Differentiating Physical from Psychiatric Disorders

  • Richard C. W. Hall
  • Thomas P. Beresford
  • Frederic C. Blow
  • Anne K. Hall


In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association restated the need for careful medical evaluation of psychiatric patients by incorporating physical disorders as one of three diagnostic axes. In its third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-III), the diagnostic criteria further require the exclusion of physical causes of mental symptoms: the clinician must determine that the diagnoses of Axis I are “not due to an organic mental disorder.” The impact of these changes is profound: the psychiatrist must consider the effects that an underlying medical disorder may have in producing specific psychiatric symptoms, and he or she must examine and further evaluate patients to rule out such disorders.


Psychiatric Disorder Psychiatric Symptom Psychiatric Patient Medical Illness Mental Health System 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard C. W. Hall
    • 1
  • Thomas P. Beresford
    • 2
  • Frederic C. Blow
    • 2
  • Anne K. Hall
    • 3
  1. 1.Psychiatric ProgramsFlorida HospitalOrlandoUSA
  2. 2.Michigan Alcohol ProgramUniversity of Michigan Medical CenterAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.Florida HospitalOrlandoUSA

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