DSM-5 reviewed from different angles: goal attainment, rationality, use of evidence, consequences—part 1: general aspects and paradigmatic discussion of depressive disorders

  • Hans-Jürgen Möller
  • Borwin Bandelow
  • Michael Bauer
  • Harald Hampel
  • Sabine C. Herpertz
  • Michael Soyka
  • Utako B. Barnikol
  • Simone Lista
  • Emanuel Severus
  • Wolfgang Maier
Original Paper


DSM-5 was published in 2013 after about 10 years of preparation. Part 1 of this paper discusses several more general aspects of DSM-5 and offers a detailed, paradigmatic analysis of changes made to the chapter on depressive disorders. The background for the changes is analysed on the basis of a PubMed search and review papers on the classification of mental disorders in general and on empirical knowledge about individual disorders. Contrary to the original plans, DSM-5 has not introduced a primarily dimensional diagnostic system but has widely preserved the categorical system of disorders. Also, it has not adopted a more neurobiological approach to disorders by including biological markers to increase the objectivity of psychiatric diagnoses but has maintained the primarily symptom-based, descriptive approach. The criteria for some disorders have been changed, including affective, schizophrenic and addiction disorders, and a few new disorders have been added. A minimal version of the dimensional approach was realised through the introduction of several transnosological specifiers and the option to make symptom- or syndrome-related severity and dimensional assessments. These specifiers and assessments might allow a more individualised description of a patient’s psychopathological state and more personalised treatment. However, most of the symptom- and syndrome-related assessments are not mandatory and therefore may not be used in clinical practice.


DSM-5 Categorical classification Dimensional classification Diagnosis Standardised assessments Depressive disorders 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans-Jürgen Möller
    • 1
  • Borwin Bandelow
    • 2
  • Michael Bauer
    • 3
  • Harald Hampel
    • 4
  • Sabine C. Herpertz
    • 5
  • Michael Soyka
    • 1
    • 6
  • Utako B. Barnikol
    • 7
    • 8
  • Simone Lista
    • 4
  • Emanuel Severus
    • 3
  • Wolfgang Maier
    • 9
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyLudwig Maximilian UniversityMunichGermany
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyUniversity of GöttingenGöttingenGermany
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Carl Gustav CarusTechnische Universität DresdenDresdenGermany
  4. 4.Department of Neurology, The Institute of Memory and Alzheimer’s Disease, Pitié-Salpêtrière HospitalPierre and Marie Curie UniversityParisFrance
  5. 5.Department of General Psychiatry, Center for Psychosocial MedicineUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  6. 6.Private Hospital MeiringenMeiringenSwitzerland
  7. 7.Department of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, Center for NeurosurgeryAlbertus Magnus University of CologneCologneGermany
  8. 8.Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and PsychotherapyAlbertus Magnus University of CologneCologneGermany
  9. 9.Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyUniversity of BonnBonnGermany

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