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Culture, Gender, Developmental and Lifespan Considerations

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Describe the following:

1. The overall DSM classification system.
2. The strengths and limitations of the DSM.
3. How the client's culture, gender, developmental, or lifespan background may contribute toward personal biases and diagnosis.
4. How personal biases might influence the client's diagnosis.
5. Three ways that you, as a future professional, might mitigate or reduce the biases in a diagnosis.

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Solution Summary

This solution discusses DSM diagnoses from the perspective of culture, gender, developmental and life considerations.

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1) The DSM is the classification system for professional use in identifying mental disorders. For example, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR [APA], 2000 is classified based upon numeric codes that are used to reference a number of disorders listed in the manual as follows: Anxiety Disorders; Delirium, Dementia and Amnestic & Other cognitive Disorders; Substance Disorders; Childhood Disorders, Diseases usually first Diagnosed in Infancy, Childhood, or Adolescence; Dissociative Disorders; Eating Disorders; Factitious Disorders; Impulse Control Disorders; Mental Disorders Due to a General Medical Condition; Mood Disorders; Other conditions that may be a Focus of Clinical Attention; Personality Disorders; Schizophrenic and Other Psychotic Disorders; Sexual Identity Disorders; Sleep Disorders; and Adjustment Disorders.

The DSM classification lists these disorders for purposes of diagnoses and assessment by various professionals. Disorders are classified based on the codes of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD 10), and are listed along with criteria and features for identification of a specific disorder. For instance, the DSM-IV-TR (4th ed.) allows the practitioner/clinician to utilize multi-axial assessment system: Axis I, Axis II, Axis III, and Axis IV. Axis I lists by which to render a diagnosis for a specific client; Axis I identifies a psychological disorder; Axis II identifies a personality disorder (e.g., mental retardation); Axis III refers to a medical condition, and Axis IV reflects a person's psychosocial and environmental problems (e.g., school, home, work etc.).

In the manual of the DSM V (APA, 2013), this multiaxial assessment system has been eliminated; and some changes have been made. As an example, the basic characterization for Schizophrenia (Personality Disorder) in the DSM-IV-TR [APA], 2000) stays the same in the 5th edition of the manual. However, some changes have been made in terms of ...

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