Classification And Diagnosis Of Schizophrenia

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Discuss some of the issues surrounding the classification and diagnosis of schizophrenia Classification is a scientific way of putting similar things into certain categories and diagnosis is a way to identify illness by signs and symptoms. There are many issues when it comes to the diagnosis and classification of schizophrenia as it is a complicated disorder that affects around 1% of the population and has many different symptoms. Diagnosing any mental illness can be very difficult as there is a lot to take into consideration and the final decision can only be based on symptoms. Mental illness cannot be tested like normal physical illnesses. With things like diabetes, cancer and so on, the illness can be diagnosed by scans or blood tests. Schizophrenia and other mental illnesses have to be diagnosed and classified purely based on symptoms the patient is experiencing. Schizophrenia is particularly difficult to diagnose because it has many symptoms, some of which are similar to other mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder. This brings up the issue of differential diagnosis. Even some physical illnesses can cause symptoms that appear to be those of schizophrenia, for example temporal lobe epilepsy can have symptoms that can be mistaken for schizophrenia, and this can lead to misdiagnosis and a patient could end up being treated for the wrong illness completely. There are issues of reliability with classification of schizophrenia, because for a classification system to be useful, it must produce consistent results. Because schizophrenia has so many symptoms and can be easily mistaken for other illnesses, it is highly unlikely that studies will come out with completely consistent results, therefore making the classification and diagnosis of schizophrenia unreliable and almost useless. Schizophrenia is diagnosed using the DSMIV and the ICD 10. These are the most
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