[DSM-5: important changes in the field of addictive diseases]

Nervenarzt. 2014 May;85(5):571-7. doi: 10.1007/s00115-013-3989-z.
[Article in German]


There are two major changes in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) concerning the field of addiction. Firstly, the previous distinction between abuse and dependence has been abolished and both disorders are now subsumed under the category addiction and related disorders. Secondly, pathological gambling has now been included in the section of addiction with slight changes in diagnostic criteria. Both changes have major implications for the definition and conceptualization of what we call a psychiatric "disease" or "disorder", which have also been addressed in the introductory statement of DSM-5. Concerning the category of abuse that is now part of substance use disorders, there is a concern that a well-defined disorder ("dependence") is now mixed with a less well-defined syndrome ("abuse"). The inclusion of non-substance, behavioral addictions poses the danger of pathologizing a wide range of human behavior in future revisions of the classification. Both concerns are further addressed in this article.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders*
  • Guidelines as Topic*
  • Humans
  • Manuals as Topic / standards*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / standards*
  • Psychiatry / standards*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / classification*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • United States