Frequently Asked Questions About DSM 5 Depression Criteria

I started collecting – and reading – psychology-related books early. My mother, a psychologist, said that I picked up one that she dropped on the floor on accident one day at around eight years old and started to read every word out loud slowly. I would not have possibly comprehended anything mentioned in that book by then, but she said that I kept going anyway. After that, she started to bring home more books about psychology, although they were already more appropriate for my age.

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My growing love for psychology books did not come without a price, of course. The first problem was the older kids at school who called me a little know-it-all. It happened because of one incident in which I defended a classmate who got teased for coming from a broken home. The bullies said, “Teacher Mary taught us that apples don’t fall far from the tree. If your dad left your family, you would leave your future family, too, so don’t even think of getting married ever. Ha-ha-ha!” Of course, I interjected that was a baseless thing to say and that people could change their thought pattern if they wanted to avoid becoming like their parents. I was correct, but the older kids did not like to be told off by a younger student.

Another problem was that I refused to read the Bible again. As St. Anne’s Catholic School was the only private school with a three-mile radius, my parents decided to send me there. Mind you; we were not even a religious family. I used to tolerate the prayers and Bible services when I was younger, but I wanted to stick with my psychology books – and other non-religious books – when I entered middle school. The nuns at the school were horrified by my revelation and called my parents to the Principal’s office at once. 

My parents stayed in the Principal’s office for a closed-door meeting for over an hour that day. While waiting outside the office, I feared that I might get in trouble because of what I said. When the door opened, the nuns were tight-lipped as my parents guided me to the car.

“What happened, Mom? Am I expelled, Dad?” I asked as soon as we entered the car.

“No, sweetie,” Mom replied. “However, your father and I agreed to homeschool you for the rest of your high school so that you would no longer need to do what you don’t want. It would keep you away from those kids who bullied you, too. Would you like that?”

I had no teachers or classes to miss at school; I could see my friends after school or on the weekends. More importantly, I could keep on reading psychology books. What’s not to like about it? 

“Of course, Mom. That’s the best decision ever!” I exclaimed, beaming.

That same afternoon, my mother gave me a heavy book. I could barely balance it on my knees, but I read that it was DSM 5 – the version of the manual that I had been waiting for for a long time.

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What are the DSM 5 criteria? 

The DSM-5 criteria are found in a mental health manual that psychological and psychiatric professionals turn to when diagnosing a patient’s possible disorder.

What is the DSM 5 code for depression? 

F32 is the DSM-5 cod for depression (major depressive disorder, to be specific).

What are the DSM 5 criteria for PTSD? 

Before you get diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you should have been exposed to a traumatic event. You also likely have PTSD if you are overly pessimistic, practice self-blaming all the time, and avoid recalling your traumatic experiences.

What are the mood disorders in DSM 5? 

  • Depressive disorders
  • Bipolar disorder

What is the difference between DSM 4 and DSM 5? 

DSM-4 practically says that an individual only needs to tick any of the symptoms mentioned in the guideline before getting diagnosed. Meanwhile, DSM-5 is stricter because it requires a person to experience two or more symptoms before a diagnosis.

What is a DSM category? 

A DSM category refers to a classification of psychological disorders found in the manual.

What is the classification system for mental disorders? 

The classification system for mental disorders allows psychiatrists and psychologists to divide them based on illness symptoms and course.

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What is the latest DSM? 

DSM-5 is the latest DSM manual.

How many diagnoses are there in DSM 5?

DSM-5 technically contains diagnoses for 157 mental disorders.

Will there be a DSM 6? 

It is highly possible that we won’t see a DSM-6 in the future, given that the fifth edition already contains significant changes.

What are the seven types of mental disorders? 

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Psychotic Disorders
  • Mood disorders
  • Post-traumatic disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Undetermined disorders

What are the DSM 5 criteria for schizophrenia? 

According to DSM-5, an individual must show signs of hallucination, delusion, catatonic behavior, and other symptoms before being diagnosed with schizophrenia.

What are the limits of DSM? 

DSM does not indicate possible treatment for any mental disorder.

How many mental disorders are in DSM 5?

There are 157 mental disorders in the DSM-5.

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Final Thoughts

The last time I set foot at St. Anne’s, it was to receive my high school diploma. That took less than an hour of the day, considering I did not need to march with the rest of my batchmates. After that, I went straight to the university where I would take up – guess what? – psychology. 

I realized as a college student that no book could ever fully prepare you for the questions of psych professors who knew better than to throw yes/no questions to students. Often, I would catch myself with my mouth hanging open whenever the teachers would talk about theories I did not come across in the books I read before. 

However, I found the most helpful was my DSM 5 book, especially when I went past the freshman year. While some of my classmates took a while to navigate the pages, I already knew which sections appeared on what pages. I went on to practice psychology, and there was no better backup than that book.

Coping With Your Mental Health Struggles

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The Global Mental Health Summit 2019 talked about the most misunderstood topic in the whole world – mental health. People can be very inconsiderate, especially those who are not welcoming of new studies and changes. One must understand that mental health is as important as physical health. Actually, for me, mental health is a mile much more important than physical health. If your mind is not in tiptop shape, your body will follow suit. And have you heard of the saying “think past the pain” (physical pain that is)? It just means that the mind is “in-charge” of the body. Now, why should we take it for granted?

