Strengths And Weaknesses Of The Psychiatric Classification System

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Register to read the introduction… A weakness may occur as each edition reflects a consensus of opinions at the time of publication. Another weakness that can occur may be labeling. This may cause people to overlook the uniqueness of each individual’s features and expect them to conform to particular classifications of their disorder (Atkinson, Atkinson, Smith, Bem, & Nolen-Hoeksema, 1996). Each individual is assed on five separate axes. The first axis has 15 diagnostic categories that are extremely structured, with specific sub categories such as mood disorders, specifically depression. The following axes assess their personality, physical being, possible traumatic or other events and their social and occupational functioning (Atkinson, Atkinson, Smith, Bem, & Nolen-Hoeksema, 1996).

It is sometimes argued that “the creators of DSM-III and DSM-IV sacrificed validity for the sake of reliability”(Wakefield, 1992, cited in Gray, 2002, p 614). This refers to greater emphasis being
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Moreover, there appears to be more weaknesses than strengths despite revisions. However, continuing revisions of DSM will ensure an effective and reliable way to classify mental disorders if continued to be based on more readily available scientific data.


American Psychiatric Association. (2003). DSM Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Retrieved March 6, 2004, from

Atkinson, R., Atkinson, R., Smith, E., Bem, D., & Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (1996). Hilgrad’s Introduction to Psychology (12th ed.). Sydney: Harcourt Brace College Publishers.

eMedicine (n.d). Instant Access to the Mind of Medicine. Retrieved March 6, 2004, from

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