Discussion Questions Post

Here is an article on a very hot psychology topic – the revision of the DSM. For psychology students, we know exactly what this is, but for the rest of the world, I’ll break it down. The DSM stands for The Diagnostics and Statistical Manual. It is basically the psychology bible. It helps psychologists diagnose people with specific mental disorders based on a number of characteristics. The current manual is the DSM-5. It has not had a full revision for almost 20 years. The DSM-IV-TR was released in 2000, but before that the DSM-iv was released in 1994. The release of the DSM-5 was highly anticipated, but proved to be fairly disappointing to many psychologists. the topics among these disappoints are the grouping of Autism Spectrum Disorders, the removal of axes for diagnostic coding, the change to ADHD symptom requirements  from having to see symptoms before the age of 7 to now seeing symptoms before the age of 12 , the addition of disruptive mood dysregulation disorder and premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and the list goes on and on.

In the article linked above called Now You Too Can Be Diagnosed with Schizophrenia, the author Leonard Sax MD, PhD gives his opinion of the requirement change for schizophrenia, more specifically the addition of Unspecified Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder. There are many opinions on this change. You can decide whether these opinions are valid or not.

My question is, what sort of impact do you think these changes have on the psychologists and patients? What might need to change in order for the psychology community to come to terms with the new revision of the DSM? What happens to the people who were diagnosed with disorders that are no longer in the DSM-5?

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article, questions, or responses do not necessarily reflect my own.

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5 thoughts on “Discussion Questions Post

  1. I think this is a great discussion topic. I am not sure how to answer it, as I do not have any credible background in psychology. Is this post intended toward a psychology audience? Overall, I like how you provided an article, discussed it, and then posed questions!

    • I agree Jenni. A good way to provide context, then link to or describe one of the more extreme or solidified or devil’s advocate positions, then pose your question(s).

      • My 5 year goal is to teach pyschology, so I wrote this post for a future psychology class. (I guess I should have mentioned that) That being said, Professor, are you saying to play the devil’s advocate in my post and then pose my question? I couldn’t quite understand. Thanks so much for the feedback!

      • Emily, not at all. I was suggestion that your strategy was a good one. When we don’t have to necessarily take a position, but we link and describe someone else’s position (and this someone else may be taking a more extreme position or a more line in the sand [i.e., solidified] position or a devil’s advocate position – so any of the three), it gives you the flexibility as a blogger to engage in a more meaningful discussion because the position described is someone else’s. Did that make more sense?

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