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Summary of the Diagnostic Process

A. Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP, Kaushik Misra, Ph.D., Amy K. Epner, Ph.D., and Galen Morgan Cooper, Ph.D. , edited by C. E. Zupanick, Psy.D.

People are often perplexed and fascinated by the diagnostic process. In this article, we provided a basic description of this process. We reviewed the signs and symptoms of addictive disorders called Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders. We also reviewed several activity addictions. Finally, we discussed other psychiatric conditions that commonly occur together with addiction. Although a diagnostic label may tell us something useful about the past and present, it provides very little guidance about the future. A diagnosis cannot predict how the recovery process will unfold. The next section addresses these issues.