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Generically, an iatrogenic disorder is any pathological anomaly in which the dysfunctional symptoms in the patient owe their cause (iatrogenesis) to the actions of the practitioner. Medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, or any other therapist can be considered a practitioner when deciding whether a disorder is iatrogenic.
Iatrogenesis Some medical conditions are obviously iatrogenic in nature, such as a physician who inadvertently uses a medical remedy to which the patient is allergic or administers an erroneous medication dose. Furthermore, patients who are treated at a medical facility may become inflicted with a nosocomial infection.
Psychology More uncertain are iatrogenic pathologies within the field of psychology. In most cases, psychology can play a vital role in enabling people to manage emotional or psychological stress. However, it is suspected that at times the actions and dialect within some psychological therapy sessions can inadvertently or perhaps even deliberately cause certain symptoms to manifest - perhaps stemming from the patient's attempt to conform to what they may perceive to be the practitioners wishes or expectations. This is a form of social reinforcement and can have counter-productive effects both upon the therapeutic relationship as well as the general well being of the patient. The controversial diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder, formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder, is sometimes cited as a possible iatrogenic pathology. Other psychological pathologies may also be created or augmented in a similar way.
Dispute Sometimes, there is some difficulty in determining when a disorder is actually caused by professional intervention. Other possibilities include:
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