The Expansion of DSM Diagnoses Essay

The Expansion of DSM Diagnoses Essay

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When I consider the expansion of DSM diagnoses from just over 100 to almost 300 over the short course of forty-odd years and an even more diagnoses being added, couple with diagnoses that are broader in their application blurring the lines of what is normal and what is abnormal when considering the behaviors of the individual client behaviors, it saddens me to no end and makes me wonder if the world is moving closer to insanity as a population or is it merely the incessant whining of pharmaceutical companies who want broader acceptance of their medications. Not that I don’t understand the need for a way to classify the conditions that individuals may suffer from in their lives in a manner that is communicable amongst practitioners either through the long name of each diagnosis or through the shorthand form of the DSM code. The application of diagnostic criterion and the classification of disordered behavior, thought and emotion also allows for the counselor or therapist to be able to bill the insurance companies for the treatments received with regard to the individual learning to cope with or overcome the disorder and its effects in their lives.
The basis of behavior in all living things requires a drive or a goal that the organism is attempting to achieve. I had originally considered the “pain drive theory” but dismissed it as I live in a town where Rodeo is a huge pastime and many people keep getting hurt and breaking their bones, but keep in looking forward to the next “go round.” Abraham Maslow purported that humankind seek to attain several goals on the path to “self efficacy,” though if one breaks down the theories of Maslow even further we get one goal for all living things – Survive. Survival may seem the least likely go...


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...behavior (as has occurred in the case of homosexuality), I would suggest that an understanding of the individual as a whole person, what they see as their individual strengths, needs and cultural diversity are taken into consideration, that we do not dismiss the Native American who “communes with the ancestors” as being schizophrenic or the child who is active and who has parents who want him to “calm down” as ADHD without looking deeper into the situation. That when we find people behaving in ways that to us may seem irrational or abnormal, we consider the deficiencies in their ability to survive without those behaviors and provide for them tools for living, provide for them the means to walk up the pyramid of survival from basic needs and safety to self actualization.



Works Cited

Maddux, James, & Winstead, Barbara. (2007). Psychopathology. New York: Routledge.

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