The changes that differentiate DSM-5 from the
updated DSM-5-TR (TR for "Text Revision") are helpfully enumerated
in Jonathan Singer's
New Social Worker article (linked a few posts ago). For the
spectacularly detail oriented, information omnivore, the APA has
finer detail spelled out in a series of face sheets linked here at
Psychiatry.org. If you insist upon knowing every
adjustment made in the new DSM they're all there, and linked
Let's drop in on one of those pdf face sheets, to see what's
what. From the top of the list, ADHD. The new facts:
The definition of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
(ADHD) has been updated in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) to more accurately
characterize the experience of affected adults.
DSM-5 includes no exclusion criteria for people with autism
spectrum disorder, since symptoms of both disorders co-occur.
However, ADHD symptoms must not occur exclusively during the course
of schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder and must not be
better explained by another mental disorder, such as a depressive
or bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, dissociative disorder,
personality disorder, or substance intoxication or
So…they made some tweaks. Are these the kinds of details that
show up on the social work licensing exam? They are, for the most
part, definitively not. The ASWB exam is designed to ensure
beginning social workers understand the fundamental, beginning
knowledge, skills, and abilities of the social work field. It is
not a DSM exam. It is not an exam filled with "gotchas" or tricks.
It's about the basics: the NASW Code of Ethics, best practices in
assessment, some essential DSM in the clinical exam…that sort of
If you've already studied everyting else and just want to chew
on some extra information for kicks, then, sure, dig into the APA's
DSM-5-TR fact sheets. Otherwise, stay the course. Take practice
exams. Review where you went wrong. Repeat.
Then go and pass that exam!
Happy studying and good luck.