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Time Of Pandemic: Taking Care Of Your Mental Health

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This year has been a challenging time for our society. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic last March 11. The COVID-19 has been rapidly spreading across 185 countries, with more than 2.2 million cases and counting. It continues to spread, with death toll alarmingly on the rise.

Governments around the world try to “flatten the curve” by implementing extreme procedures to slow down the spread, enough for the current number of cases to be within the capacity of healthcare institutions. For most countries, this means extreme Draconian measures to keep the virus outbreak at bay.

From strict lockdowns, travel bans, forced closure of establishments, the prohibition of mass gatherings, and social distancing— daily routines were forced to change abruptly.

Adapting into this new way of life or the new normal as they say, and the fear of contracting COVID-19 itself can be stressful and lead to anxiety. It can be overwhelming, taking a toll on everyone’s mental health. Sudden disengagement from society can also make coping with this fear and anxiety, especially hard.

With the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacting numerous facets of our community, it is essential to take steps to ensure the care of your own and your family’s mental health.

COVID-19 Pandemic’s Impact On Your Mental Health

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As people are unique, the pandemic’s effect can significantly vary from one person to another. During this pandemic, your mental health can be considerably affected by stress, anxiety, fear, sadness, and loneliness. “Given the circumstances, feeling anxious is part of a normal response to what’s going on,” Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., points out.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health can manifest in different ways. It is crucial to keep an eye out for such occurrences in yourself, your family, and even your friends. It can worsen with the uncertainty as to when things will get better, but it is preventable by taking specific measures.

Practices To Improve Mental Health During COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Be Careful Of What You Read From The News

Repeatedly hearing negative news about the pandemic can be upsetting. Taking a break or setting a scheduled time to get updates about the situation can be helpful.

  • Take Care Of Your Body

Taking steps to take care of your body is vital in attaining good overall health. It is crucial to building the immune system not only to avoid the virus but also to feel good physically. Remember to eat healthily, drink water, and exercise. It is also essential to get enough rest and sleep.

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  • Do Leisure Activities

Although the measures imposed by the government will likely prevent most of us from going out and doing our hobbies, it is still essential to unwind and relax. You can explore new ways to entertain yourself or even discover new hobbies and talents. Doing so will help ease some anxiety and help yourself feel good mentally.

  • Stay Connected With People

Thanks to technology, connecting with people is now more accessible, even without stepping a foot outside of your home. Staying in touch with friends and family can help you, as well as them, get through these hard times. Sharing how you feel or even seeing that they are doing well can put the mind at ease.

  • Set Goals And Priorities

The pandemic can hamper our productivity and ability to concentrate. Tasks typically done may seem insignificant or more tiresome while dealing with issues brought by the pandemic. It is helpful to prioritize and organize what needs to be accomplished immediately, not to get overwhelmed.

Final Thoughts

Indeed, the current global pandemic is challenging. Isolation and social distancing do not mean that you are alone in this fight. Although the steps enumerated above can be done by oneself, seeking professional help or comfort from friends and family can also be an option.

Navigating this uncertainty is hard, but not impossible. It will test our resilience, but we will come out of it more reliable. Taking care of our mental health is not only crucial to our overall health. If we are mentally healthy, we will be able to look out for others as well and even contribute to our communities.

Mental Health Is As Important As Physical Health

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The 2017 Mental Health Summit was an awakening for me. The whole point of the event was to discuss the mental health of children. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant was present in that summit, and as they say, it was a record-breaking event in terms of attendance. There were around 350 attendees on that event, which shows that people these days are interested to know more about the mental health issues that can plague children, which include behavioral, personality disorders, and more. Of course, the Governor was the one who opened the general session.

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Stress Management

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Stress is inevitable or something that you could not avoid. According to Mary K. Tatum, LMHC, “Stress is variable and affects everyone differently.”  Despite your diligent efforts of trying to be cool with the demands of work, family life or personal matters, there will always come a time when stress will take over you. This is the primary reason why it is essential to learn some techniques on how to beat stress. The first step that you must do is to accept the fact that stress is part of life. Once you learn to accept this fact, the solution will follow. “Some people are more prone to stress reactions. They’re likely to be people who have difficulty managing on a day-to-day basis. They may not have effective problem-solving skills, or be predisposed to high levels of anxiety and uncertainty,” says Len Tuzman, an expert on stress management.  Continue reading

Psychiatry: Tips To Improve Mental Health 

The secret to feeling better and happier is to improve your mental health. Make it a top priority to care for your well-being. No matter what comes your way, be sure that you know how to handle it the right manner. The process of working on the improvement of your mental health is challenging. You have to set your mind on how to make it happen. Below are some of the tricks on how to achieve this ultimate goal: 

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Loving A Person With Depression: 10 Things To Remember – Part 1

Depression. A disease without a vaccine, it can strike unannounced at any time, anywhere, and without any semblance of a warning. Depression can always be the fire that can blaze emotional relationships if not checked and taken care of. “Dating someone with depression can be hard,” according to licensed social worker Caitlin Cantor LCSW, CST. If you intend to keep a healthy and fruitful relationship with someone who is depressed, here are 13 points to keep in mind.

