Could I please ask, what exactly is meant by the term differential diagnosis? For example, patient A is diagnosed as suffering from drug induced psychosis with a differential diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia and alcohol problems.
It means that there are two different diagnosis with two different causes. Paranoid schizophrenia is inherited. Drug induced psychosis (depending on which illegal drug as to whether its permanent or temporary) is technically a form of brain damage. Alcoholism is perhaps inherited but its also a behavior pattern that could be helped with a rehabilation group. Schizophrenia needs treatment with an antipsychotic. They are being addressed in different manners so they need to be seperated clinically. There are support groups for people who have a dual diagnosis of a psychiatric disability and alcohol abuse if you are speaking about a specific person and they can be helpful.
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