The disorders listed here (a partial list from hundreds of disorders) are diagnosed based upon commonly referred to criteria. The criteria are found in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic & Statistical Manual (DSM-IV TR) 2. The DSM-IV TR is the leading professionally researched, developed and endorsed medical collection of universally recognized disorders.
Accordingly, the information found on this page regarding symptoms of mental disorders comes from the DSM-IV TR. The symptoms listed are paraphrased, and include dominant features—rule out variables are not included here. None of the symptoms listed address the possibility that professional interpretations might vary among different mental health practitioners and among practice specialists.
The DSM-IV TR contains family patterns, onset, cultural factors, rule out considerations, prevalence, gender differences, age differences, and symptomology.
It also addresses medically induced disorders. The DSM-IV TR provides other factors to consider in diagnosis. It is important to consider that not all professionals use the PIE Perspective in their assessment approach, a comprehensive view in accurate diagnosis.
Diagnosis is commonly made during a subjective assessment process—that is, interpretations are made based upon the perspectives and beliefs of the professional doing the assessment. Subjective beliefs are usually rooted in what is known as practice wisdom, and when assessment occurs with the use of psychometric instruments, practice wisdom can be less subjective.
If you believe you (or someone you love) is experiencing symptoms of a mental disorder remember that a diagnosis can only be made by a licensed mental health professional—and some offer free initial consultations.