Mental Health Theory

What is the ICD-11?

The ICD-11 is the International Classification of Diseases, version 11, published by the World Health Organisation (WHO). It is the definitive guide to illnesses of the body and mind and allows for diagnoses and coding of different conditions.

What is the ICD-11? Illustration of a book.

It was published in 2018 after more than a decade of research and contributions from medical professionals all over the world. The ICD-11 will come into effect in January 2022. This allows time for the classifications to be read, understood, taught, and adopted globally.

Section 6 of the ICD-11 lists Mental, behavioural or neurodevelopmental disorders. Mental, behavioural and neurodevelopmental disorders are defined as syndromes characterised by clinically significant disturbance in an individual’s cognition, emotional regulation, or behaviour that reflects a dysfunction in the psychological, biological, or developmental processes that underlie mental and behavioural functioning. It also notes that these disturbances are usually associated with distress or impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

Mental Health categories within the ICD-11

  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Schizophrenia or other primary psychotic disorders
  • Catatonia
  • Mood disorders
  • Anxiety or fear-related disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive or related disorders
  • Disorders specifically associated with stress
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Feeding or eating disorders
  • Elimination disorders
  • Disorders of bodily distress or bodily experience
  • Disorders due to substance use or addictive behaviours
  • Impulse control disorders
  • Disruptive behaviour or dissocial disorders
  • Personality disorders and related traits
  • Paraphilic disorders
  • Factitious disorders
  • Neurocognitive disorders
  • Mental or behavioural disorders associated with pregnancy, childbirth or the puerperium
  • Psychological or behavioural factors affecting disorders or diseases classified elsewhere
  • Secondary mental or behavioural syndromes associated with disorders or diseases classified elsewhere

Areas not included within Mental, behavioural or neurodevelopmental disorders include:

Changes from Previous Diagnostic Tools

The personality disorders section of the ICD-11 has changed quite significantly, with a single diagnosis of Personality Disorder now being in place due to a large overlap in clinical practice. The Personality Disorder diagnosis is labelled as mild, moderate, or severe, and measured in terms of six sub-categories.

This article was last updated: 24 November 2020