ISSN:
Volume 15, Number 1 (2010)
Limitations/Biases of DSM-IV in Trinidad and Tobago
Sachelle Le Gall, Steve Rollocks, Linda Mohammed, Christine Descartes
In fully addressing the context within which the current Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM-IV) is founded, it is necessary to demonstrate its attempts at achieving cultural significance but there is also a need to discuss with rigor the inherent biases that are present within it. This paper will firstly present a brief history of this statistical manual which will highlight that it is in a process of evolution as empirical research continues to re shape the manner in which mental disorders are classified. Furthermore, the basis for such an endeavour is the assumption that mental illness is a universal concept with the ability to be applied cross culturally and in a variety of settings. This will be challenged from a perspective that ethnocentric biases within the DSM, as well as factors specific to the Caribbean experience impact the manifestation and interpretation of mental illness in Trinidad and Tobago, proving it difficult to apply the DSM-IV "wholesale" without further adjustment suitable to the cultural context.