Friday, June 03, 2005

Demoralization and Psychiatric Diagnosis

This week's issue of Psychiatric News has several articles on treating demoralization in medical patients dealing with significant illness.
One suggestion given in the article is:
Normalize the patient's distress. State to the patient, "I do not believe that you have a psychiatric disorder. You are someone coping normally with a hard situation. Almost anyone would feel as badly as you are feeling in this situation."
It makes it kind of hard for a consultant psychiatrist (or any psychiatrist) to bill for his services if he doesn't give the patient a psychiatric diagnosis. This leads to overdiagnosis and pathologization of normal human conditions.

No comments: