Rachel Thomas

Dr Rachel Thomas is the British Medical Association’s 'Young Author of the Year', 2016. She has published 2 medical books, and qualified as a doctor with a B.M B.Ch from the University of Oxford. She also holds a B.Eng (Biomedical) and B.Sc (Physiology) from the University of Sydney. She currently practices in mental health, is completing a Masters in Neuroscience and Psychology of Mental Health, and is involved in the development of novel health-tech solutions. Follow her @doctor.rachel on instagram, or contact her at www.doctorrachel.org.


This Will Make You Think About How To Diagnose Mental Health

There needs to be proper research developed in order to properly diagnose mental health. Historically, mental health was generally less concerned with making a diagnosis, and generally more concerned with psychoanalytical approaches (Aboraya et al, 2005). From about the 1950’s onwards, psychiatric and mental health conditions were more likely to be diagnosed as entities, as a more medical model was moved towards in this area (Aboraya et al, 2005). In order to use this medical model, classification systems and diagnostic systems were needed (Aboraya et al, 2005). Accordingly, several systems were developed. The World Health Organisation has published diagnostic criteria manuals, such as the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) (World Health Organisation, 1948). The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) was first published by the American Psychiatric Association Committee on Nomenclature and Statistics in 1952 (American Psychiatric Publishing; 1952). Each of these has revised editions, and they map together for most conditions discussed. For a diagnostic system to be developed and useful there must be agreement upon what are the most important parts of a disease (Aboraya et al, 2005). For instance, using schizophrenia as an example, if criteria relating to aspects such as symptoms, illness and behaviours are met, the result is a diagnosis of schizophrenia. According to the DSM-V, these include at least two of the following for at least 6 months – hallucinations, delusions, disorganised speech negative...