The number of diagnoses of mental disorders has grown significantly parallel to the dissemination of the editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). In this context, we developed this essay in order to understand the use of DSM as an instrument to support the diagnosis of mental disorders. To do so, we have used scientific publications by authors who have discussed DSM issues, as well as psychiatric classifications. We find that there are controversies regarding the Manual, which we describe on the one hand as conveniences, and on the other, as criticisms. There are places where this logic of the DSM is convenient, since it generates benefits to several sectors, such as health insurance and pharmaceutical industry. The main criticisms of DSM are the fact that the Manual transforms psychic suffering into cerebral pathologies.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders; classification; diagnosis; psychiatry