Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – FIRST EDITION (DSM-I)

Are you looking for information about the 1st edition of the DSM manual?   There have been many editions and printings of this classification manual for psychiatrists and others who treat the mentally ill.

With each edition there is always much debate about how each mental disorder should be defined.  Looking back at previous editions, the most controversial is that homosexuality was listed as a mental disorder.  Below you will find photos of that section (“Sexual Deviation”) in this 1966 edition.  What can be learn from the past?

The first edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is highly collectible.  It is a relatively thin paperback with a comb binding.  The first printing was in 1952, but there are many printings, and all are quire rare and desirable.

The 1966 Special Printing of the DSM-I

Below are photos of the 1966 special printing.  This exact one has sold, but I am keeping the photos here as a reference.  Below you will find links to where you might be able to buy similar ones.

First Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-I)


The DSM-1 was prepared by “The Committee on Nomenclature and Statistics of the American Psychiatric Association.” and published by the American Psychiatric Association.  This printing’s title says “With Special Supplement on Plans for Revision.”

The DSM has been revised many times, which may reflect the uncertainty of how to define what is and isn’t a mental illness.   Is mental illness a concrete categorization, or a reflection of society?  Afterall, homosexuality was listed as a mental illness until it was removed in May of 1974!   You will find it in this first edition, in the section on sexual deviation.   Transvestism is also listed there.  What do we define as an illness today that we may change in the future?

DSM-I Sample Pages
Homosexuality is listed in the first edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

DSM-I Title Page DSM-I Table of Contents DSM-I Copyright Page


What is the value of the First Edition of the DSM?

This is a tricky question.  Since there are so few, the price seems to fluctuate a lot.  I’ve been watching the price for a few years and in general there has been an upward climb, perhaps because of the wide success of the gay acceptance movement and the legalization of gay marriage. But that would just be a guess on my part.  As time goes by, I also imagine that more copies get destroyed by people who don’t know their value, so the price increases.  I imagine that often this book would be found along with old textbooks, and since most old textbooks are worthless, this book might be overlooked.

Here are recent prices that this book has sold for:

  • 9/5/15 – $400 –  Ebay: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 1966 Homosexuality DSM-I
  • 10/20/2015 – $725 – Ebay: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 1st / 1st Edition (DSM 1)

Where to Buy the DSM-I

Here are links to where you can buy the first edition.  Note that it is scarce, so availability might change quickly.  These are Amazon links that I found using Amazon’s Advanced Book Search.  If you’ve never tried their advanced search, you should give it a try, as it lets you specify a publication date range which helps in finding collectible editions.

Do you have any Psychologist Friends?

OK, that might be a silly question, but I make money for this site by creating pages with gift suggestions, and I have a page about best gifts for psychologists.   I know, you would never have guessed that a site called “Long Tail Gifts” would actually have gift ideas!  I know this is a strange site but if you think you might be at all interested, please take a look.

There is a real person behind this site (me!) and I try to create helpful/useful content with the hopes that I can make some money through Amazon affiliate links.  If you want to help me, next time you make an Amazon purchase, visit Amazon through this link.  I’ll make a little money on anything you buy.  Thanks!