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ADHD and the DSM

The professional literature defines behavioural disorders in different ways. One of the most important one used in North America and the entire world in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The American Psychiatric Organisation is in charge of the publication , and recently the 5th edition was released, known as DSM-V.

In order to diagnose ADHD according to the DSM all of the following conditions must be met:

  • Five or more symptoms of inattention and/or ≥5 symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity must have persisted for ≥6 months to a degree that is inconsistent with the developmental level and negatively impacts social and academic/occupational activities.

  • Several symptoms (inattentive or hyperactive/impulsive) were present before the age of 12 years.

  • Several symptoms (inattentive or hyperactive/impulsive) must be present in ≥2 settings (eg, at home, school, or work; with friends or relatives; in other activities).

  • There is clear evidence that the symptoms interfere with or reduce the quality of social, academic, or occupational functioning.

  • Symptoms do not occur exclusively during the course of schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder, and are not better explained by another mental disorder (eg, mood disorder, anxiety disorder, dissociative disorder, personality disorder, substance intoxication, or withdrawal).

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