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Evaluating Contributions of Psychological Research in the Applied Context of the DSM-5

Halter, Rollin-Kenny, & Dzurec (2013) in their article identified three controversial recommendations contained in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders, DSM-5. These controversies include sex-related dysfunctions, disorders arising from depression, as well as disorders that result from anxiety.

The controversy surrounding sex-related dysfunctions was the decision by the American Psychiatric Association to include or exclude hypersexual disorder in the handbook. In the end, APA did not include the condition in their compilation of the DSM-5. Hypersexual disorders are usually characterized by a heightened sexual urge, fantasy as well as other behaviors that are experienced for a period exceeding six months (Halter, Rollin-Kenny, & Dzurec, 2013).

Depressive disorders were also a cause for concern over the exclusion of grief as a primary type of depression, by the APA. Although bereavement has not been widely recognized as a serious form of depression experienced by people in the past it should be included in the guide because many people are often overcome by grief over the loss of loved ones without a clear way of moving on from their loss (Halter, Rollin-Kenny, & Dzurec, 2013). Some people even contemplate committing suicide thereby proper medical attention should be accorded to such people to prevent them from overreacting. In my opinion, grief should be included in DSM-5 by the APA.

Disorders resulting from anxiety were also the center of controversy due to the manner in which DSM-5 defined generalized disorders arising from anxiety. It decreased the length of the duration of symptom requirements from six months to just three months (Halter, Rollin-Kenny, & Dzurec, 2013). The symptoms were also reduced from 3 to 1. This may present a problem of the wrong diagnosis of the type of anxiety disorder that the patient may be suffering from. The period of duration of symptom requirements, as well as some symptoms for diagnosis, should be maintained as noted in the previous editions of the DSM-5 handbook.

This discussion paper has identified the mental condition categorized as non-suicidal self-induced injury as one of the conditions that should be earmarked for further research studies in the formulation of future editions of the DSM handbook Association, A. P.A (2013). There is a need to establish the difference between self-harms with an intention to commit suicide and self-harm inducement as a form of relief (Morrison, 2014). A critical research question that should form the basis of the research study on the research problem should seek to find answers on whether persons subjecting themselves to self-harm do so with the intention of committing suicide or as a mere form of relief.

The research study may be undertaken by conducting surveys among people living in a given community where they are required to fill out questionnaire forms expressing their opinions concerning the research problem.


Halter, M. J. Rollin-Kenny, D & Dzurec, L.C. (2013). An overview of the DSM-5: Changes, controversy, and implications for psychiatric nursing. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing & Mental Health Services, 51(4), 30-39. doi:

Association, A. P. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5®). American Psychiatric Pub.

Morrison, J. (2014). DSM-5 Made Easy: The Clinician’s Guide to Diagnosis. Guilford Publications.



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