Reviews

Understanding Mental Disorders: Your Guide to DSM-5

Published by the American Psychiatric Association, this book is intended to be a straightforward guide to the United States diagnostic system for mental disorders, known as DSM-5

Published by the American Psychiatric Association, this book is intended to be a straightforward guide to the United States diagnostic system for mental disorders, known as DSM-5.

It is a well-written, accessible guide to a wide-range of psychiatric diagnoses, and offers clear examples and case studies of disorders and treatments.

It includes risk factors and warning signs, related disorders, ways of coping, tips to promote mental health, personal stories, key points about the disorders and treatment options, treatment essentials and ways to get help. There is also a glossary, list of medications and support groups

However, use of the DSM-5 is specific to the US and not entirely relevant to the UK, where the NHS refers to the World Health Organization International Classification of Diseases, ICD-10.

The book also refers to US legislation, and to some treatment options and practices that are not recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence or available in the UK.

Moreover, the book does not touch on any of the controversies about psychiatric diagnoses or the limitations of diagnoses in conditions, such as depression, schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders, that share symptoms but have widely varying outcomes and responses to treatments.

As such, the book would be most useful to beginners and non-specialists who want to gain a greater understanding of the DSM diagnostic system.

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