A set of criteria is required to diagnose a disorder as per the DSM-5 (5th edition). While the criteria for each disorder is different, they generally consist of the following:
- Specific symptoms must be present: Individuals should experience the symptoms characteristic of their disorder. They must be able to cause significant clinical distress, impairment, social, occupational or other areas of important functioning.
- The duration of the symptoms must be maintained for a certain time. The exact duration required depends on the disorder. It is generally at least several weeks, or even months.
- You cannot exclude other causes.
- Distress or clinically significant impairment: The symptoms should cause clinically significant distress or impairment in any important area of functioning, such as social, occupational or other.
- Cultural concerns: The symptoms cannot be due to cultural or religious beliefs or practices.
Important to remember that a professional qualified in mental health should diagnose a particular disorder only after completing a detailed evaluation. While the DSM-5 criteria can be used to help you make a diagnosis it should not be your only basis.