Thursday, 27 March 2014

DSM V online access trial

As we prepare to start a new round of purchasing there is certainly one item that has been requested above all others...

Given the spread of requests across offices, and the demand in the busier offices we're considering purchasing online access.  This will be a significant purchase by the library.  Unlike an individual purchasing an eBook, libraries pay significantly more (30-100 times more) to deliver access to multiple people simultaneously.

We are beginning our access to the DSM V on a one month trial basis to assess whether this item should be purchased. Our access has been arranged by supplying IP addresses for the organisations' servers, because of this you will need to use a computer in your office.  Every office should have access.  Please make sure it works by visiting and without logging in you should see at the top right column, "Your access is provided courtesy of Healthy Options Australia." If this is not the case, please let the library know. We have a limited package now for the trial, which includes DSM V (full package details below).  The DSM V is set out across a series of webpages, not as an eBook per se. 

The decision whether to purchase this costly item for the library will be based on your usage and feedback over the next month. You can provide feedback in the comments here, or email

If we purchase a full package online access will include:

Reference books

  • DSM V
  • DSM V
  • DSM-5™ Handbook of Differential Diagnosis
  • DSM-5™ Clinical Cases
  • American Psychiatric Association Practice Guidelines in both comprehensive and quick-reference formats
  • Manual of Clinical Psychopharmacology, Seventh Edition
  • The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry, Fifth Edition, with its companion study guide, Self- Assessment in Psychiatry
  • Textbook of Psychotherapeutic Treatments
  • The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment, Fourth Edition, with its companion study guide, Self-Assessment in Substance Abuse Treatment
  • Gabbard’s Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders, Fourth Edition
  • Textbook of Traumatic Brain Injury, Second Edition
  • Dulcan’s Textbook of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, with its companion study guide, Self-Assessment in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychopharmacology, Fourth Edition, with its companion study guide, Self-Assessment in Psychopharmacology
  • The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Geriatric Psychiatry, Fourth Edition, with its companion study guide, Self-Assessment in Geriatric Psychiatry
  • Helping Parents, Youth, and Teachers Understand Medications for Behavioral and Emotional Problems: A Resource Book of Medication Information Handouts
  • What Your Patients Need to Know About Psychiatric Medications



  • The American Journal of Psychiatry*
  • Psychiatric Services*
  • Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences*
  • Psychiatric News – The Official Newspaper of the American Psychiatric Association

*1997 - present

Please note that this item is available for staff and volunteers of the Healthy Options organisations only.


  1. Elizabeth Bayliss27 March 2014 at 12:18

    It was very interesting reading the new DSM V, so thanks for the link Resource Centre. I would be interested to hear why staff thought it was important to have this book in the Library, when diagnosing is not part of our practice. If any workers could reply with how this book helps them in practice that would be wonderful.

  2. Once upon a time....when I was a student, I found the DSM a wonderfully fascinating resource and I could often be found leafing through the pages, ooohing and arrhing.....shaking my head up, down and sideways in awe of what I was learning and in particular.....who I thought presented with symptoms as described in the text. In saying this, I pretty much read, observed and compartmentalised those closest to me via the DSM.
    Even the cat received a label, clearly affected by his early separation from his mother and siblings, regularly displaying passive aggressive traits and responding to non-apparent stimuli. Case closed I would think - medicate cat, provide psychosocial intervention for cat and family (human) members and Bob's your Uncle..Cat given the all clear - Rubber Stamp...CURED...until the Cat started to pull his fur out.....which of course is another story and possible diagnosis in itself.

    Fast forward many years, some of which were dedicated to working in a variety of clinical settings, alongside some extremely experienced senior medical and allied health colleagues with clients who have or are experiencing severe mental health and often other multiple psychosocial issues.
    Whilst I think that my time spent as a student and trawling the DSM was beneficial and not to be discounted, particularly in terms of building my knowledge base and being able to recognise and describe presenting symptoms to health colleagues, for case notes, reviews and treatment plans or reports for mental health court...this would be the outer extent of how much I have utilised the DSM in my career.

    Typically American, (thats the consumer market focused/extortionist American stereotype I'm referring to) somebody in the APA has recognised a way in which to package up a wealth of resources and seen in the package currently under consideration.
    Because this is such an expensive outlay, which I suspect would be ongoing as subscriptions usually are; I would have to question if this would be best use of resources given the work that we are curretly contracted to deliver.

    In this instance I agree with Elizabeth Bayliss who notes that diagnosing is not part of our practice.
    This is correct.
    I think that it is very easy to get caught up in the labels and compartmentalising of people that resources such as the DSM allow us to do.
    In practice we are encouraged to look at the person as a whole unit, who is part of a bigger systemic picture, not just the circumstances and situations they have been caught up in that have necessitated their arrival at our doorstep.

    Diagnosing is a practice commonly delivered via a qualified professional, who in my experience has spent many years in training, before passing final exams and the rigours of registration.....and then begining their practice under supervision of a senior/mentor.
    From my observations a Dr provides a provisional diagnosis as a starting point and based on presenting symptoms, circumstances, history etc.
    I have worked alongside Dr's that who practice under the ethos of 'slow and low' and more evidence is needed, usually over a reasonable period of treatment time before a full diagnosis will be made.
    And let us not forget......there are many axis to the DSM!

    As I am not a Dr, I think I will stop writing now and I hope that we can have some further discussion about this subject.

    I certainly have some ideas.

    I would have to wonder if the money the Resource Centre would spend on accessing this enormous resource would not be better spent

  3. unfortunately the psychiatric world has used the DSM as their bible to regulate all symptoms to a 'label' and as we know labels can be damaging. There ia a group of psychologists in the states who are pushing for common sense and ethics within the DSM and not let labels and the pharmaceutical companies run the mental health arena. I also agree with you both we do not diagnose but we do look for symptoms that is congruent with some 'labels'. so to anwer your question Lizzie, it would be good to have a hard copy to refer to if we are unsure of the 'labels'