DSM-5® Made Easy: The Clinician’s Guide to Diagnosis

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In this indispensable book, master diagnostician James Morrison presents the spectrum of diagnoses in DSM-5 in an accessible, engaging, clinically useful format. Demystifying DSM-5 criteria without sacrificing accuracy, the book includes ICD-10-CM codes for each disorder. More than 130 detailed case vignettes illustrate typical patient presentations; down-to-earth discussions of each case demonstrate how to arrive at the diagnosis and rule out other likely possibilities. Providing a wealth of diagnostic pointers, Morrison writes with the wisdom and wit that have endeared his Made Easy guides to hundreds of thousands of clinicians and students.

See also Morrison’s 
Diagnosis Made Easier, Second Edition, which offers principles and decision trees for integrating diagnostic information from multiple sources; The First Interview, Fourth Edition, which presents a framework for conducting thorough, empathic initial evaluations; and The Mental Health Clinician’s Workbook, which uses in-depth cases and carefully constructed exercises to build the reader’s diagnostic skills.


“This is the book I’ve been waiting for! Thorough and user friendly, DSM-5 Made Easy is a masterpiece of information, advice, and guidance. This comprehensive guidebook offers clinicians a wealth of helpful information. It is the best book of its kind and one that I will be consulting for years to come. Highly recommended.”–Ellen Braaten, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School

“This is a wonderful book that really gets it right about psychiatric diagnosis. Importantly, Morrison understands that diagnosis is not about labeling but about organizing a person’s experience so that treatment is possible. He gets the big picture and attends to the details in the proper context, seeing diagnosis not simply as a snapshot but as an understanding of how psychiatric problems unfold and impair. The book includes cases that ring true and a logical approach to sifting and sorting through symptoms and coming to a parsimonious diagnosis. It is a great companion to the drier style of DSM-5, but also could stand alone as a sourcebook on DSM diagnoses. Bravo!”–John T. Walkup, MD, Department of Psychiatry, New York Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medical College

“DSM-5 can be overwhelming, especially for those new to the field, but reading Morrison is like sitting with and listening to a wise and seasoned clinician sharing his thinking processes. Over 130 superbly constructed cases show exactly how Morrison applies the DSM-5 rules and logic. The cases bring the criteria sets and checklists of DSM to life. If you want to learn to think the way DSM-5 does, this is your best guide. It is suitable as a text in introduction-to-the-profession courses in clinical fields. The explanations of how to use the book are excellent guides for teachers and students and will greatly enhance learning.”–Edward L. Zuckerman, PhD, author of Clinician’s Thesaurus

“A terrific resource for experienced practitioners and graduate students alike. Clinical vignettes bring each diagnosis to life and help the user to arrive at a differential diagnosis more easily. This book is much more readable than DSM-5, and belongs on the bookshelf of every mental health agency. I recommend it most highly.”–Bruce A. Thyer, PhD, LCSW, College of Social Work, Florida State University

“Excellent. Morrison describes the DSM-5 disorders in an accessible way, illustrates them with memorable case examples, and gives useful guidance on how to assess patients. This book should be required reading for all who are training to work in the mental health professions.”–Alan Carr, PhD, School of Psychology, University College Dublin, Ireland

“This informative, comprehensive book offers a well-organized guide for navigating DSM-5. Each chapter features a quick summary of the diagnoses discussed, steps in the diagnostic process, useful tables, and clinical vignettes. Whether used by practicing clinicians or as a supplemental resource in the classroom, the book provides a more manageable approach to the nearly thousand-page DSM-5. It truly lives up to its title.”–Tamara Hodges, EdD, Department of Educational Psychology, Baylor University

“An extremely useful and forward-looking work. Morrison has put life into DSM-5 criteria with his strategic use of strong vignettes and important tips for using psychiatric codes, including both ICD-10-CM and ICD-9-CM codes. A real contribution to the thorny problem of constructing meaningful descriptions of patients’ difficulties.”–Jane Close Conoley, PhD, Dean and Professor of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology, Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, University of California, Santa Barbara

“Graduating students and those studying for their licensing exams often ask me to recommend a book on the DSM. Morrison’s updated classic is the book I will now recommend. Following the outline of DSM-5, Morrison gives a brief overview of each diagnosis, describes its essential features, and presents a relevant case vignette. I particularly like this method of teaching from a case level. Graduate students, new professionals, and even seasoned clinicians will benefit from Morrison’s clinical experience and practice wisdom. If you are searching for a practical, comprehensive, and easy-to-use text on DSM-5, look no further–this is your book.”–Mark J. Brenner, PhD, ACSW, LICSW, Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator, School of Social Work, Bridgewater State University

“This wonderful book is an excellent resource for practicing clinicians of all backgrounds and levels of experience. Reading DSM-5 Made Easy is like having an insightful colleague to consult on navigating DSM-5 and ICD-10-CM. Concise, thorough and extremely practical, the book is richly illustrated with quick guides, case discussions, and tables. Morrison has succeeded in providing an accessible guide to the often confusing task of diagnosing mental health problems. I will recommend this book to my students.”–Denise D. Davis, PhD, Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University

“Accessible to students and experienced clinicians from all the mental health professions….The tone of the book is conversational, personal, and lively….The reader is ‘walked through’ the diagnostic process in a way that, especially to the student, would make evaluation seem manageable and masterable.” (on the prior edition) ― Clinical Social Work Journal Published On: 2013-10-16

“This is an enjoyable book full of captivating vignettes that highlight the criteria and diagnoses of DSM-5. In a fun and exciting way, the author reviews every DSM-5 diagnosis and the changes made from previous DSMs, with ICD-9 and ICD-10 code numbers….This is an excellent book for anyone interested in learning how to use DSM-5 to diagnose mental health disorders. The explanations are great, well balanced, and full of humor. It does not read like a textbook and it lives up to its title DSM-5 Made Easy. *****!” ― Doody’s Review Service Published On: 2014-08-01

“This book is an invaluable guide to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), and to psychiatric disorders and their diagnosis. It incorporates a wide range of useful features….There are more than 130 case studies that illustrate the diagnostic process and side notes to highlight particular pieces of information relevant to the disorder and diagnosis. These case studies help to bring the diagnoses to life and explain them in real-world situations….Nursing students and mental health professionals, and anyone with an interest in mental health and wellbeing.” ― Nursing Standard Published On: 2015-04-06

About the Author:

James Morrison, MD, is Affiliate Professor of Psychiatry at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. He has extensive experience in both the private and public sectors. With his acclaimed practical books–including 
DSM-5 Made EasyDiagnosis Made Easier, Second EditionThe First Interview, Fourth EditionInterviewing Children and Adolescents, Second EditionWhen Psychological Problems Mask Medical Disorders, Second Edition; and The Mental Health Clinician’s Workbook–Dr. Morrison has guided hundreds of thousands of mental health professionals and students through the complexities of clinical evaluation and diagnosis.


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