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A Brief Lecture on Diagnosis, Assessment, and Study of Mental Disorders by Dr. Brouk


Introduction to Abnormal Psychology and Life

Perspectives on Abnormal Psycholog

Risk and Prevention of Psychological Disorders

Diagnosis and Assessment of Psychological Disorders

Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive, and Trauma-Related Disorders

Somatic Symptom and Dissociative Disorders

Depressive and Bipolar Disorders

Eating Disorders

Substance-Related Disorders

Personality Disorders

Sexual Dysfunctions

Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders

Developmental and Disruptive Behavior Disorders



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The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth edition (DSM-5)

DSM-5 published by the American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2013) is a guidebook used by mental health professional for the purpose of understanding, diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, effective communication and standardized criteria for research.


DSM-5 is a dimensional and categorical system. Dimensional refers to the severity of symptoms. Categorical is the division or the classification of disorders into the following distinct categories:

  1. Neurodevelopmental Disorders
  2. Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders
  3. Bipolar and Related Disorders
  4. Depressive Disorders
  5. Anxiety Disorders
  6. Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
  7. Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders
  8. Dissociative Disorders
  9. Somatic Symptom Disorders
  10. Feeding and Eating Disorders
  11. Elimination Disorders
  12. Sleep-Wake Disorders
  13. Sexual Dysfunctions
  14. Gender Dysphoria
  15. Disruptive, Impulse Control and Conduct Disorders
  16. Substance Use and Addictive Disorders
  17. Neurocognitive Disorders
  18. Personality Disorders
  19. Paraphilic Disorders
  20. Other Disorders
Some Basic Vocabulary
  • Symptom – a sign of an illness or a disorder
  • Syndrome – a collection of symptoms
  • Diagnosis – labeling a disorder based on the presenting symptoms
  • Prognosis – the future outcome of a disorder
  • Etiology –  the study of causes of a disorder
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Assessment is the process of gathering information about an individual’s behavior, cognition (such as thoughts and perception) and emotions to understand the individual and arrive at a correct diagnosis. Gathering information involves observations, interviews, psychological tests and inventories, and neurological tests.

  • Observation refers to examining an individual through observation. This could be in a naturalistic or controlled setting.
  • Clinical Interview uses not only observation (to evaluate verbal and nonverbal behaviors), but also series of questions that require a response. This enables the therapist to evaluate not only the content, but also the manner of communication.
  • Psychological Tests and Inventories are uniform and standardized tools to examine personality characteristics, the current existing psychosocial abilities, conflict, and problematic thinking, emotions and behaviors.
  1. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2 is the best well-known personality inventory.
  • Projective Tests are based on the psychodynamic perspective and the aim is to access the unconscious mind through ambiguous or abstract stimuli (such as inkblots, pictures, or incomplete sentences). Example pf projective tests are:
  1. Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
  2. Sentence-Completion Test
  3. Draw-A-Person Test
  • Intelligence testing such the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (K-ABC).
  • Neurological Testing involves evaluation of potential brain damage and impairment. Examples of neurological tests include:
  1. A computerized axial tomography (CAT)
  2. The positron emission tomography (PET)
  3. The electroencephalograph (EEG)
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Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator

Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator By entering your zip code at, you can quickly find alcohol and drug abuse treatment or mental health treatment facilities in your area. This service is courtesy of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) which works to "to improve the quality and availability of substance abuse prevention, alcohol and drug addiction treatment, and mental health services." (SAMHSA)

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