Classification and Diagnosis

The diagnosis and classification of disorders allows professionals to make important decisions regarding treatment, as well as promoting communication and research and highlighting aspects of etiology. DSM-IV-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, text revision), the manual of the American Psychiatrists Association (APA) is a leading diagnostic tool for most disorders. DSM uses a multi-axial approach, where Axis I indicates the presence of clinical disorders and mental retardation, Axis II personality disorders and mental retardation, Axis III current medical conditions, Axis IV psychosocial and environmental effects and Axis V the overall level of functioning. Another widely used diagnostic tool is ICD-10 (International Classification of Diseases by the World Health Organization).