Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)

  • Hoyle LeighEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_9129


The word diagnosis derives from the Greek prefix dia, meaning across, apart, or through, and the Greek word gnosis, meaning knowing. Diagnosis, a thorough (through and through) knowing of the patient’s illness, including knowing it apart from other possibilities (differential diagnosis), is the essential first step in all medical intervention including psychiatric evaluation.

The standard reference in making a psychiatric diagnosis is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), now in its 5th edition (APA 2013). Although this is a manual published by one professional organization in the United States, DSM has become the de facto international reference for psychiatric diagnosis.

Historical Background

The APA published a predecessor to a DSM in 1844, which was a statistical classification of institutionalized mental patients. The first official DSM, published in 1952, was based on Adolf Meyer’s...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of CaliforniaFresnoUSA