DSM-5

The Law Library now has a copy of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders which was published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) earlier this year!  The DSM-5, as it is more commonly known, is the latest edition of the APA’s classification manual of mental disorders that includes “associated criteria designed to facilitate more reliable diagnoses of these disorders.” 

The manual does include a “Cautionary Statement for Forensic Use of DSM-5” at the beginning of the volume.  The cautionary statement notes that the manual is “primarily designed to assist clinicians in conducting clinical assessment, case formulation, and treatment planning”, but adds that it “is also used as a reference for the courts and attorneys in assessing the forensic consequences of mental disorders” and “when used appropriately… can assist legal decision makers in their determinations.”  However, users are also cautioned that “the use of DSM-5 should be informed by an awareness of the risks and limitations of its use in forensic settings” and when the DSM-5 is used for forensic purposes, “there is a risk that diagnostic information will be misused or misunderstood.” 

The DSM-5 is available for use in the Law Library.  You can find more information about the DSM-5 on the APA’s website.

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