When physicians conceptualise medical illnesses there are usually tests available which can confirm or refute the diagnosis. These include laboratory tests, imaging or genetic markers in order to confirm impressions formed following physical examination of the patient in order to elucidate physical signs. In this way the diagnosis of, say, type 1 diabetes can be confirmed. Any competent physician would arrive at the same diagnosis, which would then lead to a treatment plan – often by following a protocol which has been formulated following experience of treating the condition over many years and with many patients. Such protocols are widely used in medicine and take away the need for individual clinical judgments (perhaps the art of medicine?). Correct use of this process leads to accurate reliable diagnosis and safe effective treatment.
Joel Paris (2013, Page XI) stated
âPsychiatry is nowhere near that level of knowledge. No biological Â markers or tests exist for any diagnosis in psychiatryâ. . . In 1980 I was Â Â Â a strong supporter of the paradigm shift introduced by DSM- III [The Â Â Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders produced by the Â Â Â Â Â Â Â American Psychiatric Association]. It was progressive to move Â classification away from unproven theories and to make diagnosis Â dependent on observation. But this was a provisional stance that Â Â became frozen in time, and progress over the succeeding decades was Â Â Â Â Â slow. Radical changes in classification would require much more Â Â Â Â Â Â Â knowledge about the causes of mental disorders. Which is just what we Â Â Â donât haveâ. . . Considering that it will take many decades to unravel the Â Â Â Â Â Â mysteries of psychopathology, our current situation is nothing to be Â Â Â Â ashamed of. Mental phenomena reflect the activity of the human brain, Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â which happens to be the most complex structure known in the entire Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â universe. There are more synapses in the brain than stars in the skyâ.