Critical Analysis of the Dsm Iv Tr

1073 Words Nov 24th, 2011 5 Pages

Critical analysis of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
The International Classification of Diseases (ICD 10) published by the World health organisation and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association are the most widely used classifications of mental disorders throughout the world. These classification systems were created to provide a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders thus allowing for better and more accurate communication between mental health workers. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is used mostly in the United States of America and in varying degrees around
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These are considered to be long standing criticisms of the DSM. These problems were originally highlighted by the Rosenhan experiment in the 1973. The experiment which was conducted by psychologist David Rosenhan is considered to be an important and influential eye opener to the shortcomings of not only the DSM but also all other psychiatric classification systems. Critics, such as psychiatrist Niall McLaren, also argue that the DSM lacks validity because its categories do not have a scientific basis, and that it lacks reliability partly because each diagnosis cannot be given an exclusive criterion. He says that while it has been found that different diagnoses share many criteria, what appear to be different criteria are often just rewordings of the same idea, meaning that the decision to allocate one diagnosis or another to a patient is to some extent a matter of personal prejudice on the part of the clinician making the diagnosis. It has also been pointed out that the DSM would fare better if the categorical classification now in use was replaced with a dimensional classification since its been increasingly recognised that mental disorders lie on a continuum rather than in one single qualitative category with clear cut off points . E.g. the

2 personality disorders of Axis II are increasingly regarded as extreme variants of common personality characteristics. Another aspect of the DSM that has attracted a lot of criticism is its