Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), History of

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is the most frequently referenced and widely accepted source of definitions for mental disorders in the United States. It was originally published in 1952 by the American Psychiatric Association, and it has been revised periodically since that time. Specifically, new editions of the DSM appeared in 1968 (DSM-II), 1980 (DSM-III), 1987 (DSM-III-R [revised]), 1994 (DSM-IV), 2000 (DSM-IV-TR [text revision]), and 2013 (DSM-5).


Descriptions of abnormal behavior and mental suffering appear throughout human history, including in the ancient writings of cultures around the world. But until the late 1800s and early 1900s, there were very few efforts to form a systematic, shared code of mental disorders. Around that time in the United States and Europe, pioneering reformers of ...

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