The DSM is an amazing and necessary tool to use when providing a diagnosis to insurance companies - and maybe even a guideline for a direction to go in therapy - and maybe a resource for a therapist and clients together to gain a basic foundation of the presenting concerns.
And that is really all it is.
It's not for identification purposes .
The simple fact is - well not at all that simple. Just as we humans can and never fit perfectly into one little box - eating disorders do not perfectly fit into any of the F50 diagnoses codes.
It's not a "you have this, because of A,B and C"
Borderline Personality Disorder is defined as a pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the nine criteria options for a diagnosis. This means there is literally thousands of combinations that can be used to determine a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder. Yet, when one receives this diagnosis, the stereotype of BPD often becomes the person's self, and societal, identity.
My challenge is - what if we stop identifying as disorders? What if we used the DSM for what it's intended use is - a diagnosis tool used to identify our symptoms to insurance companies to fund the needed treatment.
Along with not identifying with a diagnosed disorder, I challenge you to not get caught up in identifying as the symptoms of the disorders too. Instead, focus on the healing. Our symptoms do not need to be anything more than a starting point to creating our meaningful life.
Say it with me the DMS diagnoses my symptoms as A disorder treatable by funds from insurances (or other sources of funds). I am not my symptoms. I am not my diagnosis.