Issues with identifying disorders:
- Highly subjective – can change from one health professional to the next.
- Requires self-report from individuals who may not perceive their behaviour as abnormal or dysfunctional, or who may be prone to lying/disordered thoughts and social desirability
- There is significant overlap between disorders e.g. loss of pleasure is a factor in depression and schizophrenia, whilst bipolar disorders and schizophrenia can feature delusions and disordered actions. Anxiety is also somewhat common amongst people who are depressed, due to feelings of worthlessness and pessimistic depressive thought patterns.
- Ethnocentrism – it depends on the culture to how behaviour is perceived, some cultures may see behaviours as the norm where others would not.
- Hard to diagnose reliably due to individual differences and bias
- Ignores biological symptoms as it only focuses on behavioural symptoms.
Positive aspects of identifying disorders:
- Helps to establish as reliable way to categorise and diagnose behaviours.
- Helps to direct the most appropriate treatment for the individual.
- Helps the individual come to terms with and understand why they are different. It is almost a relief to take the weight off their mind. The fear of the unknown is now reduced. Now they can get help.