Diagnostic Statistical Manual -5 (DSM-5): Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths and Weaknesses of the DSM-5


Diagnostic Statistical Manual -5 (DSM-5) is a systematic manual used in the assessment and diagnosis of mental health disorders. The manual is organized into three sections with different subsections that address mental disorders. DSM-5 is based on scientific and clinical evidence, which are integrated into the provision of quality care for mentally ill patients (Reiger, Kuhl, & Kupfer, 2013). The categories of DSM-5 vary depending on the severity of intellectual disability to genius. The dimensionality of DSM-5 presents the various issues that are defined in respect and practice of health.

Diagnostic Statistical Manual -5: Strengths and Weaknesses

In mental health, social workers and mental health professionals use diagnosis to develop a better understanding of the patient and establish a treatment strategy using evidence-based practice. According to Probst (2018), mental health professionals and social workers engage the process of diagnosis to develop a therapeutic interaction with the client, which is significant in giving effective and quality care. A diagnosis means creating goals, treatment strategy, and prognosis of the client. However, the diagnosis does not mean examining the history and physical structure of the client.

Overdiagnosis and misdiagnosis are different and they may be a threat to the client as the social worker may examine an issue that results in the mental disorder wrongly. Misdiagnosis is a wrong diagnosis whereas overdiagnosis is a correct medical diagnosis (InformedHealth.org, 2017). Diagnosis plays a vital role in the provision of services because the social worker develops a strong foundation for a therapeutic relationship with the client.

Diagnostic Statistical Manual -5 adopts the evidence-based practice in the provision of therapeutic guidance. The social worker develops full knowledge of the client’s background using the system and ensures the client actively participates in individual sessions of recovery. On the other hand, the system may misdiagnosis or overdiagnosis the condition of the clients resulting in risks.

Assessment using Diagnostic Statistical Manual -5

The teenager is normal because she is grieving her friend. Grief is a normal experience that is associated with emotional pain after losing a loved one. On the other hand, depression is a clinical condition that results from an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. The teenager’s grief is characterized by acceptance and there are high chances of overcoming the pain and bounce back to normal life.


InformedHealth.org. (2017). What is overdiagnosis? Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Probst, B. (2018). Diagnosing, Diagnoses, and the DSM in Clinical Social Work. Families in society: The journal of contemporary social services , 93 (4), 255-263.

Reiger, D. A., Kuhl, E. A., & Kupfer, D. J. (2013). The DSM-5: Classification and criteria changes. World Psychiatry. , 12 (2), 92–98.