Who is diagnosable?

Who is Diagnosable?

For the pairs of people described below, which of the two would be more diagnosable? That is, which of the two would be more likely to be considered ‘abnormal?’  In each pair one has a disorder that is diagnosable and one does not fit a DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) diagnosis.

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In responding to the question, ‘Which one is diagnosable?’ be sure to explain how you determined whether the behaviors exhibited by Person A and Person B was normal or abnormal.  For each pair, the diagnosable one should demonstrate ‘abnormal’ behavior that is significantly impacting daily functioning.


Person A Person B Which one is diagnosable?
Sharon feels nervous when she goes to parties until she has one or two drinks. At the party she chats with others even though she feels shy. Tom makes excuses to avoid going out with co-workers after work. As far as anyone knows, he doesn’t have any friends and doesn’t seem to want any. He does his job but has lost several opportunities for advancement because he doesn’t socialize.  
On football weekends Harry parties until he is drunk. He prides himself on never drinking before noon and remembering what he did when drunk. He thinks that drinking makes him more sociable and one of the guys. John drinks every weekend, for any excuse—because he’s happy, he’s sad, he got a good grade, he got a bad one. He also thinks drinking makes him more sociable and one of the guys but he has lost more than a few friends because he puts alcohol first. His former girlfriend thinks he is a very unhappy person.  
Mary has developed a fear of elevators. To avoid them she climbs 5 flights to get to her apartment and 4 for her job. She is very embarrassed about her fear and has gone to great lengths to conceal it. She frequently feigns illness, forgetfulness or in other ways avoids others so she doesn’t leave work or her apartment at the same time. Since Shanika was a child she has been afraid of clowns. If one is present at an office or family party she is quiet and stays near the back of the room until the clown leaves. There is a balloon store on the same floor as her work place and she walks past it in a hurry to avoid any potential clowns on the way to work. If one is on the elevator with her she avoids looking in the clown’s direction.  
Tasha is an artist who sells her works nationally and has filled her front yard with her sculptures, many portraying nude figures. She’s also let her grass grow uncut and calls her yard her “Garden of Eden” and has art events there with the local artist community. The neighbors are upset and want her behavior to change. Leah can often be found near the downtown square with her flowered shopping bag, talking to “people who aren’t there.” She lives on charity. Most of the persons who work around the square keep an eye out for her because they knew her mother.  
Sam is an officer in his fraternity. He is very driven. His fraternity has won every inter-fraternity event for the past 3 semesters, mostly due to his efforts. Despite this success he is very insecure about his appearance. He’s known to spend up to 2 hours in front of his mirror trying to make his nose less horrible by rearranging his hair or changing his clothing. He falls into depression over how hideous he feels and is saving money for surgery. His fraternity brothers and sorority little sisters are mystified by his behavior, seeing nothing wrong with his nose or his overall looks Paulo is glad to finally be pursuing his dream of becoming a dancer. He used to train with his mother at her studio. He is very weight conscious, keeping records of all his meals and checking that they are nutritionally balanced. He works out for at least 2 hours every day. He knows that his body is the major tool of his chosen profession. Often he is too anxious before a performance to eat dinner.  


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