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What Does GAF Stand For?


What does the letters GAF represent as in Current GAF=50, Highest GAF in past year=50

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GAF stands for “Global Assessment of Functioning. The GAF is a scale from 0 to 100 where higher scores indicate greater levels of functioning. Optimal mental health and coping capabilities are represented by scores in the 91 – 100 range. Persons with mild psychological problems fall in the 71 – 90 range. Severe problems fall in the 21 – 30 range and 1 – 10 is reserved for persistently suicidal persons or persons incapable of meeting even minimal personal hygiene standards. The GAF rating is made as a standard part of all psychiatric/psychological diagnoses.

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  • carmilla

    If your GAF level is 51, highest you were told is 60 , they say to me this is not good, ? what do they mean by that? i don't understand

    A GAF score between 51 and 60 means moderate symptoms of mental illness are present, or that a person's functioning in school, work, or social situations is moderate impaired. The DSM provides some examples of moderate mental illness, one or more of which might be present, but none necessarily so: Flat affect and circumstantial speech, occasional panic attacks. Examples of moderate functional impairments are: few friends, and conflicts with peers or co-workers.

  • Anonymous-1

    What about people falling in a range not mentioned - like a GAF of 40?

    Editor's Note: GAF stands for "Global Assessment of Functioning". This is a simple ratings scale from the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) for how well a person is able to function and go about their live. 100 is perfect functioning, and 1 is horrible functioning (severe danger to self or others). The value 0 is used to represent cases where GAF cannot be estimated. When a psychiatric diagnosis is made, there are actually five components to it, each of which is called an Axis. The psychological parts of the diagnosis are made on Axis I and Axis II. The Medical part is made on Axis III. the Social/Economic part is made on Axis IV (4) and finally, the GAF is included as Axis V (5). A GAF of 40 suggests the following level of functioning is the case:

    "Some impairment in reality testing or communications (e.g., speech is at times illogical, obscure or irrelevant) or major impairment in several areas , such as work or school, family relations, judgment, thinking or mood (e.g., depressed man avoids friends, neglects family, and is unable to work child frequently beats up younger children, is defiant at home, and is failing at school)".

  • Donna Jacobson

    We just got a report back on my son. He has constant Seizures that have now turned violent. Was seen by Rehab Specialist. PHD, ABPP-CN

    Axis I Autistic Disorder, Major Depressive, recurrent unspecified severity, Anxiety Disorder, NOS, Attn. Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, NOS

    Axis II: No Diagnosis on Axis II

    Axis III: Reported chronic pain problems and epilepsy. On Narcotic heavy pain meds daily, and epilepsy medicine. Recurrent Seizures

    Axis IV: Financial and Employment issues: Bereavement issues Twin Brother died last 8/29/08. Lost best friend 1/09. Other friend 3 yrs. ago died.

    Axis V: GAF 50 (current)


    Can anyone tell me what to do. He is 29 and can not work or take care of self.

    Thank you,


  • mother of 20 year old

    I got a Assessment done on my son and the findings are his

    Axis I = Bi polar / cannibut abuse

    Axis II = Mental Retardation (rule out)

    Axis II = Medical scars and surgery

    Axis IV = legal problems, soical, work, education

    Axis V = 27 GAP

    What does this GAP score and other finding means to you. Please respond

    ASAM placement Level II - Intensive Outpatien (what does this mean)

  • Anonymous-2


    my doctor stated gaf 50 and the highest 60 i guess for the past year. what does 50 mean?


  • patrickverdi

    I was in viet nam in 1968 as a helicopter door gunner,I am retired now, and I AM SEEING A specialist psychologist at the VA MENTAL HEALTH CENTER for ptsd, and she diagosis me gaf score of 52 before that my P/P exam was 85, and I have 30 % DISABILITY, I was wondering does her diagnosis count for my gaf score.

  • mike carter

    i have just been told these are my scores, what does this mean, axis v, gaf of 50?

    Dr. Dombeck's Note: This code refers to the Global Assessment of Function, which is the 5th axis of 5 diagnostic axes described in the DSM. A GAF of 50 indicates serious symptoms or impairments are present. Since the scale is set to vary between 1 and 100 (with 100 being superior functioning), this means that the general diagnostic picture is quite serious, but that things could be considerably worse.



  • Anonymous-3

    axis 1 .major depressive disorder

    axis 2 .no diagonosis

    axis .3 no diagonosis

    axis.4 death of loved one

    axis.5 ?

    attempt of suicide after death hospitilized for 6 monthsshowing symptoms of depression.

