Diagnostic criteria are offered as guidelines for making diagnoses, and their use should be informed by clinical judgment. Text descriptions, including introductory sections of each diagnostic chapter, can help support diagnosis (e g., providing differential diagnoses; describing the criteria more fully under “Diagnostic Features”).
Following the assessment of diagnostic criteria, clinicians should consider the application of disorder subtypes and/or specifiers as appropriate. Severity and course specifiers should be applied to denote the individual’s current presentation, but only when the full criteria are met. When full criteria are not met, clinicians should consider whether the symptom presentation meets criteria for an “other specified” or “unspecified” designation. Where applicable, specific criteria for defining disorder severity (e.g., mild, moderate, severe, extreme), descriptive features (e.g., with good to fair insight; in a controlled environment), and course (e.g., in partial remission, in full remission, recurrent) are provided with each diagnosis. On the basis of the clinical interview, text descriptions, criteria, and clinician judgment, a final diagnosis is made.
The general convention in DSM-5 is to allow multiple diagnoses to be assigned for those presentations that meet criteria for more than one DSM-5 disorder