How is Mental Health Diagnosed?

Mental health disorders are commonly defined using either the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) or the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) – which is currently on the 5th edition. The DSM-5 is maintained by one of the worlds leading psychological schools the APA – or American Psychological Association. You will hear their name come up a lot in the study of Psychology, along with the British Psychological Society (BPS). And while there are many more, in the UK these are the two guiding bodies for Psychology in general. It is however worth mentioning that the field of counselling is governed by other organisations depending on which school of practice they follow; but more on this in the second module.

The aim of the DSM-5 is to act as an extensive list of mental health disorders in order to aid doctors and other medical professionals diagnose these issues in a consistent and informed manner. Though the DSM-5 is rather extensive, and covers over 600 different diagnoses, it is not possible to list every single condition as they present differently with everyone. The DSM itself is constructed by a consortium of hundreds of medical professionals and is reviewed, with the last edition being published in May 2013 – 14 years after it’s predecessor. It is worth noting that the DSM has always had an air of controversy around it, with many openly criticising its contents. With the DSM-5 many of these comments revolve around the predominance of the pharmaceutical industry, and the tendency to try to attach a medical term or label to non-extreme patterns of behaviour. The DSM is also a product of it’s time, and not able to remove itself from the current societal thoughts. One such example is that until 1973 homosexuality was considered mental disorder un the paraphilia or sexual disturbance tree.

Scroll to Top
Hey there! We're still building the website

Please bear with us!

Contact Us

Thank you!
we'll get back to you as soon as we can