Introduction to Mental Disorders
Mental vs. Medical Classifications:
There is always a question of whether a given disorder or issue would be better classified as a "mental" or a "medical-biological" disorder. To some degree or another, there is no really firm distinction between mental and medical disorders. Many so called 'mental' disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are now known to be primarily biologically based, while other 'medical' disorders have been shown to have a large 'psychological' component. In making classification decisions, we have followed the lead set out by the authors of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the standard reference used by psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers in classifying and describing mental disorders.