How to Read DSM IV Online

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Psychology professionals and students often need to use the DMS.
Psychology professionals and students often need to use the DMS. (Image: Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders is the industry-wide resource for psychological practitioners. It provides a common language and diagnosis criteria for psychology professionals while they research symptoms and diagnose patients. For quick reference, you can access the latest version of the DMS online.

Go to PsychWeb.com, which includes a link to most of the DSM for free. The website also provides definitions and resource lists to complement your reading.

Navigate to the "Understand" column on the left side of the screen and click "DMS-IV." You'll see a menu that allows you to navigate the most widely used material in the DSM. The diagnostic criteria menu highlights more common diagnoses, while the coding system and breakdown of codes provide access to information on multiple conditions and criteria.

Subscribe to PsychiatryOnline.com for access to the entire DMS. This will allow you to read about less common diagnoses that the free version doesn't include. If you need only brief access to the manual, you can view it during a single 24-hour period for $35, as of 2011. This also provides access to the American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines, various professional journals for psychology professionals and leading textbooks in the field.

You can view the entire manual for a fee.
You can view the entire manual for a fee. (Image: Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

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