explain the key strengths and limitations of thev psychiatric system
An Overview of the Psychiatric System
John B. Griffin, JR.
The discussion of the psychiatric system in the following chapters focuses on areas of the psychiatric evaluation that are of particular importance. [ Inquiry into previous psychiatric problems (Chapter 200) allows the physician to understand the extent to which the patient has been vulnerable to emotional and/or mental problems in the
past and may be of prognostic value in determining how the patient may respond to present problems. The effect of the patient's present symptoms upon his interpersonal relationships (Chapter 201) gives important information about the severity of the problem. As this area is explored the physician will acquire important information about support systems that are available to the patient. Anxiety, depression, and disturbances of vegetative function (Chapters 202, 203, and 205) are important components of any exploration of the patient's presenting problem.
Alcoholism is usually ranked as the third most severe public health problem in the United States, exceeded only by cardiovascular disease and cancer. Questioning the patient about substance abuse (Chapter 206) is very important. If not specifically asked for information in this area, many patients will omit it. It is useful to check the information given about use of drugs and alcohol with a member of the patient's family because many alcoholics and drug users practice extensive denial. Episodes of loss of control (Chapter 204) should be explored in relationship to both the present problem and previous psychiatric problems. The mental status examination (Chapter 207) gives vital information about current mental and emotional functioning. Chapter 208 on frequently performed psychologic tests describes procedures that can be used to provide important supplemental information in regard to specific areas of mental and emotional functioning.
In approaching the psychiatric patient it is important to distinguish between the psychiatric history and the psychiatric report. The psychiatric report summarizes the findings in a convenient form for information retrieval. ]
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