DIAONOSIS OF MENTAL DISORDER
To discuss methods for diagnosing mental disorder within the compass of a single chapter may seem presumptuous, inasmuch as the diagnostic skills and techniques mastered by those engaged in the care of the insane have required a lifetime of experience. All that can be hoped in this brief discussion is to throw into clear relief the social significance of the diagnosis of insanity, to detail and evaluate the adequacy of methods now in vogue, and to point out the possibility of developing more accurate and scientifically valid methods.
Insanity may be simply defined as inadequacy of mental functioning. Each individual has various potentialities for adjustment with which he is equipped by heredity and training. But when an individual's mental processes do not function so as to effect the adjustment of which he is normally capable, a pathological condition is present. As White so aptly says: "The interference with the adjustment of the individual with his environment is therefore a disorder insofar as it is a departure from his previous, his usual condition."1 The problem of diagnosis of mental disorder is that of determining first the extent, second the character, and third the causes of this malfunctioning.
In the following pages our attention will be very definitely limited to functional causes of insanity, as opposed____________________