Critical Analysis of the Dsm Iv Tr Essay example

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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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Critics claim that since the DSM collects and groups the disorders together based on statistical or clinical patterns it lacks causative or explanatory basis. Yet it has also been pointed out that this shortcoming is not just specific to the DSM, but largely due to the lack of pathophysiological understanding of psychiatric disorders. As DSM-III chief architect Robert Spitzer and DSM-IV editor Michael First outlined in 2005, "little progress has been made toward understanding the pathophysiological processes and aetiology of mental disorders. If anything, the research has shown the situation is even more complex than initially imagined, and we believe not enough is known to structure the classification of psychiatric disorders according to aetiology”. A view which has been shared by many cross-cultural critics is the Western cultural bias of the DSM. The DSM being a publication of the American Psychiatric Association focuses only on disorders found in their own cultural milieu and have left out a large number of documented nonWestern mental disorders. The field studies carried out while creating the DSM was also based on a strictly western population unlike the International classification of diseases which was based on ground work carried out across a number of countries from different parts of the world and thus contains culture specific disorders. Therefore the DSM could be said to lack validity when it is used to diagnose those individuals who do