chapter  2
25 Pages

Types of Mental Disorders Classifying Mental Disorders:

The leading authority for classifying mental disorders in psychiatry worldwide is the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) (Demazeux and Singy 2015; Paris and Phillips 2013; Whooley 2014). The first two editions of the manual, DSM-I (1952) and DSM-II (1968), were not widely influential and were largely based on the opinions of leading experts about what symptoms constituted particular forms of mental disorder. However, DSM-III (1980) represented a striking change in psychiatric thinking as it attempted to classify mental disorders on the basis of scientifically verifiable evidence. In doing so, DSM-III diminished reliance on Sigmund Freud’s once prevalent theory of psychoanalysis, as well as some connections to biology, as seen in the elimination of organic mental disorders as a category. The changes also included the removal of neurosis and its various subtypes, which had been a major Freudian-based diagnostic classification. The symptoms for what was formerly called a neurosis were merged into other categories such as anxiety disorders, as DSM-III marked the beginning of the end of Freud’s dominance in psychiatry (Shorter 2013).