Abnormal Psychology

DQQ#9: Diagnostic Labeling versus Diagnostic Inflation Psychiatrist Allen Frances, M.D. was the chair of the DSM task force responsible for updating the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual to its 4th version (American Psychiatric Association, 2004).  Years later, when the DSM 5 came out (APA, 2013), he had a lot to say about what he saw as its shortcomings.  Essentially, Frances claimed that earlier, he and his team had gone too far with their own good intentions, and said that the DSM 5 team had made the situation even worse.  He argued that new categories and criteria in the DSM 5 would lead to “diagnostic hyperinflation,” and that numerous people who did not have mental disorders would soon come to be regarded as mentally ill.  I have attached two chapters of his book in a .pdf file to this DBQ, and I encourage you to read as much of it as you can (it is huge, I know –over 60 pages) before giving your response to these questions:  (BTW, when you open it in Adobe, hit View >Rotate View> Counterclockwise to read it.)  Here are your questions:. 1.  In what ways does use of the DSM help mental professionals help their patients?  In what ways does it hurt?  2.  How might diagnostic labels (or the processes of diagnosing patients) contribute to maladjustment?  3.  How might these labels lead to better care of these patients, or better self care? 4.  Do you agree or disagree with Dr. Frances, and why? Write a brief essay (at least 400 words) sharing your own reactions, thoughts and evaluation.  DO NOT QUOTE YOUR SOURCE MATERIAL.  Use their ideas in your own words, and cite them in APA (Author, Year) format; include an APA style References section (which is not part of your essay’s word count).

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