Conceptual Issues in Psychiatric Diagnosis Article Review by Nicky

A review of the chapter entitled "Conceptual Issues in Psychiatric Diagnosis" from the DSM-IV Guidebook.
# 150345 | 746 words | 5 sources | APA | 2012 | US
Published on Jan 31, 2012 in Psychology (Disorders)

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The paper outlines how this chapter from the DSM-IV Guidebook examines a number of conceptual issues related to psychiatry and how a practicing psychiatrist should approach a diagnosis of a particular mental disease. The paper specifically summarizes the two sub-headings, the authors' discussion of the term "mental disorder", descriptive syndromal diagnosis and the reasons why mental disorders are even classified in the first place. Finally, the paper looks at the authors' caution that users must be flexible and clinically practical when diagnosing any mental illness, not taking DSM-IV rules and paradigms beyond their own clinical judgment and experience.

From the Paper:

"The first sub-heading "Epistemology of the Diagnostic Endeavor" offers a simple analogy to the psychiatrist in the form of umpires who see balls and strikes in a game of baseball as very different in terms of epistemology or the "study of the nature of knowledge and how it is experienced and organized in the human mind" (Denison, 2003, p. 245). Thus, the nature of reality and knowledge, at least for the psychiatrist, "has profound implications for understanding the nature of psychiatric classification" (DSM-IV Guidebook, 1995, p. 14) regarding how to approach a diagnosis of a mental illness in a patient. Overall, one might ask the question, "Do psychiatric disorders exist as entities in nature (i.e., occurring naturally) or do they arise as mental constructs created in the minds of the classifiers?" (DSM-IV Guidebook, 1995, p. 14).
"The second sub-heading explores the definition of a mental disorder which Walter D. Glanze sees as "any disturbance of emotional equilibrium as manifested in maladaptive behavior and impaired functioning," caused by genetics, physical, chemical, biological, psychologic and/or cultural/social factors (2000, p. 741). According to the DSM-IV guidebook, a mental disorder is merely a human concept which "lacks a consistent operational definition that covers all situations" which might arise in the office of a psychiatrist. In other words, a mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bi-polar/depression, ADHD or some type of disorder associated with substance abuse, cannot be fully diagnosed by simply relying upon poorly-defined psychological entities or constructs which oftentimes only discuss traditional ideas of Western culture related to biology, treatment and testing."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • (1995). Conceptual issues in psychiatric diagnosis. Ch. 2. DSM-IV Guidebook. AmericanPsychiatric Press.
  • Denison, M.J. (2003). The science of knowledge and knowing. New York: BlackwellPublishing.
  • 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 connection and modern psychiatry. New York:Blackwell Publishing.
  • Lambert, M.G. (2005). Diagnosing mental disorders: A companion guide. Washington, DC:American Psychiatric Association.

Cite this Article Review:

APA Format

Conceptual Issues in Psychiatric Diagnosis (2012, January 31) Retrieved September 26, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Conceptual Issues in Psychiatric Diagnosis" 31 January 2012. Web. 26 September. 2021. <>