Essay on The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

Essay on The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

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The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has a number of features. First of all, every disorder is identified using a name and a numerical code. In addition, the manual provides the criteria for diagnosing each disorder as well as establishes subtypes of a disorder and examples that would illustrate the disorder. The manual goes further by addressing the typical age of onset, culturally related information, gender-related information, prevalence of a disorder, typical clinical course of a disorder, typical predisposing factors of a disorder and genetic family patterns of a disease (Summers, 2009). The DSM-IV is a tool that is used by mental health practitioners and social service workers. As has been demonstrated prior, the manual provides many types of diagnoses, but there has been concern that the diagnoses are biased. Several types of bias, including gender, culture and ethnic bias, have been associated with how disorders are assessed.
Gender biases might have inherently been incorporated into the DSM because the creation of the DSM has been consistently and predominately handled by white males. The development of the DSM includes defining healthy and unhealthy behaviors (Zur and Nordmarken, 2010). Several factors have been pinpointed as specific gender biases, including “…attributes traditionally classified as feminine, such as the tendency to value emotional attachment and interdependence and the tendency to be cautious in expressing disagreement with others, have been codified as personality or other disorders” (Zur and Nordmarken, 2010). The creation and diagnosis of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is viewed as gender bias because there is no equivalent diagnosis pertaining to testost...


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...he DSM might not have been found to directly promote bias, based on research, but there may be an inherent facilitation of bias that causes clinicians to make biased diagnoses.





References:
Butcher, J. N. (2009). Oxford handbook of personality assessment. Retrieved December 1, 2011, from http://books.google.com/books?id=pegBe0owxqcC&pg=PA357&lpg=PA357&dq=Clinician%27s+practices+in+personality+assessment:+Does+gender+influence+the+use+of+DSM-III+axis+II?&source=bl&ots=ZNDtrtAu4o&sig=x16k5dAhbkk_BUCBkkxtAO7zaQ0&hl=en&ei=nj_WTqvUA4Tg0QGH_cTe
Summers, N. (2009). Fundamentals of case management practice: skills for the human services,
3rd Edition. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.
Zur, O. and Nordmarken, N. (2010). DSM: diagnosing for money and power summary of the critique of the dsm. Retrieved December 1, 2011, from http://www.zurinstitute.com/dsmcritique.html

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