How do we classify mental diseases?

There are 2 main classifications standards that are used today in the western world to diagnose psychopathological symptoms.

In the field psychotherapy, the concept of diagnostics is controversial. The reason being that unlike some physical problems, psychological issues are individual. For example, there is no one single cause of borderline personality disorder (BPD), but an array of situations that occur in the patient’s life that leads up to the symptoms. Diagnosing the symptoms are also complex, since each patient has his/her own way of dealing with the psychological trauma that leads to the condition. However putting labels onto observable psychological and behavioral conditions are necessary for professional to communicate with administrative bodies like psychiatrists, insurance companies, the courts, etc.

The ICD-10 by the World Health Organization (WHO)

The ICD-1o is also known as the International Statistical Classification of Diseases. It is the most recognized diagnostic classification system in the medical profession, and is provided by the WHO.

In the ICD-10 classification of mental disorders (or psychopathology) is categorized in Chapter F. Click here to have a complete online list of the ICD-10 classification of mental disorders.

This chapter contains the following blocks:
  • F00-F09Organic, including symptomatic, mental disorders
  • F10-F19Mental and behavioural disorders due to psychoactive substance use
  • F20-F29Schizophrenia, schizotypal and delusional disorders
  • F30-F39Mood [affective] disorders
  • F40-F48Neurotic, stress-related and somatoform disorders
  • F50-F59Behavioural syndromes associated with physiological disturbances and physical factors
  • F60-F69Disorders of adult personality and behaviour
  • F70-F79Mental retardation
  • F80-F89Disorders of psychological development
  • F90-F98Behavioural and emotional disorders with onset usually occurring in childhood and adolescence
  • F99-F99Unspecified mental disorder

ICD-11 is due to be out in 2018.

The DSM-5 by the American Psychiatric Association (APA)

DSM-5 is the short form for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

 The DSM-5 was published in May 2013. 

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