The DSM is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and is the “gold standard” that clinicians use to make an assessment about an individual.  The DSM-V was published (officially) on May 18, 2013, and while there are many changes to move it from a categorical to a dimensional classification system, it still seems out of date in that it does not reflect the shift in psychiatry to define different disorder based on biological variables (e.g., data!)

Despite my bias that a model of mental disorder based on behavioral observation is, well, bad, I still think that it is important to understand how the manual has changed between these two versions.

Changes in the DSM Between version 4 and 5

  • Subtypes of autism (Asperger’s and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified PDD-NOS) went away.  Everyone now falls into one bucket, autism spectrum disorder.
  • Subtypes for variant forms of schizophrenia have also gone away.
  •  New “disorders” include gambling disorder, tobacco-use disorder, premenstraul dysmorphic disorder, and caffeine addiction - see here for a nice summary.
  • “Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder” is to replace pediatric diagnoses of Bipolar
  • The multi-axial system of diagnosis has been dropped
  • Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) has been replaced with the World Health Organization (WHO) Disability Assessment Schedule
  • “Panic Disorder” and “Agoraphobia” are now two separate disorders
  • “Separation anxiety disorder” and “selective mutism” are now types of anxiety disorder
  • Lots of excitement in the OCD department!  We have four new disorders: 1) excoriation (skin-picking) disorder, 2) hoarding disorder, 3) substance-/medication-induced OCD, and 4) OCD due to another medical condition.
  • Subtypes of gender identity disorder based on sexual orientation - finally deleted

This of course isn’t a comprehensive list, but it seems to be the “biggest stuff,” imho.

Suggested Citation:
Sochat, Vanessa. "Changes from DSM-IV to DSM-V." @vsoch (blog), 29 Jul 2013, (accessed 04 Feb 24).