Multi-Axial Diagnosis using the DSM IV

Axis V is part of the DSM ”multi-axial” system for assessment. The five axis model is designed to provide a comprehensive diagnosis that includes a complete picture of not just acute symptoms but of the entire scope of factors that account for a patient’s mental health.

Axis I: Clinical disorders, including major mental disorders, learning disorders and substance use disorders
Common Axis I disorders include depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and schizophrenia.

Axis II: Personality disorders and intellectual disabilities (although developmental disorders, such as Autism, were coded on Axis II in the previous edition, these disorders are now included on Axis I)
Common Axis II disorders include personality disorders: paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, avoidant personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder; and intellectual disabilities.

Axis III: Acute medical conditions and physical disorders
Common Axis III disorders include brain injuries and other medical/physical disorders which may aggravate existing diseases or present symptoms similar to other disorders.

Axis IV: Psycho-social and environmental factors contributing to the disorder

Axis V: Global Assessment of Functioning or Children’s Global Assessment Scale for children and teens under the age of 18

Here is an example of a five-axis diagnosis from Substance Abuse Assessment and Diagnosis: A Comprehensive Guide for Counsellors and Helping Professionals by Gerald A. Juhnke, Routledge, 2002
Axis I: Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood, Alcohol Abuse, Cannabis Abuse
Axis II: No Diagnosis of Axis II
Axis III: Hypothyroidism
Axis IV: None
Axis V: GAF = 50 (on admission), GAF = 62 (on discharge)
More information on the DSM IV inc diagnostic criteria can be found >>here<<

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