Psychiatric Diagnosis Improving

by eflem3 on October 21, 2013 - 11:40pm

Throughout this study we are looking at the types of things that prove a person has a mental illness.  Mental illness is an ongoing field of study, where progress and discoveries are being made every day.  These changes caused some people to take a look at the current characteristics of psychiatric illness and they realized that they needed to be modified. These classification systems lack validity which can cause misplaced faith and be unhelpful to the administration of justice in the court. People use these boundaries or classifications to help prove that someone may have a mental illness.  Between each of these boundaries lies a little area of uncertainty.  Disputes are very common in this area because these legal tests are not very tightly defined.  These disputes lead to people misusing the application of the criteria from the classification system.  This was allowing people to possibly be misdiagnosed and misinterpret the possible psychiatric categories.  People couldn’t have this because it would not lead to properly proving people illnesses.  So at this they decided to do something so they updated the current system.  Their main goal for this new system was for it to be truthful and meaningful, but in order for that they must help others understand the cause and possible treatments of psychiatry.  With the new classifications, new standards were made to verify the validity of the diagnoses.  With these new standards more people are properly being diagnosed and they are going to have a harder time trying to sneak through the cracks in the boundaries. 


                Throughout this study many good ideas are brought to light and some problems are trying to be fixed.  I think that throughout this article the author makes a lot of assumptions.  On an issue like mental illness I think that you have to make some assumptions because nothing is actually concrete.  One assumption is that people are misdiagnosing those with mental illness because of the classification system.  I don’t think that you can say for sure that people are being misdiagnosed because there is no concrete evidence.  Psychiatry is a very difficult thing to differentiate into different categories, so therefore I am not sure if there is a fine line that could be crossed.  The second assumption is that people will follow the new guidelines and everything will be better.  Just because new guidelines have been created it does not mean that everyone won’t misuse them as they did before.  Also, with the new guidelines it does not guarantee that diagnosing mental illness is going to be any easier.  These guidelines may help specify the disorder but that doesn’t really make it any easier to prove.  These assumptions made the article; they are all valid and make the most sense.  Some of these assumptions are hopes for the future and they may not be wrong.



Mellsop, Graham W. (2011). "Courts' Misplaced Confidence in Psychiatric Diagnoses." International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 34(5) 331. <

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