Classification of Psychiatric Disorders

Yong Ku Kim, Seon Cheol Park

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    Because of the poor link between psychiatric diagnosis and neurobiological findings, it is difficult to classify mental disorders. The changes made to psychiatric diagnostic systems over the years can be understood in terms of “practical conservatism.” The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-I and DSM-II were theoretically supported by the psychoanalytic and psychodynamic approach. Subsequently, psychiatric diagnoses of this kind were opposed by the anti-psychiatry movement, as well as by the findings of the Rosenhan experiment. Thus, the DSM-III revolution contained more empiricism, aligning psychiatry with biomedicine. Psychiatric diagnoses are classified and defined in terms of Kraepelinian dualism, using a categorical approach. The empirical trend was continued in the DSM-IV. To overcome the limitations of current psychiatric diagnostic systems and integrate fundamental genetic, neurobiological, behavioral, environmental, and experimental components into psychiatry, the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) were established. To overcome the limitations of the categorical approach, psychiatrists have considered adopting a dimensional approach. However, their efforts were frustrated in the DSM-5 revision process. Thus, the DSM-5 is characterized by the rearrangement of psychiatric diagnoses, the partial adoption of a dimensional approach, the introduction of new diagnoses, and harmonization with the International Classification of Diseases.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
    PublisherSpringer New York LLC
    Number of pages9
    Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1

    Publication series

    NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
    ISSN (Print)0065-2598
    ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019


    • Categorical approach
    • Dimensional approach
    • DSM
    • Psychiatric diagnosis
    • Research domain criteria (RDoC)

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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