiences episodes of sadness, anxiety, and preoccupation with certain thoughts—times when we do not quite feel ourselves. These episodes should not be considered problematic unless the accompanying thoughts and behaviors become extreme and have a disruptive effect on one’s life. Second, understand that people with psychological disorders are far more than just embodiments of their disorders. We do not use terms such as schizophrenics, depressives, or phobics because they are labels that objectify people who suffer from these conditions, thus promoting biased and disparaging assumptions about them. It is important to remember that a psychological disorder is not what a person is ; it is something that a person has —through no fault of his or her own. As is the case with cancer or diabetes, those with psychological disorders suffer debilitating, often painful conditions that are not of their own choosing. These individuals deserve to be viewed and treated with compassion, understanding, and dignity.


The diagnosis and classification of psychological disorders is essential in studying and treating psychopathology. The classification system used by most U.S. professionals is the DSM-5. The first edition of the DSM was published in 1952, and has undergone numerous revisions. The 5th and most recent edition, the DSM-5, was published in 2013. The diagnostic manual includes a total of 237 specific diagnosable disorders, each described in detail, including its symptoms, prevalence, risk factors, and comorbidity. Over time, the number of diagnosable conditions listed in the DSM has grown steadily, prompting criticism from some. Nevertheless, the diagnostic criteria in the DSM are more explicit than that of any other system, which makes the DSM system highly desirable for both clinical diagnosis and research.

