At present, this point can only be determined by "commonsense" judgments.
Once a mental disorder exists, it becomes necessary to understand it more thoroughly in order to give the proper care and treatment. For differential diagnosis, one must depend on a careful examination of the patient's history, adjustment patterns, and symptoms (as well as upon physical and neurological tests). These facts are obtained largely through interviews with the patient and his friends and relatives. Although it is customary to classify mental disorders according to one or another classification system in vogue with psychiatrists, there is a tendency today to try to understand each case in terms of the life situation and the mental mechanisms involved in the adjustment.
Amsden, G. S. A Guide to the Descriptive Study of the Personality, White Plains, N. Y., Bloomingdale Hospital Press, 1924.
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Blanchard, P. "The Value of Psychometric Examinations in Psychiatric Work," Neurological Bulletin ( November-December, 1924), III, 370-376.
Bleuler, E. (translated by A. A. Brill). Textbook of Psychiatry, The Macmillan Company, 1924.
Bridges, J. W. "Emotional Instability of College Students," Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology ( 1927), XXII, 227-234.
Bridges, J. W., and Bridges, K. M. B. "A Psychological Study of Juvenile Delinquency by Group Methods," Genetic Psychology Monographs ( September, 1926), I, No. 5, 411-506.
Conklin, E. S. Principles of Abnormal Psychology, Henry Holt and Company, 1927.
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Fleming, G. W.T.H. "The Revision of the Classification of Mental Disorders," Journal of Mental Science ( October, 1933), LXXIX, 753-757.