Chapter 3

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14 Dec 2010

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Chapter 3 Classification & Diagnosis
Brief History of Classification
In earlier times, (19thearly 20th century), there was great inconsistency in the classification of abnormal
psychology; different systems were used in different parts of the world
The DSM (Diagnosis Statistic Manuel) was first published in 1959, then updated in 68’ (DSM-II), and
again in 87 (DSM-III), and finally in 94 (DSM-IV)
The Diagnostic system of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV and DSM-IV-TR)
Mental Disorder is defined as “a clinically significant behavioural or psychological syndrome or pattern
that occurs in and individual and that is associated with present distress (i.e. painful symptoms) or
disability (impairment in one or more areas of functioning) or with significantly increased risked of death,
pain, disability, or an important loss of freedom.
In addition, the syndrome cant be an expected response or culturally sanctioned response, must be a
manifestation of a behaviour, psychological, or biological dysfunction
Five Dimensions of Classification
With the introduction of the DSM-III, came the mulitaxial classification where people are rated on 5
separate dimensions:
Axis I:All diagnostic categories except for mental retardation and personality disorders
Axis II:Personality disorders and mental retardation
Axis III:General Medical Condition
Axis IV:Psychosocial & Environmental problem (ex. occupational problems, economic problems,
interpersonal difficulties with family members, etc.)
Axis V:Current level of Functioning
These five axes are for a diagnostician to consider a broad range of information
Although there are 5 axes, all abnormal behaviour is placed within the first 2 axes, the rest are to provide
additional information for the psychiatrist
Most people come to be treated for Axis I disorders, however sometimes they previously had Axis II
disorders, which is why they are separated from each other
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Disorders Diagnosed During Childhood
Separation Anxiety (anxiety from being away from home/parents)
Conduct Disorder (repeatedly violating social norms/rules)
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Mental Retardation
Pervasive Developmental Disorders (including autism)
Learning Disorders (delays in acquisition of speech, grammar, reading ect.)
Mood Disorders
Major Depressive Disorder (person is deeply sad and discouraged and is likely to lose
weight/energy and have suicidal thoughts)
Mania (exceedingly euphoric, irrationally happy)
Bipolar Disorder
Anxiety Disorders
Panic Disorder (sudden intense attacks of apprehension, likely to tremble and shake)
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (fear & apprehension are pervasive, persistent n uncontrollable)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (obsessions: thoughts; compulsions: actions)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Acute Stress Disorder (Similar to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder but symptoms dont last as long
Somatoform Disorders
Somatisation disorder (long history of multiple psychical complaints for which they have taken
medicine or consulted a doctor)
Conversion Disorder (report a loss of motor or sensory function i.e. paralysis, blindness, loss of
Pain Disorder (suffer from severe and prolonged pain)
Hypochondrias (misinterpretation of minor injuries for serious illnesses)
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (preoccupied with an imagined defect with their body)
Dissociative Disorders
Dissociative Amnesia (may forget their entire past or a particular period of time)
Dissociative Fugue (suddenly and unexpectedly travels to a new location, starts a new life, and
cannot remember his/her past identity)
Depersonalization Disorder (sever and disruptive feeling of self estrangement or unreality)
Sexual & Gender Disorders
Paraphilias (unconventional sources of sexual gratification (i.e. exhibitionism, voyeurism, sadism,
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