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A 51-year-old member asked:

What is the mental health axis?

4 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Andrew Berry
Clinical Psychology 15 years experience
5 Axes: In the old DSM 4, which most still use, there are 5 Axes of mental health. Axis I is clinical syndroms, Axis II is personality disorder, Axis III is medical conditions that directly bear on current mental health functioning, Axis IV is environmental stressors, and Axis V is the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF score) which is represented by numbers ranging from 1-100.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Danielle Biggs
Clinical Psychology 23 years experience
A coding system: Prior to the publication of the DSM-5, which is the book of mental health disorders. Doctors would place a diagnosis on 5 different axises. Axis I: All psychological diagnoses. Axis II: Personality disorders. Axis III: General medical conditions; and physical disorders. Axis IV: Psychosocial Stressors, Axis V: Global Assessment of Functioning or GAF Score, which ranked severity of problems
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Julie Bruno
Clinical Psychology 17 years experience
Diagnosis summary: The DSM V changed the axis system from 5 to 4, eliminating axis 5 Gaf rating due to rarer subjectivity bias. Hence it is a 4 axis system that acts as a quick reference of a clients diagnosis and other issues impacting their diagnosis. Axis I - clinical Dx, Axis II - personality Dx/learning dx/intellectual Dx, Axis III - medical issues, Axis IV - social/financial/legal issues.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Chiquitha Cornelius
Clinical Psychology 12 years experience
Mental Health axis: The DSM uses a "multiaxial" system for assessment. This assessment 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 comprise mental health.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

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Last updated Oct 24, 2017
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