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Use of the Manual

DOI: 10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596.305387
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The introduction contains much of the history and developmental process of the DSM-5 revision. This section is designed to provide a practical guide to using DSM-5, particularly in clinical practice. The primary purpose of DSM-5 is to assist trained clinicians in the diagnosis of their patients’ mental disorders as part of a case formulation assessment that leads to a fully informed treatment plan for each individual. The symptoms contained in the respective diagnostic criteria sets do not constitute comprehensive definitions of underlying disorders, which encompass cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and physiological processes that are far more complex than can be described in these brief summaries. Rather, they are intended to summarize characteristic syndromes of signs and symptoms that point to an underlying disorder with a characteristic developmental history, biological and environmental risk factors, neuropsychological and physiological correlates, and typical clinical course.

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