The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is partnering with the Bellefontaine Examiner to examine how the American Psychiatric Association (APA) defines mental health disorder in an effort to help researchers better understand the underlying causes of mental illness.
The Bellefontain Examiner is an independent, non-profit research organization that studies mental health and research, with an emphasis on the treatment of mental health.
The report was released on Tuesday.
The APA defines mental illness as “a mental illness that is characterized by persistent, persistent symptoms or behavior that are associated with a serious and persistent impairment of personal functioning that substantially impairs one’s ability to function independently and safely in a socially or work-related environment.”
The report, titled “Mental Health Disorders: How the APA Measures Them,” found that of the 1,722 disorders that were included in the APAs Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, only six have an official definition, which is used by the Diagnostic Statistical Manual, the bible of mental disorders.
The rest, the report found, do not have official definitions.
The Associated Press reached out to the Belleforte Examiner and asked about the APS, but received no response by press time.
The study found that a significant percentage of mental-health disorders have a diagnosis of “mild to moderate” impairment, or a score between 0 and 100.
A score of 0 means the disorder does not meet the definition of a mental illness, and scores above 100 indicate that the disorder is considered severe, disabling, or otherwise “complex.”
“The results of this study show that, despite the lack of official definitions for mental health conditions, there are still ways in which mental health practitioners can improve care and treatment, and we are committed to identifying and addressing the underlying problems that cause people to struggle with their mental health,” the APs Office of Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Services Director Dr. Jennifer Dufresne told Mashable in an email.
“Our research suggests that addressing the root causes of this complex problem can help us identify ways to help patients in recovery.”
According to the report, “There is considerable heterogeneity in the mental health diagnostic system.
For example, DSM-IV has three subtypes, and it is unclear which one is the most appropriate to identify the most serious disorders and treat them effectively.”
A separate report, published in the journal Psychological Medicine in June, found that the Diagnostics and Statistics Manual of Clinical Psychology (DSM-IV) does not include a definition for mental illness and is instead used to diagnose various disorders.
According to Dufre, “DSM V, which was published in 1998, does not use DSM-V but instead uses DSM-5, the fifth edition of the Diagnoses and Statistics for the Treatment of Mental Health Disorders (DSC-5) published in 2007.”
The new report by the Bellefonte Examiner is a major step forward in our work and we hope that other researchers will use it as a resource to better understand mental health treatment and research.
“The Bellefortean Examiner is part of the Bellefield Institute, a nonprofit research organization founded in 1868 that focuses on helping people who suffer from mental illness to get better and recover faster.
The institute is currently investigating the role that a patient’s social environment and family environment play in influencing the course of a person’s illness.
It is a collaborative effort between us and the Belleforfeia Examiner to explore the impact that the clinical environment has on people with mental illness,” the spokesperson told Mashables.