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Response-Weakness of the DSM

Weakness of the DSM Discussion Response

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Responding to Priscilla Zertuche

Hello Priscilla,

This is a great post. I agree with your take on the overemphasis of the DSM on the heritability of mental disorders as a major weakness and limitation of the DSM. Placing more value on the biological influence on the development of mental disorders risks overlooking other critical factors within an individual’s life that can greatly impact their mental health. It is evident that mental health issues and outcomes result from a complex interplay between various factors, including genetics, environment, and social dimensions (Tripathi et al., 2019). As you mentioned, no sufficient evidence exists on tests that can help diagnose or even predict the heritability of any mental disorders. This further means that the DSM’s focus on the biological influence on mental health is a limitation and has the potential to misdiagnose mental health disorders, which can lead to insufficient treatment and care and, hence, further complications. In this case, the DSM requires a revision to incorporate all potential causal factors of mental health disorders for better diagnosis and treatment.


Tripathi, A., Das, A., & Kar, S. (2019). Biopsychosocial model in contemporary psychiatry: Current validity and future prospects. Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, 41(6), 582.

Responding to Jordan Klein

Hello Jordan,

I like your post on the weakness of the DSM. I agree with you; the generalization of diagnostics is a major weakness of the DSM. This means that the DSM, in its guidelines and approach to diagnosing mental health disorders, ignores the individuality of each case. Accordingly, this means that the treatment plan for each case will also be majorly generalized. Treating individual cases with similar diagnoses with the same approach and methods might not be effective due to the uniqueness of each individual and their mental health issues. Generalized diagnostics ignore the individual variability and contextual underlying factors for each mental health case and can complicate the development of patient-centered care plans. Therefore, the DSM needs to be modified to employ a personalized approach to mental health diagnosis. A personalized model in psychopathology approaches mental health as a complex system of specific and contextual factors and processes for each individual (Wright & Woods, 2020). Therefore, a personalized approach, unlike generalized diagnostics, will truly understand the symptoms and history of the mental health issue at an individual level, hence a more appropriate diagnosis and intervention.


Wright, A. G. C., & Woods, W. C. (2020). Personalized models of psychopathology. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 16, 49–74.


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Pls, respond to these 2 discussions on a page.:
Discussion 1:
Priscilla Zertuche:

A weakness of the DSM that I found interesting is that the DSM seems to hold more value as to the biological influence (heritability) of mental disorders. There is too much emphasis given to genetics and not looking at the person as a whole, including outside factors – biological and social. Currently, there are no genetic tests that can be done to diagnose or even predict the heritability of any mental disorders, so knowing that, there cannot be just a biological influence in mental disorders. Mental disorders are classified as multifunctional inheritance, meaning that environmental and genetic factors both contribute to the cause of mental disorders. To me, it is not safe or fair to clients to use such a broad spectrum when diagnosing mental disorders because so many different situations and scenarios come into play. Being so vague can cause a misdiagnosis and a treatment for the client that is not correct or necessary. You have to consider the birthing situation of the client, exposure to elements/chemicals in the environment, and even the social aspects (income, family, community).

Response-Weakness of the DSM

Response-Weakness of the DSM

Discussion 2:
Jordan Klein (She/Her)

DSM is a vital tool that helps social workers and healthcare professionals to diagnose mental health disorders. Using this as a guideline can help those who need a better understanding of symptoms, characteristics, and signs by giving social workers and healthcare professionals descriptions of different mental health disorders (Corcoran & Walsh, 2020, p. 4). Several DSM weaknesses are discussed in Corcoran and Walsh (2020). One weakness that potentially negatively impacts clients is the generalization diagnostics. This limitation can harm those who, on paper, have the same diagnostics and are treated the same. However, one individual can have different symptoms, so that the treatment can cause no change in their diagnostics. Having a connection with a client can help when it comes to understanding the client’s diagnosis, symptoms, and past trauma. Taking the time to connect with the client can help the social worker understand the steps and techniques to help the client feel better. When using the DSM and not modifying it a little bit to help stop the generalization of the system, it can create a lack of understanding of why the client is reacting differently compared to a past client, and the DSM was a very beneficial outcome. However, the social worker does use DSM as a reference tool but considers outside factors. In that case, it can help create a pathway to a better understanding of mental health disorders. Just like in everyday life, we need to be reminded that there are outside factors we do not see and are unaware of with the people we interact with daily. Although there are limitations to this form of diagnostics, there are many valuable tools that can be used. Having a guideline to meet the client to diagnose the client can be very difficult, but having a tool that helps those can also help clients understand their mental health disorders and seek treatment catered to the specific disorder.

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