Misdiagnosis Of Social Work

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Many reasons exist for why an individual decides to become a social worker. Sometimes those reasons include hopes of creating a better future for vulnerable members of society, advocating for a world free of oppression and prejudice or even creating macro level changes in policy and legislation. In any case, a social worker is guided by his or her passion, commitment and dedication towards an easing of suffering at the micro, mezzo and macro levels for individuals, groups and communities. Clinical social workers engage in a variety of professional tasks such as performing assessments, arranging and developing client services and serving as gatekeepers and treatment providers (Gibelman & Schervish, 1996). One further task faced by many clinical social workers involves utilizing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) as a guide in the formulation and identification of client distress, symptoms and disorders. While the DSM might become part of the clinician’s everyday life, it is not without its concerns, criticisms and debates regarding utility and accuracy of diagnoses. In fact, it has been suggested that use of the DSM contributes to concerns regarding the stigmatization of mental illness, label avoidance, blocked opportunities for clients, self-stigmatization and stereotyping (Corrigan, 2007). An additional concern emerges when considering clinical use of the DSM and situations of misdiagnosis of mental illness. Misdiagnosis of mental illness can involve both

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