The DSM IV, was published in May 1994 by the American Psychiatric Association. The DSM IV has been referred to as the "bible" of psychiatric diagnosis because it provides definitions, symptoms and characteristics for mental disorders that are recognized by clinicians from around the world.
The DSM IV calls for clinicians to evaluate individuals on five levels or axes. Axis I identifies mental disorders; Axis II identifies personality disorders and mental retardation. Axis III identifies relevant physical diseases and conditions. Axis IV identifies the individuals psychosocial and environmental issues; and Axis V is used by the clinician to assess an individual's overall functioning based on the 100-point scale called the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF).