In current use in the United States is the DSM-5: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th edition) that was publisher in 2013. The DSM-5 has gone through significant revisions from the previous edition, the DSM-IV-TR, and if compared to the first/second/third edition it is evident many changes since its first use. Currently it lists approximately 500 disorders describing criteria for diagnosis, key clinical features, and related features that are often, but not always, present for each of these. A major shift in the DSM-5 is that beyond the categorical approach, i.e. naming the category (i.e. disorder) indicated by a person’s symptoms, clinicals are also expected to add a dimensional approach and rate the severity of the person’s symptoms.

For this assignment you are to access the DSM-5 and then find answers for these 5 questions using the DSM-5.

1. In section I in the “Use of this manual” link the authors discussed the elements of a diagnosis as ‘diagnostic criteria and descriptors’ and ”subtypes and specifiers’. In your own words what is the difference between these two elements?

2. In this same section the authors clearly state that a final diagnosis is made based on 4 things. List them.

3. Considering the information from question 2… Why is it so important for you to remember to not try to diagnose yourself, someone you love, someone you hate, a family member, me, etc. just because you have access to, and will be learning all about the elements of diagnosis for most disorders?

4. Browse some of the disorders in Section II. Which one of these are you most intrigued by/ interested to learn more about? Tell me one interesting thing you learned about this disorder from the section you browsed.

5. In Section III in the “Cultural Formation” link consider the definitions given for culture, race, and ethnicity. In your own words what is the difference between these? And why would it be important for the authors to add this section into the DSM-5?