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The absent body in psychiatric diagnosis, treatment, and research

S.I. : Psych&Phil

Abstract

Discussions of psychiatric nosology focus on a few popular examples of disorders, and on the validity of diagnostic criteria. Looking at Anorexia Nervosa, an example rarely mentioned in this literature, reveals a new problem: the DSM has a strict taxonomic structure, which assumes that disorders can only be located on one branch. This taxonomic assumption fails to fit the domain of psychopathology, resulting in obfuscation of cross-category connections. Poor outcomes for treatment of Anorexia may be due to it being pigeonholed as an Eating Disorder, when a disturbance of body perception may be a more central symptom than food restriction. This paper explores the possibility of restructuring the DSM taxonomy to allow for a pluralist classification of disorders. This change could improve treatment and research without requiring any changes to diagnostic criteria.

Keywords

Psychiatric nosology DSM Anorexia nervosa Body perception Taxonomy RDoC 

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rotman Institute of PhilosophyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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