Psychological Disorder

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Mental Disorders


The DSM system which in full means the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders was created by the American Psychiatric Society as a standardized criterion to help classify mental disorders. The DSMs system has been adopted by clinicians and other medical personnel all over the world in helping to handle mental disorders.

The DSM -IV-TR which is commonly referred to as the fourth edition has five parts commonly known as Axis. The first Axis deals with clinical disorders, the second Axis deals with personality disorders and intellectual disabilities. Axis three deals with acute medical conditions and physical disorders. Axis four incorporates psychosocial and environmental factors that lead to a disorder while the last axis assesses the functioning of children and teenagers who are below the age of 18.

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The empirical orientation of DSM-III generated the research that led to the built-up of the DSM-IV system. Most publications for psychiatric diagnoses up through 1992 were reviewed for DSM-IV that was later published in 1994. DSM-IV was published in order to reflect the research that was conducted since 1987. Since its publication, DSM-IV listed more than 250 mental disorders. In 2000, an updated version of the DSM-IV was published which is the DSM-IV-TR. The updated version, DSM-IV-TR, contained text revision of each disorder description according to the earlier version of DSM-IV. The DSM-1V-TR manual is categorized into five areas that form a system of the axis. Every area or part of the axis represents a psychological disorder, and the edition was published in the year 2000. These parts of the system include; clinical disorders, physical disorders and acute medical disabilities, intellectual disabilities and personality disorders, psychological social and environmental disorders (APA, 2000).

The idea of categorizing psychological disorders as it’s done in DSM-IV-TR

The idea of categorizing psychological disorders as it is done in DSM-IV-TR according to my view is the best way. This is because, in the presentation of the disorders, the role of DSM-IV-TR is highly emphasized as it sets the stage for diagnoses that are reliable. The idea is also the best as appropriate organizing structures are provided by DSM-IV-TR to use in the presentation of the disorders (APA, 2000).

DSM-IV-TR manual in categorizing psychological disorders is mainly used by mental health professionals in order for them to clearly understand their client’s potential needs. They also use the manual in the assessment and diagnosis of psychological disorders hence the idea is the best. The idea is the best since most of the mental health professionals in the U.S use the system for diagnosis as it provides a common language for them to communicate to their clients (Erikson and Kress, 2006).

The idea can also be regarded as satisfactory since the DSM-IV-TR is based on a multiaxial approach in dealing with various disorders. The approach helps the mental health professionals to make an evaluation that is more comprehensive in order to determine the severity of the client’s mental functioning.

DSM-IV-TR system also does the provision of an approach to the diagnosis of a disorder that is descriptive. This makes the system to be more suitable for various mental health professionals who come from different range of theoretical orientations and from different fields of specialization (Erikson and Kress, 2006).

The scientific basis for DSM-IV-TR system

The scientific basis for DSM-IV-TR was to restructure various categories of disorders. An example was the inclusion of the Overanxious Disorder of Childhood in the system. The scientific basis was also the maintenance of the multiaxial system.

Another scientific basis for DSM-IV-TR was that it was released in order to do a correction to any factual errors and also make some changes reflect recent research. An example of text corrections done by DSM-IV-TR was the phrase “a schizophrenic” to “an individual with Schizophrenia” (Erikson and Kress, 2006).

Another scientific basis for DSM-IV-TR was that the edition was meant to promote the biopsychosocial model application in educational, research and clinical settings. This basis indicates that DSM-IV-TR is theoretical in its diagnosis and classification approach. In the multiaxial approach, the axes, as well as the categories, do not represent overarching theory about the sources of mental disorders.

How DSM-IV-TR differs from other DSMs

There is no key and conspicuous change from DSM-IV to DSM-IV-TR, even though in recent research, there exists alternative information for quite a number of categories. It also varies from other DSMs in the sense that most of its diagnosis is mainly based on the symptoms. This implies that the approach of classification is based on the observation made literally and not the original nature that is not visible (Erikson and Kress, 2006).

DSM-IV-TR also depends on the practice of medicine for its classification. This simply implies that it borrows words from the field of medicine for its own use. Generally, the main objective of the American Psychiatric Association in introducing the DSM-IV-TR model was to correct any errors related to facts in the previous research. The corrections were made on printing errors, but they were not meant to make any changes to DSM-IV’s findings. This edition was meant to ensure that the information is not outdated; the research must also be up to date as well as the findings. The edition was also meant to make a positive impact on its value as an educational tool for learning (APA, 2000).

This edition is eligibly used by people who have complete and relevant training in clinical medicine with a clear understanding of the medical models for its contents to be correctly applied for diagnosis.

The most intriguing disorder

The most intriguing disorder in the revised text edition is a borderline personality disorder. This is a psychological disorder that is associated with an individual’s emotions. It is associated with a series of emotional disturbances that cause instability in a person’s emotions. It’s highly characterized by mood swings and hence such people have high chances of committing self-harm. The symptoms of this disorder are anger, cases of theft, fear of being left by the people who care for them, cases of impulse actions like being a spendthrift, self-harm among others. The borderline disorder can be caused by a history of sexual abuse, lack of proper communication within a family, child abuse and even abandonment (Robert, 2011).

Eventually, individuals with BPD tend to have an urge to commit suicide and other harmful impulsive actions. They also have a history of unstable relationships that are mostly caused by the extreme judgment of people, conditions, and situations. These individuals either have everything good or everything bad. It is intriguing to know about borderline personality disorders in that it helps in understanding one’s self as well as the people around them. This makes people grow psychologically and be able to understand and accept things as they are and their cause and effect.


In conclusion, the DSM-IV-TR is the fourth edition of the DSM system, and it entails text revision of the DSM manual. The DSM-IV-TR provides mental disorders classification. The DSM-IV-TR is widely used by clinicians, medical personnel and even policymakers to help diagnose mental and other common psychiatric disorders all over the world. This edition of the DSM system ensures that there is up to date and comprehensive information concerning the use of related disorders, which is essential in the correct diagnosis of disorders. The criterion guides the process of differential diagnosis together with numerical codes for each disorder. This is essential in the facilitation of medical record-keeping (Robert, 2011).

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