Controversies Surrounding Classification of Disorders

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Controversies Surrounding Classification

Theories of Psychopathology

HS513-T302

March 25, 2012

Abstract

The DSM is used as a standard of reference for psychological diagnosis. The DSM was originally published in 1952 containing only 106 diagnoses; today the revised DSM-IV-TR contains 365 diagnoses. Throughout the history of the DSM, individuals in the mental health profession have relied on it for clarification of disorders, facilitating research, improving communication with other professionals and improving the collection of clinical information. With a new DSM-V underway, there has been a lot of issues surrounding the contents and classifications of the new DSM. There are various issues surrounding the classification of psychopathology including dimensions vs. categories, classification of disorders vs. classification of individuals, the definition of mental disorders, DSM vs. atheoretical approaches, and reliability.

Keywords: Controversy, classification, mental disorders

Controversies Surrounding Classification of Mental Disorders

Since the first DSM in 1952, the DSM has been revised three times adding and eliminating various disorders. Even though the DSM has been revised, it still maintains the same goals of providing a helpful guide for clinical practice, facilitating research, improving communication among clinicians and researchers, and improving the collection of clinical information. More recently, the DSM has come under more scrutiny concerning the various classifications of mental disorders.

The major issues related to classification of mental disorders consist of dimensions vs. categories, classification of disorders vs. classification of individuals, the definition of mental disorders, DSM vs. atheoretical approaches, and reliability. There have been controversies related to the DSM since the very first DSM was...
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