The DSM-5-TR stands for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – 5th Edition, Text Revision. To clarify, neurodivergencies are NOT mental health disorders, it’s not a helpful manual title from that perspective.

It is produced and updated periodically by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and is the main diagnostic tool in the United States, though it is used to some degree all over the world. The TR was added to the title in 2022, when the existing DSM-5 was updated.

Are you still with me? Pretty dull unless Psychology happens to be one of your special interests. If you’re already glazing over, you can stop here and your life will be no worse for it!

The reason I have included mention of the DSM-5-TR is because, although in the UK it is officially the ICD-11 that is used to diagnose autism and other neurodivergencies, it is often referred to as an additional reference during diagnosis. The two manuals do tend to inform each other with each update, though there are differences between the diagnostic criteria for many conditions, including autism and ADHD. The diagnostic criteria in the ICD-11 are thought to give medical professionals more leeway to use their own initiative in assessing for ADHD but this also leaves more danger of misdiagnosis, according to an article in the World Journal of Psychiatry.

The original DSM-5 came into effect in 2013 and a relevant update in that edition was the removal of the term Asperger’s Syndrome as a diagnosis. This and autism were replaced with the new term Autism Spectrum Disorder. A number of other disorders were also added, including premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), hoarding disorder, and binge eating disorder, all of which can be co-occurring conditions for neurodivergent people. The 2022 update has also improved the terms relating to gender dysphoria.