DSM versus non-DSM diagnosis, Part 2.

Free Agent

Vulnerability, true identity, individuality.

DSM versus non-DSM diagnosis.

DSM-diagnosis means that an individual has officially been labelled by a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist is a specialized doctor who specializes in mental illness and mental disorders. A psychiatrist can have a private practise or he/she can be employed at the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA), sometimes working at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, British Columbia. Furthermore, there is usually a psychiatrist on staff at the emergency unit at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, B.C. In rare cases, if an individual is experiencing extreme components and symptoms of psychosis – one often, as a matter of dire emergency, goes to the emergency unit (Emerg. for short).

Non-dsm diagnosis means that an individual realizes that he/she has medical symptoms of psychosis but chooses not to get treatment from a medical facility (for many different reasons). The difference between an individual suffering from psychosis with a DSM label and an individual suffering from psychosis without a dsm label (non-dsm label) is a question of a medical coding. The medical coding of a dsm-diagnosis implies that an individual has already been assessed for serious mental illness by a psychiatrist and that it has been determined, by medical assessments, that the individual is deemed mentally ill and/or to suffering from a mental disorder (or both at the same time).

The main difference between the DSM and the non-DSM diagnosed individuals is a question of freedom. Sometimes, individuals who have very severe symptoms of extreme distress and psychosis choose not to be diagnosed, and choose, on purpose and with clarity of judgement (or so it seems to the individual at the time) not to embark on the road of psychiatry because of the social stigma attached to serious mental illness.

Technically, both examples of (A) DSM diagnosis and (B) non-DSM diagnosis could hypothetically suffer with the same level of extreme distress – whereas one chooses out of free-will to get help and the other chooses out of free-will not to get help. Officially if one has a DSM diagnosis, then one is linked to the psychiatric system and if one is not dsm diagnosed – one still has the freedom of choice to remain not being apart of the psychiatric system of care. This freedom, especially in the province of British Columbia, this human right code, according to the Charter of Rights, is a very important code and the grounds for large amounts of personal freedoms in Victoria, British Columbia. It also includes the right to have a home and the right not to choose to have a home (and hence by choice, become homeless).


Goldrunner, J. (1964). Individuation, A study of the Depth Psychology of Carl Gustav Jung. University of Notre Dame Press. P. 119



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