Doctors use the the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)'s definitions to diagnose more 300 other conditions. Insurance companies use it to justify reimbursements; without a DSM code, mental-health patients and doctors usually don't get paid. DSM-5 is already so famous that it has its own website: http://dsm5.org
On Dec. 1, the American Psychiatric Association approved the fifth edition of the DSM which took 13 years and 1,500 mental-health experts to complete. They tried to approach mental disorders less as discrete illnesses, like leukemia, and more as problems on a continuum, like hypertension.
Here are a few of the new additions in DSM-5:
- Hoarding is included as a diagnosis, meaning those who can't get rid of ephemera can now seek reimbursement for therapy
- Binge eating was in the appendix for more than a decade, but now it's an official diagnosis
- Bereavement. The previous DSM said those in mourning don't necessarily qualify for depression therapy or medication. DSM-5 eliminates that exclusion.
- Excoriation, or skin picking, should be considered a mental illness according to DSM-5
Redefining Mental Illness. TIME, 2012.