Friday, August 5, 2022

What is the DSM?

Fact: there is one only one way to get an official PTSD diagnosis, and that’s with a licensed clinician who knows their DSM-5. There is an updated version called the DSM-5-TR - the "TR" stands for "text revision."

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Version Five, is a big purple book that should be on your therapist’s bookshelf with the title DSM-5 or DSM-5 on the spine. The version five came out in 2013, and this is important for you to know in case you got a diagnosis before 2013 - the clinical definition of PTSD changed significantly from version four to version five. 

The DSM-5 is the authoritative guide to the diagnosis of all mental disorders. It contains descriptions, symptoms, and criteria for diagnosis. I am stomping my foot for a reason: if I had a nickel for every client I’ve seen who said their base psych didn’t diagnose them with PTSD because they did not score high enough on a “test,” I’d have three or four bucks. There is no “PTSD test;” you have to have a no-kidding come-to-Jesus sit-down with a mental health professional. It takes time and effort. You have to choose to be radically authentic with the clinician, and the clinician has to know their DSM-V. Hence, there are a lot of misdiagnoses out there. 

Bottom line is that we all deserve to get our lives back, so find a clinician who understands your diagnosis.

What worked for you to get a proper diagnosis? We value your feedback and ideas! Reach out on our Community Facebook Page!


If you believe change is possible, you want to change, and you are willing to do the work, you absolutely CAN get your life back.”

Get your copy of The Soldier's Guide to PTSDThe Soldier's Workbook

or Acknowledge & Heal, A Women's-Focused Guide to PTSD

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