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The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Men

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is a manual of mental disorders published and continually revised by the American Psychiatric Association. This manual is currently in its 5th Edition and is referred to as the DSM-V. The DSM categorizes a wide range of mental health disorders, including mental illnesses, personality disorders, and developmental disorders that impair cognitive development.
The DSM is often referred to as the Bible of mental health professionals. While the different personality disorders are interesting and can lead to clarity and validation for some people, it can be helpful to realize that diagnosing someone with a personality disorder, or even a mental illness, isn’t an exact science. It’s more of an art and adds more confusion to the mix; it’s an ever-changing art.
For these reasons, I would encourage you to focus more on the behaviors and less on the labels. Spotting problematic behavior is what’s essential. Labels change. So, even if the concerning person in your life isn’t officially diagnosed with a personality disorder, it doesn’t mean they don’t have damaging behavior worthy of distancing yourself from or being a deal-breaker.

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