Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Psychiatric Illness

  • Maxine Holmqvist
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_1172



A condition or syndrome with distinctive cognitive, affective, and/or behavioral symptoms, arising from underlying psychobiological dysfunction and causing significant distress, impairment, or an increased risk of death, pain, disability, or an important loss of freedom (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2000).


Psychiatry is a branch of medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. It did not emerge as an independent discipline until the late 1800s; however, the roots of psychiatric assessment and treatment extend back to the ancient Greeks and Egyptians (for a comprehensive overview of the history of psychiatry, see Wallace & Gach, 2008). Psychiatric illnesses are currently diagnosed with reference to either the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV; APA, 2000) or the International Classification of Disease, 10th revision...

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References and Readings

  1. American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association. See also http://www.psych.org/mainmenu/research/dsmiv.aspx
  2. Lippi, G., Montagnana, M., Favaloro, E. J., & Franchini, M. (2009). Mental depression and cardiovascular disease: A multifaceted, bidirectional association. Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis, 35, 325–336.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. McHugh, P. R., & Slavney, P. R. (1998). The perspectives of psychiatry. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Wallace, E. R., & Gach, J. (Eds.). (2008). History of psychiatry and medical psychology: With an epilogue on psychiatry and the mind-body relation. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  5. World Health Organization. (2007). International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision, Version for 2007. Retrieved January 1, 2011 from http://apps.who.int/classifications/apps/icd/icd10online/

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical Health PsychologyUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada