Pros And Cons Of DSM Diagnosis

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) was originally developed in 1952 to help doctors and counselors across the country standardize the classifications of mental disorders in the American population. Throughout the intervening years, the DSM has gone through several revisions, establishing specific diagnostic criteria for each disorder listed, and revising disorders as more was understood about their origins, symptoms, and treatments. The DSM III (1980) marks the point when substance use disorders were moved to a category of their own, separate from personality disorders. Today, the current DSM lists the diagnostic criteria for substance use disorders.

While these standardized diagnostic practices have been in use for more than sixty years, there are some pros and cons in the use of the DSM diagnoses of substance use disorders in the assessment of clients.

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  • Evaluate, in detail, the pros and cons of using DSM diagnoses as the primary classification structure for clients with substance use disorders.
  • Examine the assessment types used to diagnose clients with substance use. Choose two of these assessments that would not only help to diagnose the substance use disorder, but would also assess the whole person. Explain them fully.
  • Compare and contrast the two assessments chosen regarding how they will evaluate the whole person and not just the specific DSM diagnostic criteria.
  • Justify the value of using assessments that evaluate the whole person rather than just the specific DSM diagnostic criteria.

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