• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

DSM-IV: Strengths and Weaknesses The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is currently the most frequently used way of standardizing and defining psychological disorders. However, the classification systems such as DSM have advantages and disadvantages. The major weakness of DSM is that it judges symptoms superficially and ignores other possible important factors. The major strength of DSM is that it enables categorization of psychological disorders. The first edition of DSM was published in 1952 by the American Psychiatric Association (American Psychiatric Association, 2003). Both the first and second editions had numerous categories for diagnosing based on unsubstantiated assumptions. DSM is presently in it is fourth edition which provides a "compact encapsulated description of each disorder" with a strong empirical base (American Psychiatric Association, 2003). DSM-IV has been designed for use across settings--inpatient, outpatient, partial hospital, consultation-liaison, clinic, private practice, and primary care, and with community populations and by psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, occupational and rehabilitation therapists, counselors, and other health and mental health professionals. ...read more.

Middle

This was done by formulating new categories, which are more in depth and ask appropriate questions. DSM-IV has a broad list of categories as well as symptoms that indicate what must and must not be present for the appropriate disorder to be diagnosed (Atkinson, Atkinson, Smith, Bem, & Nolen-Hoeksema, 1996). Since the cause the majority of psychological disorders is unknown, DSM is an essential tool for diagnosis. However, limitations arise with the DSM model. A weakness may occur as each edition reflects a consensus of opinions at the time of publication. Another weakness that can occur may be labeling. This may cause people to overlook the uniqueness of each individual's features and expect them to conform to particular classifications of their disorder (Atkinson, Atkinson, Smith, Bem, & Nolen-Hoeksema, 1996). Each individual is assed on five separate axes. The first axis has 15 diagnostic categories that are extremely structured, with specific sub categories such as mood disorders, specifically depression. The following axes assess their personality, physical being, possible traumatic or other events and their social and occupational functioning (Atkinson, Atkinson, Smith, Bem, & Nolen-Hoeksema, 1996). ...read more.

Conclusion

This may result in a possible gender bias. Another possible bias includes people's cultures, which may accept certain symptoms as normative (Gray, 2002). For example, it is believed that males experience greater occurrence rates to paranoid, antisocial, and obsessive-compulsive disorders (Nathan, & Langenbucher, 1999). While females experience considerably greater rates to psychological eating disorders, such as bulimia and anorexia (eMedine). Finally, every proposed diagnosis carries the risk of being a false positive diagnosis (American Psychiatric Association, 2003). This means that the individual does not have the disorder, although have been diagnosed with it. Since these false positive diagnoses can never be totally eliminated, it is important to try to balance the advantages of a diagnosis, which may find a treatable disorder, reducing risks to the patient, family and society. To the disadvantages of an incorrect diagnosis which could cause stigmatism and costly treatment (American Psychiatric Association, 2003). Clearly, although both strengths and weaknesses are present in DSM, unfortunately it is inevitable. Moreover, there appears to be more weaknesses than strengths despite revisions. However, continuing revisions of DSM will ensure an effective and reliable way to classify mental disorders if continued to be based on more readily available scientific data. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Clinical Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Clinical Psychology essays

  1. The assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with sexually abusive behavior.

    Sexual interests during the middle childhood years wax and wane with the degree of sexual stimulation and sexually sensitizing experiences. Kissing and holding hands may occur. Sexual play between children such as "playing doctor" is normal and becomes a concern only when coercion occurs and there is an absence of mutual consent.

  2. Schizophrenia: Introduction and Overview

    Schizophrenia is likely to be a disorder of complex inheritance (analogous to diabetes or high blood pressure). Thus, it is likely that several genes interact to generate risk for schizophrenia (Owen, et al. 2005). This, combined with disagreements over which research methods are best, or how data from genetic research

  1. Stress - Causes, Effects and Coping

    The client is then instructed to use relaxation, meditation, or visualization to bring about the desired response, whether it is muscle relaxation, lowered heart rate, or lower temperature. The biofeedback device reports progress by a change in the speed of beeps or flashes, or pitch or quality of the tone.

  2. Discuss some of the limitations of the Classification system of Mental Disorders.

    Copeland et al found that there were social attributes that affected clinicians' agreement. In a study carried out in Great Britain, Copeland found that attributes such as age and location were likely to affect diagnosis. Older Glaswegian trained clinicians were more likely to perceive higher rates of abnormal behaviour than younger clinicians trained in London.

  1. mental health

    (unit 8, section 2, pp.33). All personality theories suggest that certain personal qualities, in varying degrees, can be found in each of us, and that these qualities remain consistent across time and place. It is this consistency that forms a person's uniqueness. So, personality theories generally seek to describe how patterns of characteristics can predict behaviours.

  2. Why is the initial consultation so important? What factors will an ethical hypnotherapist ...

    not already know the person they are about to treat or are close to any immediate family members. The therapist must also ensure they do not have any personal sexual attraction for the client and vice versa, in these cases it would be unethical to allow the therapy to go

  1. POSSIBLE CAUSES OF SCHIZOPHRENIA: NATURE VS NURTURE. The causes of schizophrenia have been ...

    However, size of effect was not big enough and statistically inaccurate. Although there are many evidence that cannabis use affect the development of schizophrenia, some scientist claim that association between cannabis and psychosis is completely owing to confounding factors such as age, ethnic group, family history, urbanity and use of other drugs.

  2. Reflection on Person Centered Care.

    It is Rogerâs foundation upon which many modern theories and practises have evolved. De-stigmatising patients and using the term client for anyone seeking treatment. Removal of the power imbalance in therapy, he rejected the need for labels or quick diagnosis, and he was against manipulation of clients during therapy.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work