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Alcohol intake, getting high, cocaine addiction and withdrawal symptoms are some of the terms widely heard by everyone in their day-to-day lives. Although they may sound interesting, habitual or a source of entertainment, they can transform into serious illnesses. Due to this fact, substance-related disorders are listed in the DSM IV-TR which includes the disorders associated with drug intake, related to the side effects of a medicine and also to the exposure of toxins.

The symptoms of substance related disorders commonly occur due to high dosage of medication. However, it may lower down as soon as the dosage reduces or is put to an end. The examples of some of these medicines include anesthetics, anticonvulsants, muscle relaxants, anti-depressants, and more (Durand, M. 2009).

As mentioned earlier, apart from medications, there are a number of other chemical substances which might also be the factor in causing the substance related disorder. Amongst these substances, some of them include pesticides, aluminum, nerve gases, etc. In addition, exposure to volatile substances such as fuel and paint might also cause symptoms like hallucinations, anxiety and delusion which would reduce when the exposure to these substances are minimized (American Psychiatric Association, 2000).

The substances mentioned in the DSM are categorized into 11 different classes which are listed below:








hallucinogens phencyclidine inhalants sedatives

The Substance-Related Disorders can be classified into two groups namely the substance use disorders and the substance induced disorders. It can also be seen through the DSM that several other disorders can also occur with substance related disorders. These include conduct disorder which may co occur with alcohol dependence as well as Amphetamine related disorders. Same is the case with anti-social personality disorder which may also co occur with these types of substance related disorder. This co-occurrence of disorders with alcohol and Amphetamine dependence is due to symptoms such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, committing crimes (as seen in individuals suffering from antisocial personality disorder). For instance, murderers are usually seen to be highly intoxicated with alcohol. Moreover, conduct disorder is seen to co-occur with substance related disorders as symptoms of physical harm, violating rights and other symptoms are common amongst substance abusers. Other co-occurring disorders include schizophrenia, depression, anxiety disorders and more (American Psychiatric Association, 2000).

The DSM which stands for the diagnostic and statistical manual for mental disorders is the standard manual published by the American Psychiatric Association which classifies mental disorders and is used by psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, counselors and other professionals. The use of DSM is applicable in a number of contexts such as family systems, in interpersonal relationships, cognitive, psychodynamic and other perspectives. It is used across several settings such as inpatient, outpatient, clinic etc.

Terror attacks, loss of a loved one, rape, child abuse are some of the events which occur commonly throughout the world. These life events may look simple while mentioning them over here, but in reality they come with severe consequences. For this reason they are often referred to as traumatic events which change the actions, behaviors and the whole life of people who face them. As a matter of fact, the impact of a trauma is seen in the form of symptoms of psychological disorders which could be diagnosed through the knowledge of DSM. Since the DSM has three components; the diagnostic criteria, diagnostic classification and the descriptive texts, this knowledge can be useful while responding to a trauma causing event. This is due to the fact that the diagnostic classification part of the DSM is a list of all the mental disorders for which the individual is being evaluated (Seligman, L. 1990). Similarly, the diagnostic criterion provides a detailed description and the symptoms which would help in diagnosing the disorder the individual is facing. In addition, the descriptive texts with each disorder provides a detailed overview about the prevalence, the familial pattern, the culture, gender and age, and the associated features of other disorders occurring with the respective mentioned disorder (Brooks B, 2006).

Individuals facing a traumatic situation may offer respond with symptoms of flashbacks, nightmares, dissociation, anger, substance abuse and more. These symptoms present in the DSM IV TR would help diagnose the person with a disorder if present because of his experience with a traumatic situation. Consequently, these individuals might suffer from disorders such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, panic disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, obsessive…[continue]

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