DSM-V Changes and Additions


On December 1, 2012, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) board of trustees approved the final diagnostic criteria for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, commonly referred to as the DSM-V. Set to be released in the spring of 2013, the DSM-V includes some significant and impactful changes.

New Diagnoses

Binge Eating Disorder: Characterized by recurrent binge eating without “inappropriate compensatory behaviors and/or extreme dietary restraint” as common in bulimia nervosa.

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder: Describes children with severe outbursts or tantrums and a prolonged irritable mood. The diagnosis was included to capture children misdiagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and ADHD.

Excoriation Disorder: Compulsive skin picking of various parts of the body with no apparent cause or underlying condition. The disorder often escalates into neurotic excoriation in which the urge to scratch or pick becomes unbearable.

Hoarding Disorder: Previously classified as a subtype of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, hoarding now has its own independent diagnosis due to its unique symptoms and effects.


Autism Spectrum Disorder: Likely the largest overhaul of a single diagnosis, Autism Spectrum Disorder has been changed to include Asperger’s Syndrome (now referred to as a form of high functioning autism), Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (characterized by normal development until age 3 or 4 and then the sudden onset of symptoms, including the loss of language, motor, and social skills) and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (a broad term pertaining to delays in basic functions). Further classification will be made for each individual diagnosed under the Autism Spectrum Disorder with regards to severity and the amount of support needed.


Anxiety Depressive-Syndrome, Attenuated Psychosis, Hypersexual Disorder, Parental Alienation Syndrome and Sensory Processing Disorder were among the proposed and subsequently rejected diagnoses.

Other Notable Changes

Removal of multiaxial system: The overall structure of the DSM will be altered with the removal of the 5 axes system. The new DSM-V will instead present a simplified list of 20 chapters by grouping related disorders.

To learn more about the changes and timeline for release, visit the official DSM-V development website.

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