Psychiatric Diagnosis in This Chapter Essay

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16), an indication that the brain and the body are sorts of partners when it comes to thought, emotion and psychopathology.

The next section discusses descriptive syndromal diagnosis, "a complex of signs and symptoms resulting from a common cause or in combination" (Lambert, 2005, p. 332) versus a well-established and knowable disease. For example, an illness like Alzheimer's has a "sufficiently well-established pathogenesis," while the symptoms of an illness/disorder like a specific phobia is often circumscribed, i.e., a mixture of various traits and characteristics (DSM-

IV Guidebook, 1995, p. 16). Following this section, the guidebook goes into exploring seven specific modes of diagnosis -- "Nosology: Categorical vs. Dimensional Diagnosis," "Polythetic vs. Monothetic Criteria," "Multiple Diagnoses and Comorbidity," being "a combination of abnormal condition and quality" (Glanze, 2000, p. 770), "Clinical vs. Research Criteria," "Core vs. Discriminating Features," "Level of Clinical Inference in Criteria Sets," and lastly, "Diagnostic Tests as Criteria."

This chapter then concludes by asking why mental disorders are even classified in the first place, due to a number of arguments that maintain that "the entire enterprise of psychiatric classification is. . . misguided" and is "more detrimental to the individual being classified than it is worth" (DSM-IV Guidebook, 1995, p. 23). However, the editors of the DSM-IV manual have come to agree that classifications "allows users (of the manual) to communicate more effectively with each other by establishing an effective shorthand" for describing mental illnesses that are currently categorized or are expected to be in the near future (DSM-IV Guidebook, 1995, p. 23).

Lastly, the editors of the DSM-IV manual wishes to make it clear to all manual users, especially clinicians and psychiatrists, that clinical observation and common sense outweighs the need to "shoehorn patients into DSM-IV pigeonholes," regardless of whether the patient's symptoms fit within relatively well-established diagnostic criteria. Also, the editors stress that all users must be more flexible and clinically practical when diagnosing any mental illness, particularly related to not taking DSM-IV rules and paradigms so seriously above and beyond one's own clinical judgment and experience (DSM-IV Guidebook, 1995, p. 24).

REFERENCES

(1995). Conceptual issues in psychiatric diagnosis. Chapter 2. DSM-IV Guidebook. American Psychiatric Press.

Denison, M.J. (2003). The science of knowledge and knowing. New York: Blackwell

Publishing.

Glanze, Walter D. (2000). Mosby's medical, nursing and allied health encyclopedia.

St. Louis, MO: C.V. Mosby Company.

Harrison, J.K. (2004). The mind/body…

Sources Used in Document:

REFERENCES

(1995). Conceptual issues in psychiatric diagnosis. Chapter 2. DSM-IV Guidebook. American Psychiatric Press.

Denison, M.J. (2003). The science of knowledge and knowing. New York: Blackwell

Publishing.

Glanze, Walter D. (2000). Mosby's medical, nursing and allied health encyclopedia.

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