Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Global Assessment of Functioning

I have a psychopathology exam tomorrow and am learning about the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale. This is a scale used in the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (the DSM-IV, the psych bible) in order to rate an individual's psychological, social and occupational functioning on a scale of 1 - 100. It's hilarious.

Are you an 80? If so, your psychological symptoms are transient and expectable reactions to psychosocial stressors and have no more than slight impairment in social, occupational or school functioning. Maybe you're feeling more like 60: moderate symptoms with or without moderate difficulty in functioning. God forbid you're a 20 where you have some danger of hurting yourself or others or you occasionally fail to maintain minimal personal hygiene. If you're lucky, you migh reach 100 where you have "superior functioning in a wide range of activities, life's problems never seem to get out of hand, you are sought out by other because of [your] many positive qualities".

Obviously the point of this scale is for a mental health professional to assign some value to your level of functioning so that they may chart your progress or lack thereof. However, I still think it's pretty funny. I mean, what does it mean to be a 98? Does that mean life's problems never seem to get out of hand but you are frustrated that you can't figure out your VCR? If you are a 97 maybe you have problems with your VCR *and* your child-proof vitamin bottles. Who can say...

I think it would be neat if we could all wear little wristbands that could report our GAF on an hourly basis: "I was 92 this morning but then I forgot my gas cap at the filling station and cursed in the car so I'm down to 89" or "I was 97 last week but then I stopped bathing and tried to throw myself out of a moving vehicle so I'm running a 3".

What are you?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i predict nate will say he's a 69

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think i would be a --


oh. nevermind. :~(


9:57 PM  
Blogger Ilan Muskat said...

People should have little LCD buttons that they wear that they can set, sort of like the Bill Engvalls "sign" thing. (ie. "They oughtta wear a sign")

And when it hits 5:00pm, and you feel your brain start to slide out of your nose, set it to 60. And when you perfectly execute your kung-fu pose while simultaneously submitting a report and buying groceries, then you're delusional and set it to 50.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Ilan Muskat said...

The point of the buttons would be so if someone wants something done, and they look at you and you're on 99, they say "alright smartass, you get to clean the septic tank".

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank God - I'm a 60! And I thought I was just crazy!

Ms. Bi-polar

3:39 AM  

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