DSM stands for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This is the classification that is considered the standard way to diagnose mental disorders in the United States. It is used by professionals in the mental health field throughout the entire country.
In the DSM, there are five different axises. The first is Clinical Disorders and conditions that need Clinical attention, the second is Personality Disorders and Mental Retardation, the third is General Medical Conditions, the fourth is Psychosocial and Environmental Problems and the fifth is the Global Assessment of Functioning Scale. Today, we are going to focus on the fourth axis, which is commonly referred to as DSM-IV.
The problems that fall into this category are those related to psychosocial and environmental problems. This includes a negative life event, an environmental difficulty or deficiency, a familial or other interpersonal stressor or an inadequacy of social support of personal resources.
Within the DSM-IV, there are nine separate categories where problems can fall. These nine categories are primary support group, social environment, educational problems, occupational problems, housing problems, economic problems, problems with access to health care services, problems related to interaction with the legal system and any other environmental or psychosocial problems that are affecting an individual’s ability to function in their daily activities of life.
If you are planning on going into a career in the mental health field, it will be important for you to learn all of this information in great detail. Even if you are just beginning your education in the field of mental health, it is never too early to start educating yourself as much as possible.