Mental Disorder Diagnosis Gets Fresh Look.

In Brain Disorders, Brain Science by Brainy Days Ahead

Mental disorder diagnosing has drawn the interest of a consortium of psychiatrists and psychologists from universities around the world, co-led by Stony Brook University, University of Minnesota and University of Notre Dame researchers. Diagnosing such disorders is important because the diagnosis defines what treatment a patient should receive. The consortium has proposed a new approach. The newly developed diagnostic approach is called the Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP). Mental health problems are difficult to put into categories. Different diagnoses occur with surprising frequency, and most patients are labelled with more than one mental health disorder at the same time. One researcher involved in the process described the new approach’s general solution to these fundamental problems as classifying mental illness at multiple levels of hierarchy. A broad level captures the major spectra. More specific levels reflect the dimensions within them. This approach allows doctors and researchers to focus on finer symptoms in detail, or assess broader problems, as appropriate.