The DSM-IV is an important tool for clinicians. It provides a standard for diagnoses to be standardized across psychology; however, the DSM-IV is not as precise for diagnosing personality disorders as some psychologists would like.
Give an example of each of the following problems identified in your readings and explain how these problems could negatively affect a diagnosis.
- Some criteria used for reaching a diagnosis cannot be observed directly.
When it comes to diagnosing personality disorders the DSM-IV has been criticized for a lack of reliability. The clinician diagnoses personality disorders based upon information received by a patient (or other significant individuals involved with the patient), but in fact the patient may be making up symptoms or even presenting biased information about their own symptoms, which would make the DSM-IV diagnosis unreliable. The lack of direct observation could result in a misdiagnosis or misinterpretation of symptoms.
- Personality disorders can be similar to each other.