Questions & Answers

can anyone suggest me good coaching in Indore MP India for m.a entrance of du psychology
How can one diagnose a patient with a mental disorder such as schizophrenia?
Kutwal Reply
Making the Diagnosis. To get an official diagnosi of schizophrenia, your loved one has to show at least two of the following symptom most of the time for a month, and some mental disturbance over six months: Delusions (false beliefs that the person won't give up, even when they get proof that they'r
they're not ture)
Can sombody write me here about Pinoccio in psychodynamic perspective?
Amina Reply
what is the nature and nurture perspective of personality?
Khan Reply
are there significant differences between methamphetamine and it's long term effects on male cognitive behavioral and function versus female?
Shiloh Reply
effects will be the same( male & female)
tell me more
no. it's much worse on females. almost s complete polar switch
please is there any difference between abnormal behaviour and normal behaviour?
Ayodele Reply
yes abnormal behavior is "not normal ", actions in society's eyes. an example of abnormal behavior (I remember from a textbook) ; a man who runs around frantically in a grocery store licking strangers'(women's) shoes because when he was a baby his mom would tickle his feet/give them special attentio
yes there is a difference between abnormal and normal behaviour... This is simply because abnormal behaviour is deviating from the normal behaviour of the society while normal behaviour is obeying the moral standards in the society.
how about disorders? like, always having a tantrums and irrational most of the time?
a behavior becomes pathological when 1. there is a before and after : you can see a real change of behavior/cognition or 2. behavior is pathological when it makes yourself or others suffer
what is difference between disease and disorder
disease demand medicin but disorder demands care plus medicin
I think the concept of normal and abnormal behavior in general is not much of psychological concept but more of sociological concept. A behavior or act in itself is not normal or abnormal. How society perceives that specific behavior, that's what decides what's normal.
For instance, gay marriage is considered normal where homosexuality is legalized. Where it isn't legalized, its abnormal.
So there cannot be an absolute answer for your question
well abnormality is pretty much considered in popular society which is something of a correlation of psycholigical perspective reflected through activity... something abstract... or non trending or precedented. or maybe something disturbing or atypical for people in their respective birth cohorts.
please what are the schools of thought in psychology
if I told a girl that I will marry her how will she takes it when am to rate it in percentages
structuralism,functionalism,gestaltalism etc
what about Diathesis stress model ?
What is the difference between motivation and goal?
vishal Reply
goal is what you want to accomplish. motivation is what drives you to achieve it
motivation is ambitious and a goal is a ambition
But Motivation is just stay there for only short time
goal is our destination and motivation is a vehicle to reach goal
motivation is the One person improved in self development another person advices......... goal is achievement at one of the life.....
motivation is for our personality development thing but goal is our whole personality.
but its should be more remember without motivation no life no goal .
it's like this
if my goal is to get my degree. then me wanting a better job is my motivation. ultimately family
Motivation is the vehicle we use to reach our goal.
Please wat r the schools of psychology
i want the outline of it,its methodology
hi guys can someone help me how can I over or stress ?
Jennifer I need to take my own advice however stress relief is something that is done through catharsis which in my estimation is defined as a physical or mental activity used as therapy... that can include, yoga, meditation, sex, physical activity like a sport or martial art practice or sometimes .
the schools of psych I have no clue about
If you want to be something ,that we can say you have goal.But you will never be that without enough effort,if you getting accurate rewards from your surrounding as accepting you than before when you are trying to be something.that we can say motivation.it may be in the form of acceptance and suport
motiVation is the part of goal . but it has a backbone value for goal .with out motivation wo can not Think about our aim of life, our goals .
how do you get motivation? I'm such a lax person
can anyone help me we have a school in a third world country the kids are unable to learn, how can we help them motivate?
make it a game , if it's a 3rd world country then personal hygiene supplies would be a good prize to win
Maria can you explain that a little more
make them a set goal of so many pages to read or assigments to accomplish and go buy soap, toothpaste and toothbrush or even Candy and put it in front of the class so everyone can see the prizes and it will motivate them to finish first to get an award
ok Maria
what is mutation?
Amaya Reply
What is mindfulness
mindfulness means to be aware of the present
meaning that you are totally focussing on the present...and living in the moment
also present variables
hello guys
can someone help with few answers ?
hi what is all about ?
Folet Reply
The theory of evolution and its natural selection is a given trait by respond it is also classical conditioning it is a given trait that makes humans more unique than any other species of animals plants or an the theory o the Big Bang is a spontaneous person and has expanded ev we do not know that m
Ryan Reply
behaviors are most successful in treating what?
Cody Reply
mental health disorders
Please guys am about to begin my project, I'd love suggestions on topics I can possibly take up.
Anigwe Reply
What are your guide lines
Hi could anyone discuss self serving bias?
vishal Reply
what is self serving bias?
if you achieve something you are willing to take credit for that. If you don't achieve,you simply say it is because of external factors
I think simple and best example would be if we score good marks we say "I worked hard".If we don't get good marks we say "teacher didn't teach the lesson well".
is it universally applicable?
kindly explain how
If I'm not wrong, universally applicable means something which applies to everyone in general. So if you mean to ask whether everyone has a self serving bias, then the answer is No. Because self defeating bias, which is exactly opposite of self serving bias also exists.
An individual can have either of these two biases
what does attribution means?
Vamsi Reply
I have the same doubt... As we can search for meaning... But not able to understand the concept
atttibution is a social cognitive function that allows us to give, to attribute, feelings of thoughts to somebody that's not ourself. for example I can say that my friend is feeling sad today for some reasons because I can consider that my friend is different than me. does it help ?
Thank you Perle.Can I get another example?
imagine you are walking in the street and you see someone smiling. you can think "oh this person looks happy"
basically it's the ability to understand that others are not you and they can have their own feelings or thoughts
Thank you so much.
wait wait. my last example is wrong. seeing someone smiling and think they're happy is the theory of mind, not attribution
Is this definition correct "basically it's the ability to understand that others are not you and they can have their own feelings or thoughts."
yup ☺
but social cognitive functions are tricky. theory of mind and attribution are quite close !
Then can you please give me another example.
two examples : someone always talks during a class, while others listen to the professor. the intern attribution that you can think of is : this person doesn't like school
now this time, all students talk during a class. the external attribution that you can think of is : the class is boring
attribution is nothing but just the process by which we human explain our behaviour
like when I get good marks..i will attribute this to my performance and study
Hi Perle could you help me with one question
Is Self serving bias universal in attribution process?
self serving bias is like the tendency to perceive ourselves in very righteous manner
it's more on focussing on the need to maintain high self esteem
the basics are clear I needed to know more on the universal applicability about the SSB (self serving bias)
vishal yup thats a good idea ...
please what arw the two main ways of controlling behaviour?
Gifty Reply
patience and meditation
any one ,what is bio psychological model
Bio psychological model means bio means body and psychological means mind so bio psychological model is studies mind and body relationships
daily prayers and daily affirmations and daily excercise
and what is health belief model?

Get the best Psychology course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Psychology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 03, 2015 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11629/1.5
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Psychology' conversation and receive update notifications?