Clinical Handbook for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Pediatric Mood Disorders
By Saul McLeod , updated The medical model of mental illness treats mental disorders in the same way as a broken arm, i. This model has been adopted by psychiatrists rather than psychologists. The biological approach to psychopathology believes that disorders have an organic or physical cause. The focus of this approach is on genetics, neurotransmitters, neurophysiology, neuroanatomy etc. The approach argues that mental disorders are related to the physical structure and functioning of the brain. What is happening here? The doctor makes a judgement of the patient's behavior, usually in a clinical interview after a relative or general practitioner has asked for an assessment.
The doctor will judge that the 'patient' is exhibiting abnormal behavior by asking questions and observing the patient.
Adult Mental Disorders
In psychiatry the psychiatrist must be able to validly and reliably diagnose different mental illnesses. The first systematic attempt to do this was by Emil Kraepelin who published the first recognized textbook on psychiatry in Kraepelin claimed that certain groups of symptoms occur together sufficiently frequently for them to be called a disease. He regarded each mental illness as a distinct type and set out to describe its origins, symptoms, course and outcomes.
This is the classification system used by the American Psychiatric Association. The first version DSM 1 was published in The latest version is DSM V published in This is published by The World Health Organisation. Mental disorders were included for the first time in ICD 6. The current version is ICD 10 published in On the basis of the diagnosis, the psychiatrist will prescribe treatment such as drugs, psychosurgery or electroconvulsive therapy. However, since the s psychiatrists have predominantly treated mental illnesses using drugs. However, studies have shown that diagnosis is not a reliable tool.
Rosenhan conducted an experiment where the aim was to see whether psychiatrists could reliably distinguish between people who were mentally ill and those who were not. The study consists of two conditions from which in one the hospital were informed that patients will be coming that are not actually mentally ill when in fact no patients were sent at all. In this condition the psychiatrists only diagnosed 41 out of patients as being mentally ill when in reality all patients were mentally ill. In the other conditions, 8 people were told to report at the hospital that they hear noises in their head.
As soon as they were administrated, they behaved normally. The doctors in this condition still classified these patients as insane, with a case of dormant schizophrenia. Rosenhan concluded that no psychiatrist can easily diagnose the sane from insane. Though Rosenhan delivered a very accurate report on diagnoses of patients, Rosenhan was criticised for deceiving the hospital for claiming that sane patients were being sent over, though none were actually sent.
The main biological explanations of schizophrenia are as follows:. Biochemistry — the dopamine hypothesis argues that elevated levels of dopamine are related to symptoms of schizophrenia. Neuroanatomy — differences in brain structure abnormalities in the frontal and pre-frontal cortex, enlarged ventricles have been identified in people with schizophrenia.
Genetic — there is considerable evidence that the predisposition to develop depression is inherited. Biochemistry, e. Amine hypothesis — low levels of mono amines predominantly noradrenaline and serotonin.
Neuroendocrine hormonal factors — the importance of stress hormones e. The main biological explanations of OCD are as follows:. Genetic — there is some evidence of a tendency to inherit OCD, with a gene Sapap3 recently identified. Neuroanatomy — dysfunctions of the orbital frontal cortex OFC over-activity in basal ganglia and caudate-nucleus thalamus have been proposed. The film one flew over the cuckoos nest demonstrates the way in which drugs are handed out like smarties merely to keep the patients subdued.
Antipsychotic drugs can be used to treat schizophrenia by blocking d2 dopamine receptors. There are different generations of antipsychotics:. Less typical antipsychotics — eg pimozide, often used as a last resort when other drugs have failed.
Anti psychotics have long been established as a relatively cheap, effective treatment, which rapidly reduce symptoms and enable many people to live relatively normal lives Van Putten, Anti psychotics produce a range of side effects including motor tremors and weight gain. These lead a proportion of patients to discontinue treatment. Patients often welcome drug therapy, as it is quicker, easier and less threatening than talk therapy. The idea was extrapolated to humans as a treatment for schizophrenia on the theoretical basis that nobody can have schizophrenia and epilepsy together, so if epilepsy is induced by electric shock the schizophrenic symptoms will be forced into submission!
ECT was used historically but was largely abandoned as a treatment for schizophrenia after the discovery of the antipsychotic drugs in the s but has recently been re-introduced in the USA.
However, it is sometimes used as a last resort for treating severe depression. ECT can be either unilateral electrode on one temple or bilateral electrodes on both temples. The procedure for administering ECT involves the patient receiving a short acting anaesthetic and muscle relaxant before the shock is administered.
PTSD is the result of traumatic events, such as military combat, assault, an accident or a natural disaster. Schizoaffective disorder is characterized primarily by symptoms of schizophrenia, such as hallucinations or delusions, and symptoms of a mood disorder, such as depressive or manic episodes.
Autism Autism spectrum disorder ASD is a developmental disorder that makes it difficult to socialize and communicate with others. Borderline Personality Disorder Borderline personality disorder BPD is characterized by severe, unstable mood swings, impulsivity and instability, poor self-image and stormy relationships. Dissociative Disorders Dissociative disorders are spectrum of disorders that affect a person's memory and self-perception.
NADD | An association for persons with developmental disabilities and mental health needs
Eating Disorders When you become so preoccupied with food and weight issues that you find it hard to focus on other aspects of your life, it may be a sign of an eating disorder. Obsessive-compulsive Disorder Obsessive-compulsive disorder causes repetitive, unwanted, intrusive thoughts obsessions and irrational, excessive urges to do certain actions compulsions.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder PTSD is the result of traumatic events, such as military combat, assault, an accident or a natural disaster. Schizoaffective Disorder Schizoaffective disorder is characterized primarily by symptoms of schizophrenia, such as hallucinations or delusions, and symptoms of a mood disorder, such as depressive or manic episodes. Schizophrenia Schizophrenia causes people to lose touch with reality, often in the form of hallucinations, delusions and extremely disordered thinking and behavior.
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