There are many mental disorders and problems around the world that require treatment. Depression and anxiety are part of it, but we can also find others like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder.
If we know about these troubles, it is because they have a name, a diagnostic label that identifies the joint presentation of a number of symptoms bound together. And sometimes, determining the person’s problem can be difficult to assess, as different professionals may assess different aspects and ignore others.
Fortunately, to overcome this difficulty some professionals have developed throughout history classification systems for mental disorders, the best known and used today the DSM-5 and CIE-10. But even though these are classification systems with great similarities to each other, they are not the same. What are the main differences between DSM-5 and CIE-10? Let’s take a look at it throughout the next article.
DSM-5 and CIE-10: what are they?
Before moving on to the differences between DSM-5 and ICD-10, it might be desirable first to make a brief mention of what these acronyms refer to, known to all psychologists and psychiatrists.
When we talk about the DSM-5, we are talking about the fifth edition of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders”, one of the best-known textbooks and classification systems for mental disorders and mental disorders and relevant. This edition was published in 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association (now APA) by consensus of experts and by conducting multiple investigations.
This classification system, although it is increasingly controversial due to the increasingly pathologization of behaviors and modus operandi and by accusations of the existence of commercial interests behind the formulation and overdiagnosis of some of these disorders, is one of the most relevant because it provides a framework from which to determine whether patients have symptoms and criteria specific to a particular disorder, so that diagnosis and treatment are provided for both the caregiver and for future interpretations by other professionals.
As for ICD-10, in this case the acronym refers to the tenth edition of the “International Classification of Diseases”. This is another of the great textbooks and classification systems that exist, although this time it not only analyzes mental disorders but all the diseases, disorders and alterations that exist. Mental disorders occupy a single chapter, the fifth (or F).
It was published in 1992 by the World Health Organization. Although in 2018 the next edition was released, the ICD-11, the truth is that even today it is still more used and is the more widespread version CIE-10 and even the previous one (CIE- 9).
Main differences between DSM-5 and CIE-10
While the DSM-5 and CIE-10 have multiple similarities and include very similar psychic / psychiatric issues, the truth is that they are two different reference books and with several differences to be aware of. Below we’ll take a look at some of the clearer differences between the two.
1. Level of specificity: mental disorder or general classification of diseases
One of the main aspects in which we can find differentiators between DSM-5 and ICD-10 is the fact that while the DSM is a reference manual focused on mental disorders, the ICD is the International Classification of diseases, including not only changes. of the psyche but all the medical disorders and diseases that can appear in humans.
So during in the DSM-5 we will only find mental problems and disordersThese are just one of the chapters or sections of ICD-10, which, although included in Chapter V (or F) on mental disorders, also covers any illness or medical problem.
2. Different objectives
Although both are very useful classification systems in the health field and their content is very similar, a difference can be found in the specific purpose of each of them.
Although both focus on diagnosis, while the DSM strives for a systematic and accurate description of the diagnostic criteria and characteristics of a disorder, ICD focuses more on making a recording and analysis of the current characteristics of the disorder. In this sense, the former is also slightly more specific in its description of the symptoms.
3. Organization that generates them
A fairly significant difference between the two systems is in the organization that generated them, as well as in the recognition they have.
The DSM-5 was developed by the American Psychiatric Association, One of the most important American organizations in the world for the study of mental health problems. On the other hand, ICD-10 was developed by the World Health Organization, which has a global impact.
4. Level of recognition
Although the DSM-5 is probably the best-known and arguably the most widely used classification system in America, a large majority of psychiatrists in the world and in particular in Europe use the ICD-10.
5. Number of major categories
Already in what would be the real content or the classification made between the different mental disorders, one of the differences we can find is the number of major sections or categories.
While ICD-10 includes a total of 10 differentiated sections in the chapter devoted to mental disorders, three of which are devoted to childhood disorders, in the DSM we can find a total of 21 broad diagnostic categories. It should be noted that we are talking about large groups of disorders, there are several disorders in most of each of the groups.
6. Different disorders or presence of the same disorder with different names
Perhaps the most notable difference is that the DSM-5 and CIE-10 they classify psychiatric disorders under different namesInclude criteria that may be different from each other (for example, they may take into account periods when symptoms must be different from each other). There are even some that do not directly exist or are not considered diagnostic entities in any of the classification systems, as is the case with mixed anxiety-depression disorder.
Most of these differences are irrelevant and refer to the same realities, being highly arbitrary.
Another element of differentiation between the two classifications, and this is something that is even more evident between the DSM-5 and the recent CIE-11, is that although both classification systems have despite the criticisms that cause of great utility, the DSM-5 is based on a perspective and understanding of the psyche based on Western mindset and culture, whereas in the case of the ICD-10 more consideration is given to the existence of different problems more typical of other cultures.
So while in the DSM it is possible that some issues do not fit the diagnostic criteria due to divergent cultural elements compared to Westerners, the CIM is more cross-cultural and allows for greater applicability in other regions. of the world with different circumstances and ways. to understand reality.
8. A … multiaxial system?
Throughout its history, the DSM and the CIM classification system have used a multiaxial system, with different axes that allow different types of problems to be annotated in order to facilitate the diagnosis and classification of different problems. However, with the advent of the DSM-5, this functionality has gone from being a common element to being a differentiator.
And this is the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Disorders mental he dispensed with the multiaxiality that characterized his previous version (DSM-IVR had a total of five axes), while ICD-10 maintains three main axes: (clinical diagnosis, disabilities and contextual elements).
- American Psychiatric Association (APA). (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
- Gómez, R., A. (2015). International Classification of Diseases (ICD): decipher ICD-10 and wait for ICD-11. National Superintendence of Health, 7, 66-73.
- World Health Organization (1992). International Classification of Diseases and Health Problems, Tenth Revision (ICD-10). Geneva.