2. Laying the Groundwork

  1. Barbara Schildkrout

Published Online: 1 SEP 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781118083598.ch2

Unmasking Psychological Symptoms: How Therapists Can Learn to Recognize the Psychological Presentation of Medical Disorders

Unmasking Psychological Symptoms: How Therapists Can Learn to Recognize the Psychological Presentation of Medical Disorders

How to Cite

Schildkrout, B. (2011) Laying the Groundwork, in Unmasking Psychological Symptoms: How Therapists Can Learn to Recognize the Psychological Presentation of Medical Disorders, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey. doi: 10.1002/9781118083598.ch2

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 SEP 2011
  2. Published Print: 3 AUG 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470639078

Online ISBN: 9781118083598

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Keywords:

  • psychological symptoms;
  • physical disease;
  • differential diagnosis;
  • organic;
  • functional;
  • mind;
  • body;
  • brain;
  • diagnosis;
  • perception

Summary

Basic principles are discussed. Psychological symptoms are nonspecific and may indicate physical disease. In formulating a differential diagnosis, clinicians must include medical disorders. The terms organic and functional, psychological and physical, reflect the subjective experience of mind as separate from body or brain; yet all mental events have a brain basis.

Diagnoses may represent descriptive categories, but the goal is for diagnoses to be based on causation. Making a diagnosis is a challenging task given the individual variation in presentation, vast amounts of clinical information, large number of possible solutions, clinician's complex mental processes, and limits of human perception.