A mental state examination is an intrinsic component of the clinical examination because:
• mental disorders frequently present with physical complaints
• some physical disorders may present as mental illnesses
• physical and mental disorders coexist much more often than can be explained by chance.
Some aspects of the mental state examination, such as appearance, demeanour and speech form part of the general assessment of every patient. A more formal mental state examination should be undertaken when indicated by:
• symptoms and signs suggestive of a mental disorder
• a past history of mental disorder
• evidence in the history-taking of mental abnormalities, e.g. memory impairment
• evidence on observation of behavioural disturbance.
The clinician should bear in mind particular diagnostic possibilities. Three types of mental disorder are especially common, namely, organic mental disorders (especially delirium and dementia), illnesses of mnod (especially anxiety and related conditions, and depressiv-e disorders), and substance abuse (especially harmful effects of alcohol).
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.