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Essay Questions

1. We encounter dilemmas when we try to define “mental disorders.” The text considers three viewpoints in attempting to formulate this definition. What is the definition of “mental disorder” that the authors decide upon?

2. Disorders like brain tumors and appendicitis are the same throughout the world irrespective of the type of culture and society. In the case of psychological disorders, why is it often difficult to get psychologists to agree on specific diagnoses?

3. Because of the DSM’s powerful influence, it is important to be aware of its limitations. Analyze the four limitations discussed in the textbook:

  •                               the danger of overdiagnosis;
  •                               the power of diagnostic labels;
  •                               the confusion of serious mental disorders with normal problems;
  •                               the illusion of objectivity.

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