‘Mental symptoms’ represent the molecular level derangement happened in biochemical pathways in the brain centers involved in the phenomenon of conscious and unconscious ‘mind’. Various drugs as well as diseases can create such molecular errors and mental symptoms.

‘Mental symptoms’ belong to 4 categories. Subjective Mental General, Subjective Mental Particular, Objective Mental General and Objective Mental Particular.

When these ‘mental symptoms’ are ‘felt’, ‘experienced’ by the consciousness of the individual himself, such as grief, anxiety, fear, apprehension, dreams etc, they are ‘subjective mentals’.

When these mental derangements are expressed as symptoms observable to an onlooker, it becomes ‘objective mental’. ‘Walking in a hurry’, ‘trembling with fear’, ‘biting finger nails’, ‘facial expressions’, ‘dancing’, ‘chorea’, ‘washing hands frequently’, ‘loquacity’ and such many other mental symptoms can be observed by onlookers, and hence are ‘objective mentals’. Many mentals symptoms appear with both subjective and objective aspects. In such cases, they should be classified as subjective mentals. Whenever a physician observes an objective mental symptom in a patient, he should try to know whether there is a subjective aspect for it. A subjective mental is placed in high ranking compared to purely objective mental.

‘Mental generals’ are symptoms that express derangement of ‘whole’ mind. Such symptoms affect the whole personality of individual. They will be ‘unconditional’. Loathing of life, anxiety, grief, generosity, anger, fear, apprehensions, and such mentals that affect the whole personality are ‘mental generals’.

‘Mental particulars’ are symptoms that express partial and ‘conditional’ derangement in the mind. They would be often very transient. ‘Fear of dog’ is such a ‘conditional’ symptom, if fear is present only when seeing a dog. Such ‘particular fears’ and ‘general fears’ can be differentiated by a physician. ‘Dreams’ affect the mind only during sleep, and hence it is not ‘general’, but a ‘particular’ mental symptom. ‘Hurry’ may be a ‘general’, if it is always present, but if hurry is only while ‘eating’, it becomes a particular symptom. ‘Mental generals’, especially if ‘subjective’, are top ranking in the selection of similimum.

‘Mental generals’ may be either ‘subjective mental generals’ or ‘objective mental generals’.

Subjective Mental Generals are those symptoms ‘general mental symptoms’ that could be ‘experienced’ by the patient only. Many hallucinations and delusions belong to this group. ‘Grief’, ‘anxiety’ etc are ‘subjective mental generals’.

If a ‘mental general’ symptom could be observed by others, it becomes a ‘Objective Mental General’. ‘Laughing immoderately’, ‘wandering on streets’, ‘absence of personal hygiene’,  ‘walking hurried’, ‘eating in a hurry’ ‘abusive’, ‘aversion to answer’, ‘bemoaning’, ‘plays antics’, ‘idiotic’,  ‘crawling on the floor’ etc are ‘objective mental generals.

Same way, ‘Mental Particulars’ also can be classified into ‘Subjective Mental Particulars’ and ‘Objective Mental Particulars’.

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