DSM-IV is the fourth, and current, edititon of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. DSM-IV defines the criteria for a wide array of mental illnesses. Most psychiatrists use it as a basis for diagnosing patients since insurance companies and hospitals like nice, orderly forms. Yet, they tend to focus more on alleviating symptoms with medication and other therapy than on attempting to fit people into strictly defined categories.
Many reasearchers are in doubt of its scientific value. In the article " DSM-IV: Does Bigger and Newer Mean Better?" by Herb Kutchins and Stuart A. Kirk. They complain that first of all DSM-IV is too long, DSM-IV is a volume of more than 900 pages, 50% longer than DSM-III-R, yet it adds only 13 new diagnoses. It is also werid that the APA almost immediately started work on the present edition. Second of all the DSM