DSM-III

Diagnostic Criteria

A. Severe subjective distress regarding uncertainty about a variety of issues relating to identity, including three or more of the following:

  1. long-term goals
  2. career choice
  3. friendship patterns
  4. sexual orientation and behavior
  5. religious identification
  6. moral value systems
  7. group loyalties

B. Impairment in social or occupational (including academic) functioning as a result of the symptoms in A.

C. Duration of the disturbance of at least three months.

D. Not due to another mental disorder, such as Affective Disorder, Schizophrenia, or Schizophreniform Disorder.

E. If 18 or older, does not meet the criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder.

Differential Diagnosis

Normal conflicts

Normal conflicts associated with maturing, such as "adolescent turmoil" or "middle-age crisis," are usually not associated with severe distress and impairment in occupational or social functioning. Nevertheless, if the criteria are met, the diagnosis of Identity Disorder should be given regardless of the developmental stage of the individual.

Schizophrenia, Schizophreniform Disorder, and Affective Disorder

In Schizophrenia, Schizophreniform Disorder, and Affective Disorder there frequently are marked disturbances in identity, but these diagnoses preempt the diagnosis of Identity Disorder.

Borderline Personality Disorder

In Borderline Personality Disorder identity disturbances are only one of several important areas of disturbance, and there is often considerable mood disturbance. If the individual is 18 or over and meets the criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder, then that diagnosis preempts the diagnosis of Identity Disorder.

What appears initially to be Identity Disorder may later turn out to have been an early manifestation of one of the disorders noted above.

DSM-IV

As of DSM-IV, this disorder is no longer part of the DSM.

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