Because we’re focused on the DSM-5 process itself in this module, you may cite any of the assigned readings, including the DSM-5 and DSM-5 handbooks.
1. For most disorders, the DSM-5 describes prevalence according to gender. There are frequently differences which may even give diagnostic clues according to the DSM. Caplan et al. argue that gender bias is a major factor that leads to increased diagnosis of depression in women. Biological psychiatrists will generally acknowledge that gender bias does exist but that biology also holds an important role, for instance citing research showing brain differences between males and females during gestation (Links to an external site.), before socialization has taken place. There are also differences in disease prevalence in physical medical disease; women are more likely to be diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, men are more likely to have heart attacks. In mental health, men are more likely to be diagnosed with Schizophrenia or Anti-Social Personality Disorder.
Examine the DSM-5 category of Major Depressive Disorder:
Do you see clear gender bias embedded into the category by the creators of the disorder? In practice, what should a practicing social worker do to avoid making gender-biased diagnostic decisions?
2. It should be clear by now that the DSM-5 is a very flawed human endeavor. However, DSM-5 included the Cultural Formulation Interview, which attempts to capture the cultural influences on the manifestation of psychopathology, as well as other important issues relevant to ongoing treatment. Please examine the CFI in your DSM-5. Again, consider the diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder as posted above. Also consider your own life experiences (including but not limited to clinical experience) regarding the role of culture in depression, human distress, and ‘happiness’. Assuming the questions on the CFI are asked to a client suspected of manifesting Major Depressive Disorder, how might this affect the overall DSM diagnosis? What important factors does the DSM-5 diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder miss that might be captured by the CFI? Does the CFI solve the problem presented by using DSM-5 criteria for depression created largely by relatively wealthy white male psychiatrists?
3. Please select at least one of your classmates’ response to the above question to comment on. As part of your response please express respectfully your agreement or disagreement with your colleague’s position and explain why.
The in-group discussion board closes at 11:59 PM EST on Thursday, January 28th. I realize that some are in other time zones, but I cannot alter the time for individual students- please plan accordingly.
Please note that the discussion board is now graded. Please take any feedback you received on Module 1 to heart, especially any suggestions given by your Online Mentor regarding full engagement with the material presented, proofreading, following the instructions, and otherwise.
Please also ensure that you are fully conversant with the instructions for discussion board posts specific to this course before starting this assignment.
Please note that for this and each discussion board assignment in this course, your individual post is due by the Thursday midnight before the Sunday midnight deadline (if you post on Friday or Saturday you receive a -10% penalty, and if you post on Sunday you receive a -25% penalty; posting after the Sunday midnight deadline results in a maximum possible score of 60% for the assignment). You must make at least one comment on a fellow group member’s post by no later than Saturday midnight. Commenting only on the Sunday, or failing to comment at all before the Sunday midnight deadline will result in 0 points for commenting (i.e. a penalty of -1).
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