Use of DSM in the Law: the Doctors Need to Recognize this Reality in DSM-V


Mental health professionals and those dealing with mental health issues are well aware of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). It is used everyday in the law, as well, and you can find a copy on most death qualified criminal defense attorney’s shelves - maybe more than one. In fact, you can buy a copy for yourself, new or used, at for around $60.00.

The DSM is a reference work that classifies (by codes) recognized mental disorders in the United States. According to the American Psychiatric Association, the DSM is”...intended to be applicable in a wide array of contexts and used by clinicians and researchers of many different orientations (e.g., biological, psychodynamic, cognitive, behavioral, interpersonal, family/systems).”

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