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Mental Wellness: Breaking Free From Your Worries

In today’s society, one indicator of a person’s wealth is their health. People nowadays care less about fancy cars, bags, and clothes. People now lean towards a healthy lifestyle. One sign of a healthy person is their mental well-being. The famous French poet Jean Baptiste Poquelin, better known as Molière, once mentioned, “The mind has great influence over the body, and maladies often have their origin there.” Molière explains how our diseases usually originate from the mind. Sometimes, it’s all in our head. It’s all about how we deal with the situations at hand.

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Mental wellness is more than an absence of mental diseases. It is a positive state of mind where one is capable of coping with the normal stresses of life. Mental wellness is achievable when one can work productively and fruitfully as well as realize their abilities. Being in such a state enables an individual to perform to the best of their capabilities.

Benefits Of Mental Wellness

A mentally healthy individual is in control of their emotions and decisions. Being mentally healthy makes them capable of achieving beyond the normal. Not only do they perform, but they are also able to build and maintain the relationships they have with other people. Mental wellness has several benefits but here are five of its best.

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  1. Adaptability To Changes and Flexibility To Learn

People with a positive mental state are very resilient. Despite their failures, they are willing to bounce back. No matter how hard the situation is, they push forward. They are not too affected by the changes in their environment. Complete control of their thoughts allows them to devise the best decisions. According to psychologist Diana Raab Ph.D., “Being emotionally well doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re happy all the time, but rather, that you’re self-aware and able to shift as a way to feel better.”

  1.    Build And Maintain Healthy Relationships

A healthy mind enables you to get through any problem with a partner or group. It prevents them from feeling doubt, anxiety, and judgment from the people around them. Without these issues, they can maintain a healthy and close relationship with their friends, family, or colleagues. Being free from the thoughts of judgment makes it easier to form new relationships. With the proper mindset, it is easy to approach and meet new people.

  1.    Increased Productivity

People who have complete control of their thoughts enable a strong sense of self-discipline. This discipline promotes productivity in the individual. Having a clear mind allows them to organize the way they act. Also, it helps them produce better outcomes at school or work. Mental wellness encourages personal growth from being able to do their hobbies free from worries.

  1.    Positively Affects Overall Health

A healthy body comes hand-in-hand with a healthy mind. Several studies have linked a healthy mindset and mood to heart problems, aches, pains and other kinds of sickness. The reason for this is their mind overcomes such issues. Their mind conditioned their body to believe that they’re alright. Thus, people strongly believe a healthy mind can also boost your immune system.

  1. You Become Happier

Mentally healthy people, often feel contented. They couldn’t ask for anything more than what they already have. Moreover, they don’t bother worrying about the things around them. These people are less susceptible to harsh criticism and judgment. They can work productively without too much stress. Also, they have almost complete control of themselves. It allows them to excel and at the same time feel satisfied with their achievements.

Improving Your Mental Wellness

“Mental wellness however, requires some effort, in the same way physical health does,” said psychologist Jennice Vilhauer Ph.D. Any time is the perfect time to change your lifestyle. Changing it is never too late. If you’re a sensitive person who believes that they are easily affected by the people around them, have no fear. You can still improve the way you handle situations. Though, it all starts in mind. Here are four useful tips to help you:

  • Exercise

A healthy mind goes with a healthy body, and a healthy body promotes a healthy mind. It becomes a two-way process. Try jogging at least three times a week. You can also play sports you’re interested in as your hobby.

  • A Balanced Diet

Studies have found that eating can reduce anxiety. We also have this term known as “comfort foods.” These are foods that provide emotional comfort to an individual. Though make sure even if you’re eating your comfort food, you are following a balanced diet.

  • Ask For Help

There’s no harm in asking for help. Sometimes, all you need is a hand. If you are struggling with gathering your thoughts, try to talk it out. Keeping it inside won’t help you at all.

  • Have Fun

Never be afraid to have fun. You don’t need to deal with everything seriously. Sometimes, a little laugh can make your worries go away. Have thrilling and exciting journeys with your friends. Play some sports. Learn how to play an instrument. Try to find a hobby that suits you.

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Your mental wellness is essential. Make sure to keep track of your mental health. As much as possible, prevent your condition from getting worse. As what mental health expert  Adi Jaffe Ph.D. said, “Don’t concern yourself too much with everyone else’s opinion—find one that speaks to you and move forward.”

Online Therapy Programs For Kids

Mental health is a growing concern among the youngest generations. The first of the two is the Millennials, also known as Gen Y, and the other is Gen Z. 

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Gen Y are people within the ages of 25-39 years old. The other group, Gen Z, are born from the year 1995 to 2012. They are vulnerable to several mental health issues. We often hear matters on depression, anxiety, stress, and other mental disorders. Nowadays, they seek help from any therapist online. While online therapy presents some challenges, it has received support from many patients who have utilized online mental health treatments,” according to psychosocial rehabilitation specialist Kendra Cherry, MS.

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