Psychology in Your Life
The intention for this post is to introduce you to one aspect of the diagnostic process — specifically: differential diagnosis.
And ultimately to help you understand that psychological assessment is a complex, worthwhile process.
What’s normal 🆚 clinical?
To answer that question, I would like to invite you into my clinical psychology class.
Specifically, when I teach the concept of “Differential Diagnosis” using the STATE versus TRAIT anxiety distinction.
STATE 🆚 TRAIT ANXIETY
People often believe they have generalized anxiety or panic disorder, when in fact, what they are experiencing is an acute reaction to a short-lived, stressful circumstance.
For example, STATE anxiety involves temporary and situational symptoms to stress inducing events (public speaking, midterms, first dates) universal to all of us.
In contrast, TRAIT anxiety has more lasting, debilitating, and pervasive symptoms (eg., impacts all aspects of an individual’s life) independent of external events.
Psychology on Campus
For additional insights into the diagnostic process, including how I teach this concept in the liberal arts program, check out my latest video:
1. How is understanding the state 🆚 trait distinction applicable and/or helpful in your daily life?
2. Have you ever jumped to the conclusion about yourself or someone else regarding a diagnosis, only to discover later that the condition was temporary?
3. What psychology topics and ideas would you like to learn more about?
Dr. D 📕❤️