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Mental Disorder

What is a mental disorder? As a group, please address all of the following points (each person need only contribute to at least one).

a) Compare and contrast the definition in DSM-IV from the proposed revision for DSM-5. Do you see any significant changes?

b) Do you think the DSM definition is adequate? If not, what concerns do you have? Have you seen those concerns expressed elsewhere (sources in the textbook, lectures, or elsewhere)?

M9 Q2

Diagnosis. In the lecture and readings you have encountered some curious facts about mental disorder diagnoses: Depression rates are higher among women than men; autism and ADHD rates have risen dramatically; the frequency of schizophrenia is stable over time but varies from one country to another.

Comment on one or more of these facts, indicating what you think might be causing it: Does it reflect something “real” about the frequency of that mental disorder, or does it stem from something else? Also relate your group’s comments to major issues that concern the diagnosing of mental disorders in general.

M9 Q3

Playing Amateur Psychologist. The American Psychiatric Association’s web site about the DSM says that no one who is not properly trained should ever use it to try to diagnose mental disorders. But we are going to do it anyway. Sort of. Just not on real people.

Give an example of a fictional character who you think fits one of the diagnostic categories from the DSM. (It can be a character from a book, TV show, movie, or any other source so long as it is not a real person.) Explain why you think the diagnosis fits, giving examples of how the specific diagnostic criteria apply to the actions of this character. Try not to duplicate the choice of anyone who has already posted.

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