Experts in mental health use DSM-IV-TR system of classification to label and diagnose treatment for their patients. This classification has been universally accepted by all mental health experts because it is thought to be beneficial and accurate in diagnosis and determination of treatment approaches. However, the system of diagnosing and labeling mental health patients has been criticized by some experts who claim the method is harmful to patients. The DSM-IV-TR approach of labeling and diagnosing mental patients is beneficial and has been used successfully to treat mental health patients. However, this approach is ineffective in some cases and can cause harm to patients if not well implemented.
The advantages of labeling and diagnosing include the method’s clarity in reference when patient care is transferred from one healthcare provider or physician to another. This is because the universal classifications are known by all mental experts hence; the expert receiving the patient will easily know how to deal with the patient’s condition.
The system of diagnosing and labeling is beneficial to experts because it can convey a lot of information. For instance, when mental experts use a term like “bipolar disorder”, it gives a distinct condition that the patient could be undergoing. Diagnosis and labeling system in mental health are like verbal short hands representing many features of a certain mental disorder. Therefore, this system makes it easy for mental health experts to give precise diagnosis and description of communication with other experts about a patient’s situation.
Diagnosis and labeling is also advantageous when carrying research in the etiology of psychopathological syndrome. This is the research into a mental disorder’s background. This procedure requires a standard of selecting samples for the study and how to assess the samples individuals. The labeling helps in understanding the details that mental experts observe in patients. The labels, which are based on DSM-IV-TR, help therapists to draw conclusions about the mental situation of a patient.
However, systems of diagnosis and labeling in mental health treatment have come under criticism for various reasons. First, the system is rigid hence; experts have to use all or none of the observations before making a classification. The DSM-IV-TR system can only identify a patient to have a certain condition if he or she exhibits all the characteristics of that condition. For instance, for an individual to be schizophrenic, all the stated symptoms must be exhibited. This creates a problem in classification. In case a patient does not exhibit one or two of the symptoms of a condition, they would not be classified in any of the available conditions. This provides loopholes for inaccuracy when labeling and diagnosing.
The systems of diagnosing and labeling were created by qualified psychiatrists and other mental experts. These individuals chose to eliminate and elaborate certain disorders based on their beliefs professionally. Some of these professional beliefs are biased. This causes doubt in the reliability in these systems of classification. Other experts can also come up with their own convincing classifications using the same system of DSM-IV-TR. Therefore, this method of labeling and diagnosing mental patients is only reliable when the experts use their professional expertise to classify the patient’s condition. However, this could at times lead to wrong diagnosis by some mental health experts.
The fact that mental experts receive different training and have different perceptions requires that there is a standard form of classifying and labeling patients. This is why the DSM-IV-TR method is used worldwide for accuracy, continuity and uniformity in treatment of mental patients. However, mental experts may have a different understanding of these classification systems hence; may make wrong decisions based on their perceptions or bias. However, systems of diagnosis and labeling of patients are the most efficient ways of treating mentally ill individuals. The advantages of this system of treatment far outweigh the demerits. This is because the disadvantages can easily be overcome by ensuring experts remain professional, avoid bias and receive sufficient training on how to classify, label and treat mentally ill patients.
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