case study

DSM-5 And Somatic Symptom Disorder

March 17, 2014

Under DSM-IV, a “diagnosis” of somatization disorder entailed a history of physical symptoms for which, despite thorough medical evaluation, no satisfactory physical etiology could be established.  In DSM-5, this “diagnosis” was replaced by somatic symptom disorder.  This is essentially similar to DSM-IV’s somatization disorder – with one critical difference.  The newer “diagnosis” can be assigned […]

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A Psychiatric Case Study. A Sad Story

October 24, 2013

One of the criticisms that I routinely make of psychiatry is that its primary agenda during initial evaluations is the assignment of a “diagnosis,” and that ongoing “treatment” consists of 15-minute “med checks,” during which drug regimens are changed and adjusted.  The essence of my criticism is that this kind of approach inevitably oversimplifies human […]

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Conversion Disorder

April 14, 2013

In DSM-IV, conversion disorder is described as distressful symptoms (or symptom) of voluntary motor or sensory function that “suggest” a neurological or other illness even though no actual pathology is present, and there is reason to believe that the problem is psychological in origin.  It has sometimes been called hysterical blindness, hysterical paralysis, hysterical anesthesia, […]

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Involuntary Commitment – A Case Study

February 28, 2013

Years ago I was director of a county mental health center in an Eastern state.  Shortly after taking the position, I became concerned that clients were being involuntarily committed too readily and without exploration of other options.  I issued an instruction that all such activity had to be approved by a middle manager before it […]

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Don’t Call Yourself That: The Harmful Effects of Negative Self-labeling

February 25, 2013

When we were young, most of us devoted a good deal of time and energy to squabbling with other children.  To the dismay of our parents, we because adept in the use of impolite language, and kept our stock of insulting words and phrases up-to-date.  As adults we are more socially sophisticated.  We no longer […]

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If Depression Is Not An Illness, What Is It?

February 12, 2013

Elsewhere on this site, I have argued that depression is not an illness, but rather is an adaptive mechanism that encourages us to make changes in our habits or our circumstances. I have written about what I call the seven natural anti-depressants:  good nutrition; fresh air; sunshine (in moderation); physical activity; purposeful activity; good relationships; […]

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