‘The value of objective and subjective evidence in understanding mental health conditions’

Topics: Brain, Psychology, Mental disorder Pages: 3 (1015 words) Published: January 13, 2014
‘The value of objective and subjective evidence in understanding mental health conditions’ It is important to consider both subjective and objective evidences to gain a comprehensive picture of any mental health condition. I am going to demonstrate through examples how parallel considerations can be used by clinicians to gain a full understanding of mental health disorders. Subjective evidence is how the patient interprets the working of his own mind. It includes what he reports about his thoughts and feelings including any uncomfortable sensations or distressing thoughts. Objective evidence on the other hand is measurable. It comprises of any signs of the illness that can be observed by a third person and any abnormality that has a biological basis in the body and can therefore be objectively measured (such as increased heart rate, change of hormones in the blood). Objective evidence includes laboratory tests, such as detecting the levels of certain hormones in the blood. Multiple sclerosis, brain tumour or hypothyroidism can initially look like a mood disorder. However, these medical conditions can easily be ruled out through a neurological examination and hormonal tests. Diagnostic tools have developed immensely throughout the last century and high technology methods are available to measure brain activity and to establish accurate diagnosis. Electroencephalography is a way to measure the electrical activity in the surface regions of the brain. It can also be used as a therapeutical tool in depressed patients and is often used in neurofeedback. Neurofeedback is a safe and non-invasive method where patients with depression learn to train their brain in order to regulate functions of their body and mind. Another advanced technology tool is neuroimaging, which allows measuring activity in the deeper regions of the brain by detecting the amount of blood flow to different areas of the brain. Neuroimaging can be used in conditions such as obsessive-compulsive...
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