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The Expansion Of Dsm Diagnoses Essay

1139 words - 5 pages

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 goal of many people or other entities, however looking at the Socio-Economic and Cultural differences in diagnosing “abnormal” behavior one must look at the particular area that the individual is coming from – let’s take an extreme example… Walking along the road one early morning you come across a young boy who is sitting beside a dumpster wearing tattered and dirty clothes, he is ravenously eating what appear to be garbage scraps, moldy bread, half eaten chicken bones and he is drinking from a container that appears to be holding nothing more than muddy water. When you approach the boy he starts to growl and bare his teeth like a dog, he carefully puts his body between you and his morning repast. What are you to think? Is the child suffering from some form of mental disorder that is causing him to behave like a wild animal and eat garbage? Or is he doing what he has learned to do to survive? From his perspective you are the intruder, a vile enemy to be scared off to protect his food source… of course he knows that you are bigger than he is so he can’t really win a confrontation with you so if pressed he will flee the situation – Survival. He has no thought about going to school or worry about what he will do at five...

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