Diagnosis and determining the specific mental illness

MENTAL health word cloud


In order to determine a diagnosis and identify potential complications, the following steps may be taken:

1. Physical examination: Your doctor will conduct a thorough examination to rule out any physical conditions that could be causing your symptoms.

2. Lab tests: These may include assessments of your thyroid function or screenings for alcohol and drug use.

3. Psychological evaluation: A doctor or mental health professional will engage in discussions with you regarding your symptoms, thoughts, emotions, and behavioural patterns. You might also be asked to complete a questionnaire to provide additional insight.

Determining the specific mental illness

Sometimes it can be challenging to pinpoint the exact mental illness underlying your symptoms. However, investing time and effort into obtaining an accurate diagnosis will aid in determining the most appropriate treatment. The more information you have, the better equipped you will be to collaborate with your mental health professional in understanding the significance of your symptoms.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association, outlines the defining symptoms for each mental illness. Mental health professionals utilize this manual for diagnosing mental conditions, while insurance companies refer to it for treatment reimbursement.