  • Anonymous-4

    talk all univ member in korea and prof uno about gaf score chakra mind see mindfullness formula i ram 0302315326nl what is your .....blood brain nr your baby nr your job nr your love nr your cancer nr and ba 39 1/5 3 /6 3/7 3/8 3/9 etc cakra to gaf score nr ba 39 see my 3rd child talk now write talk make with all top uno prof unesco etc chakra mind to gaf scores

  • 100%pure_recidivate

    This is why I am going to live a life of crime. Even though the gaf i think can be a good tool, just like anything else in life, it can be used by human beings to describe a patient by a doctor to make the doctor look good, and the patient to look like he needs some help, so the doctor protects himself legally. Thats why its time to live a life of crime for me, but my desire is to live it in a way thats legal, just like defense attorney's and PhD degree'd individuals do.

  • Allan N. Schwartz, PhD

    While it is true that anyone can abuse the ethics of their profession, this rarely happens. The purpose of GAF is to determine such things as: 1. whether or not a psychiatric patient ready to return to work after a protracted mental illness, 2. How sick a person is and, therefore, what treatments they may need, as well as what kinds of treatment, 3. How much help assitance a patient may need while at home due to a serious psych illness, 4. What types of medication a patient may need, such as, anti psychotic vs. anti depressant medications, 5. Etc

    Dr. Schwartz

    GAF is most certainly not a way for a therapist to cover something up.

  • Donohue

    This is for the unfortunate soul who believes the only option is to lead a life of crime because of a score on a psychological assessment. You state that your desire is to lead life in a legal way yet you feel that because of your GAF score, you must resort to a life of crime. That just doesn't add up. Psychologists have nothing to gain by misrepresenting an individual's assessment. It seems to me that you are looking for an excuse to continue in your life of crime and want to justify it somehow. Go back to your psychologist, or another one if you feel he or she misdiagnosed you, and get some help. The only place your current logic will get you is a long stay in jail.

  • Philip

    I remembered having a score of 30 and I told my sister about it, but she got a GAP score of 87, which is actually a way to measure librarians. So she's very contented to have survived the mental health system and I may look down on her. Moral of the story Concise people who have a good sense of the difficulties they are facing often drip with symptoms.

  • Anonymous-5

    My friend went to a Psychologist and got some Results and we were wondering what they meant.If you could please let me no.

    DSM IV Diagnosis:

    I:Phonological Disorder


    II:Antisocial Personality Disorder


    IV:Family and Fiancial Stress

    V:Current GAF=60

    Please help me.Found out what this means.Thanks



  • Lorrie

    Why is this information incomplete?

    You have stated that mental assesment range is from 0 to 100 and give what each level means but you skip from the most perfect to the worsed and leave out telling us what the middle ranges mean.

    Please tell me the COMPLETE discription of all levels of the GAF.

    Thank you,


  • Anonymous-6

    I got my doctor record today can anyone help me and let me know what GAF:45 mean . Does it mean good or bad i need help.

    Thanks Candy

  • Anonymous-7

    The full scale decription 0-100

  • cathy

    I was recently d/c from a acute mental hospital. I have bi polar & PTSD. axis1 Borderline personally disorder axis 11 Syncope, parknsion deasase, tardive Dyskensia, and mild diabetes.axis 111

    axis iv Catastrophic , victim of abuse of primary. social, disability.

    my question is my GAF = 42 is that still low enough to keep getting my social security? Im terrified about going back to work.

    Ive had multiple hospitalations due to sueside attempts and Ive had 10 ECT treatments for my depression.

    my most recent addment to the hospital was a serious suside attempt to take my own life. my roomate found me.


    What is the acronym and/or name of the protocol used by the WCAB prior to 2005 (before GAF) for assessment? Thanks!

  • JoAnna Johannesen

    I just found out that I have a GAF score between 66 and 68. this is not good either. I have panic attacks in crouds because I feel unsafe. I have PTSD from my two brother's suicides and have been in a psych ward on two seperate occassions. I am getting better because I was below 50 during the time of suicidal thoughts which placed me in these psych wards. I know things will get better for me because my therapist has stablized me on my many medications which include depakote, wellbutrin, and ritilan. I recently quite taking BusPar, which is for anxiety: this medication made me more phobic about leaving my house because I was too sleepy and no alert. I thought that anyone could attack me and I would not be able to defend myself or run from them. I recently tried taking the SLC bus and trax to the library... but when it gets crouded, I get off and wait for the next ride. I have an appointment for paratransit this month to help me get to places because I am not able to go to places while in my panic state. All my doctors are with the University of Utah medical clinics and hospitals. This assures that these providers can access any needed information to address any physical or mental illnesses. I even carry an inhaler because asthma is a stress response for me as well. Thank you for this site, it gave me a better understanding as to what GAF stands for and that others struggle: I do not feel so alone in this, and I will offer any personal advice or comments as needed.


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