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Multiaxial Approach in Abnormal Psychology


Contemporary medical analysis reveals the existence of biomedical replica of a disease. This has largely been possible by using a new system of psychosomatic model. The Multiaxial Approach for psychiatry treatment allows the diagnosis to be confirmed as a procedure of alteration in the environment. The DSM-IV-TR approach is comprises of five distinct dimensions. This method enhances the work of the clinicians and psychiatrists’ to have a more defined evaluation and diagnosis in regard to a patients’ illness.

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The first aspect of DSM-IV-TR diagnosis is comprised of Axis I. Axis I involves describing the clinical symptoms that might cause a significant impairment to an individual and merit attention for treatment (Sarason and Sarason, 2005). Disorders in Axis I are organized and grouped in different disorders which makes it easier for diagnosis. Categories here includes; anxiety, pervasive, developmental and adjustment disorders. The disorder gives vital choices for the condition to be diagnosed which constitute a primary focus.

Axis II involves analyzing the mental retardation and the personality of an individual. It centers on the diagnosis of long term challenges and problems that Axis I has overlooked. A disorder arising from personality causes major problems in the way that an individual adapts to their surroundings as noted by Sarason and Sarason (2005). This includes antisocial and histrionic disorders. Mental retardation is made up of intellectual mutilation and deficiency in an individual such as personal care and interpersonal skills.

Axis II may comprise of a major maladaptive personality which is replicated in signs and defense mechanisms. All aspects of Axis II present lasting elements which forms the foundation for Maladaptation. This can, in the long run, cause an individual to fail to adapt to difficult situations. Axis II increases the vulnerability for the occurrence of a severe a condition referred to as Maladaptation which is prevalent in Axis I. Maladaptation leads to inability to adjust effectively (Sarason and Sarason, 2005)

Axis III analysis examines the individuals medical conditions. It involves a check of the individual’s medical and physical fitness; this can either worsen or control Axis I and II disorders. For example, these disorders may be prevalent in cases of serious prevalence of Aids/HIV or brain injuries of an individual (Sarason and Sarason, 2005)

Axis IV involves the issues associated with environmental or psychosocial problems. In this Axis, elements that may impact on Axis I and II are considered. Sarason and Sarason (2005), illustrates that such elements may include; individual relocation, divorce, unemployment, or death.

Axis V focuses on assessing of global functioning, it makes it easy for clinicians to generally categorize the functioning level of an individual (Sarason and Sarason, 2005). Clinicians use such evaluations to figure out the way “the four other Axes interact and the effects they produce on the life of the clients” (Sarason and Sarason, 2005).

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Cite Specific Instances in which the diagnostic criteria of the axes of the Axis of DMS-IV-TR is used

The axis of DMS-IV-TR criteria is used in diagnosing and treatment of arthritis. This is in a case where structural alterations may occur after acute attacks. The solution prescribed is made up of structural abnormality which is appears in Axis I diagnosis. For example, if an individual has arthritic deformities of the hand. Secondly, an Axis of DMS-IV-TR criterion has been widely used for the treatment of an individual who suffers from schizoid disorder. Axis of DMS-IV-TR helps to diagnosis and establishes a pattern of symptoms related to schizoid condition such as: anhedonia (loss of pleasure), sleep and eating disturbances and concentration difficulties among other important symptoms (Sarason and Sarason, 2005).

Moreover, it provides a detailed analysis paying close attention to psychotic characteristics and other physiological attributes associated with Schizoid. Thirdly, the criterion has been used to diagnose and treat physical injury such as Down Syndrome. Down Syndrome is part of the Axis III diagnosis. This is because the syndrome is not only a mental disorder, but affects the whole body (Sarason and Sarason, 2005). Moreover, axis of DMS-IV-TR is helpful in the treatment of non- clinical stressors of life. For example, it is made up of individual stressors such as economic, social, or criminal challenges. This is evident from an individual if he or she is homeless, in jail, or living in foster care.


Sarason, I. E., and Sarason, B., (2005). Abnormal Psychology: The Problem of Maladaptive behavior, 11th Ed. New Jersey: Pearson/Prentice-Hall.

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