To illustrate, when patients complain of persistent sleep problems, they may receive, according to their doctor’s diagnostic workup, the diagnosis of a sleep disorder (insomnia) and a prescription
for hypnotics. Alternatively, their doctor may notice that the sleep problems have occurred together with a wide range of persistent depressive symptoms over the past 3 weeks, which justifies the diagnosis of major depression (MD), prompting some counseling and a prescription for antidepressants or even referral Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical for psychotherapy. Some, but not all, of the considerable problems involved in the definition and diagnostic classification of physical illnesses may be aggravated in mental illness and disorders. Sleep complaints could be a sign of a disorder like insomnia or depression, but exactly the same symptoms could also be present in transient unhappiness or distress. Thus, the borderline Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical between symptoms due to unhappiness or distress, on the one hand, and symptoms due to threshold mental disorders, on the other, is often Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical indistinguishable. This problem seems to be aggravated
by shifts of paradigms in diagnostic classification for mental disorders. In contrast with previous scientifically unproven nosological classifications of mental disorders, which were of poor reliability and validity, the current versions of Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV)11 and International Statistical Classification Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10)9 have now adopted a largely descriptive approach with Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical operationalized criteria for disorders. This shift in paradigm has resulted in a continually increasing number of diagnostic classes from 59 disorders early in the 20th century to 347 major classes in DSM-IV.11 Does this increasing sophistication truly reflect scientific progress (driven by valid data) or is it simply an epidemic of artificial medicalization? Moreover, is it helpful for sufferers and GPs, or only for specialists? Health care professionals in general, and GPs in particular, must constantly reexamine at what point it becomes helpful to the patient tuclazepam to classify their mental distress as mental illness12 because this decision also implies the danger of stigmatization or suboptimal treatment allocation. Despite the undisputable progress and the consequent increased reliability and validity of psychiatric diagnoses, these problems remain unresolved and have given rise to selleck chemicals questionable heuristics aimed at simplifying hétérogèneity (ie, serious versus nonserious, or minor versus major mental disorder).