Jump to navigation Jump to search

WikiDoc Resources for Psychopathology


Most recent articles on Psychopathology

Most cited articles on Psychopathology

Review articles on Psychopathology

Articles on Psychopathology in N Eng J Med, Lancet, BMJ


Powerpoint slides on Psychopathology

Images of Psychopathology

Photos of Psychopathology

Podcasts & MP3s on Psychopathology

Videos on Psychopathology

Evidence Based Medicine

Cochrane Collaboration on Psychopathology

Bandolier on Psychopathology

TRIP on Psychopathology

Clinical Trials

Ongoing Trials on Psychopathology at Clinical

Trial results on Psychopathology

Clinical Trials on Psychopathology at Google

Guidelines / Policies / Govt

US National Guidelines Clearinghouse on Psychopathology

NICE Guidance on Psychopathology


FDA on Psychopathology

CDC on Psychopathology


Books on Psychopathology


Psychopathology in the news

Be alerted to news on Psychopathology

News trends on Psychopathology


Blogs on Psychopathology


Definitions of Psychopathology

Patient Resources / Community

Patient resources on Psychopathology

Discussion groups on Psychopathology

Patient Handouts on Psychopathology

Directions to Hospitals Treating Psychopathology

Risk calculators and risk factors for Psychopathology

Healthcare Provider Resources

Symptoms of Psychopathology

Causes & Risk Factors for Psychopathology

Diagnostic studies for Psychopathology

Treatment of Psychopathology

Continuing Medical Education (CME)

CME Programs on Psychopathology


Psychopathology en Espanol

Psychopathology en Francais


Psychopathology in the Marketplace

Patents on Psychopathology

Experimental / Informatics

List of terms related to Psychopathology

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Psychopathology is a term which refers to either the study of mental illness or mental distress, or the manifestation of behaviours and experiences which may be indicative of mental illness or psychological impairment.

It is also the name of an academic journal that specialises in the understanding and classification of mental illness in clinical psychiatry.

Psychopathology as the study of mental illness

Many different professions may be involved in studying mental illness or distress. Most notably, psychiatrists and clinical psychologists are particularly interested in this area and may either be involved in clinical treatment of mental illness, or research into the origin, development and manifestations of such states, or often, both. More widely, many different specialties may be involved in the study of psychopathology. For example, a neuroscientist may focus on brain changes related to mental illness. Therefore, someone who is referred to as a psychopathologist, may be one of any number of professions who have specialized in studying this area.

Psychiatrists in particular are interested in descriptive psychopathology, which has the aim of describing the symptoms and syndromes of mental illness. This is both for the diagnosis of individual patients (to see whether the patient's experience fits any pre-existing classification), or for the creation of diagnostic systems (such as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) which define exactly which signs and symptoms should make up a diagnosis, and how experiences and behaviours should be grouped in particular diagnoses (e.g. clinical depression, schizophrenia).

Psychopathology should not be confused with psychopathy, which is a type of personality disorder.

Psychopathology as a descriptive term

The term psychopathology may also be used to denote behaviours or experiences which are indicative of mental illness, even if they do not constitute a formal diagnosis. For example, the presence of a hallucination may be considered as a psychopathological sign, even if there are not enough symptoms present to fulfill the criteria for one of the disorders listed in the DSM.

In a more general sense, any behaviour or experience which causes impairment, distress or disability, particularly if it is thought to arise from a functional breakdown in either the cognitive and neurocognitive systems in the brain, may be classified as psychopathology.

The academic journal Psychopathology

Originally founded in 1897 and named Psychiatria Clinica, the journal changed its name to Psychopathology in 1984. It bills itself as the 'International journal of experimental psychopathology, phenomenology and psychiatric diagnosis' and aims to 'elucidate the complex interrelationships of biology, subjective experience, behavior and therapies'.[1]

See also





  1. Psychopathology: International journal of experimental psychopathology, phenomenology and psychiatric diagnosis' and aims to 'elucidate the complex interrelationships of biology, subjective experience, behavior and therapies., Editors: Mundt C. (Heidelberg, Editor-in-Chief), Template:ISSN
  • Atkinson, L et al (2004). Attachment Issues in Psychopathology and Intervention. Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Freud, S (1916) The Psychopathology of Everyday Life. MacMillan.
  • Keating, D P et al (1991). Constructivist Perspectives on Developmental Psychopathology and Atypical Development. Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Maddux, J E et al (2005). Psychopathology: Foundations for a Contemporary Understanding. Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Widiger, T A et al (2000). Adult Psychopathology: Issues and Controversies. Annual Review of Psychology. This review discusses issues and controversies with respect to the construct of a mental disorder, models of etiology and pathology, and domains of psychopathology. Fundamental to the science of psychopathology is a conceptualization of mental disorder, yet inadequate attention is being given to the differentiation of normal and abnormal psychological functioning in current research. The boundaries between mental and physical disorders are equally problematic. Neurophysiological models are receiving particular emphasis in large part because of the substantial progress being made in documenting and clarifying the important role of neurophysiological structures and mechanisms in etiology and pathology. However, this attention might be at the expense of the recognition of equally valid psychological models. Problematic diagnostic boundaries are also considered, including those within and between different classes of disorder.

Further reading

  • Sims, A. (2002) Symptoms in the Mind: An Introduction to Descriptive Psychopathology (3rd ed). Elsevier. ISBN 0-7020-2627-1

af:Psigopatologie de:Psychopathologie it:Psicopatologia ku:Psîkopatolojî nl:Psychopathologie no:Psykopatologi sk:Psychopatológia sv:Psykopatologi