Ask an expert
Question

17 May 2004

DSM IV
Dear Cybershrink
My shrink’s back and I’ve been able to see him, because someone cancelled. He added an anti-depressant to my meds., and hopefully that will help. On the medical aid application form he scored me 50 on Axis V. Is that very bad?
Answer 407 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Hi png,
Pleased to hear you've been abl to see him, and that the treatment has been reised. Relax about the Axis V thing, which is something Medical Aids often stupidly require, though it's of no real benefit to them. Psychiatrists make their diagnoses according to a system called the DSM ( currently in its 4th edition, hence DSM4 ) And in its full version, it can assess you along 5 different "axes". Usually, we use mainly Axis one, which is the main psychiatric diagnosis ( like BPD, Depression, whatever ). Axis 2 includes personality disorders, thus what sort of person has the depression ; axis 3lists general medical condition ( so Depression, normal personality, but with diabetes ) ; Axis 4 lists current problems you face ( eg poor housing, recently lost job ) and Axis 5 is a very broad, global assessment of how well you are functioning at present, usually estimated on a 0 to 100 scale. So it's not highly acurate ( axis 5, that is ) and is there as a sort of measure, as maybe in a week or two you could be functioning at 60 % of your best, and continuing to improve. So --- nothing sinister at all. here's to reaching 95 % !
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.