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July 1969

Self-Assault in Psychiatric EvaluationA Proposed Clinical Classification

Author Affiliations

San Francisco
From the Golden Gate Mental Health Medical Clinic and Crisis Center, San Francisco.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;21(1):64-67. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740190066008

THE URGE to classify combines an economizing principle of the intellect with an inner demand for order. In scientific investigation, where operational classification is fundamental to the study of any phenomenon, this urge reaches its most sophisticated expression. Uniform terminology with consistent definition is a prerequisite for the advancement of knowledge. Psychiatry as a branch of medical science has evolved systems of classification reflecting concepts of mental illness as they have emerged through the centuries. Basically these are lists of conventional terms for describing and recording clinical and pathological observations.

The second edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-II)1 includes both a revised psychiatric nomenclature and also a detailed list of major disease categories from the eighth revision of the International Classification of Diseases. Among this list of major diseases (but rarely used) are ten categories

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