The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV refers to the mental disorders standard classification that are mostly used by mental health specialists in the United States of America. The manual is applicable to a wide variety of fields and is commonly used by clinicians and researchers in various orientations such as biological, cognitive and behavioral studies. In addition, it is used across all clinical settings such as outpatient, inpatient, clinic, and consultations. Researchers involved in various clinical fields use the manual for reporting health statistics in the society. Diagnostic and statistical manual IV is a vital tool in determining mental problems and reporting such problems for correct action to be taken.
This paper explicates the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV in its applications.
According to research, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV plays a vital role in making diagnosis. It presents health professionals with an organized and logical way of assessing the patient’s symptoms. DSM-IV identifies the relevant symptoms that are required by clinicians and researchers. The identification of symptoms is the stepping stone to the diagnosis of various mental problems. American Psychiatric Association; American Psychiatric Association. Task Force on DSM-IV (2000) points out that the manual organizes symptoms in a logical manner hence making it easier for the professionals to diagnose various problems existing among individuals within a given setting. The most significant role is the provision of symptoms in an organized and logical manner. For instance, it would give symptoms relating to depression and help psychiatrists to diagnose mental problems related to depression.
Research points out that DSM IV consists of five axes. Axis I helps in the diagnosis by indicating initial symptoms relating to various mental conditions. At this axis, symptoms such as depression and social phobia are easily defined and linked to various mental conditions arising from the symptoms. Initial symptoms provide a through way to the discovery of upcoming mental problems.
Axis II helps in the diagnosis by providing personality disorders and mental retardation. According to research, the axis is helpful in indicating the various personality disorders and effective ways of dealing with them. According to American Psychiatric Association; American Psychiatric Association. Task Force on DSM-IV. (2000), this is the simpler means of helping in the diagnosis of these conditions. For example, mental retardation is related to constant losses of memory.
Axis III is another vital axis in DSM IV. It leads to the diagnosis by researchers through offering general medical conditions. The axis shows how overall medical conditions could affect an individual in relation to the functioning of the brain hence diagnosis.
Axis IV helps in the diagnosis of mental problems by highlighting significant psychological and environmental conditions contributing to mental illnesses. This means that clinicians would find it easier to link problems to the given conditions and make an efficient diagnosis. For instance, it would identify environmental conditions such as chilly conditions.
According to research, Axis V helps in the diagnosis of various conditions by assessing the global functioning scale. This means that it analyzes all the symptoms associated with individuals all over the globe hence helping researchers to make appropriate diagnosis that would help to count global dominance of mental illnesses.
During the assessment, the client would have to respond to questions such as define yourself? What would you do with picked property? To what extent do you respect your country’s laws? These questions would be vital in helping to understand the individual from different perspectives. For instance, the personal question posed would help in the identification of the individual’s attitude towards himself and how he feels in the society. The second question would help in gauging the integrity level of the client while the third question would help in the determination of his attitude towards administrative units within the country. All these are vital in assessing an individual and understanding him better.
It would be significant to know if a patient had a physical exam in the last twelve months because it would form the basis for the diagnosis and subsequent steps. According to research, initial knowledge would form the basis of deeper analysis and understanding of the condition hence taking appropriate remedial actions. It would be vital to know because it gives a past record that is utilized by individuals for present decisions.
Research reports that behavioral assessment involves continued study of an individual’s behavior. Frances & Ross (2001) point out that this is specifically done through keen observation and recording of results. It is conducted on a daily basis in order to determine whether there are vital changes in behavior that would be used in making appropriate conclusions and subsequent remedies. For example, continued study of a depressed individual would bring out various forms of behavior change hence keen understanding of the overall behavioral attitudes. Frances & Ross (2001) assert that behavioral assessment would be more advantageous compared to unstructured clinical interview, because it involves personal observations. Unstructured clinical interview involves questions that could lead to misleading answers while behavioral assessment involves a close study and making of vital personal conclusions that are more realistic and accurate.
Projective testing refers to a personality test that involves the exposure of an individual to ambiguous stimuli that he is supposed to respond to. According to research, this test is aimed at revealing an individual’s hidden emotions and conflicts existing within him. Responses emanating from the test are taken for meaning rather than being assessed basing on presumptions about meaning. Projective testing has both advantages and disadvantages. It is advantageous because it is based on reality rather than presumptions. Coon & Mitterer (2010) point out that the test does not assume general trends but draws its conclusions from meaningful conclusions. On the other side, the test lacks validity because it involves many personal conclusions that could be based upon the interest of an individual instead of reflecting a wider interest.
In conclusion, it would be vital to make faster and efficient diagnosis relating to mental illnesses in order to alleviate such conditions in the world. Researchers and clinicians should always be on their feet, to ensure mental illnesses are efficiently dealt with, once discovered to avert critical conditions such as insanity.