The authors have taken some clinical cases as a starting point for reflecting about how the diagnosis of a mental disorder could have relapses which complicate the treatment course. The diagnosis, or more properly the diagnostic process, should be a research of sense and meaning of the patient’s suffering. According to the authors, even from an ethical point of view, this way of proceeding let them establish a shared truth in the patient-doctor’s relationship, principally thinking of the person and not only the illness. As a consequence, from this perspective, it cannot relieve of considering the effects of it on family ties and balance, on the pharmacological therapy, on the patient’s rights and on the right to follow the treatment. Concluding, another question raises concerning the difficulty to come to an agreement between the diagnosis of serious ideologised criminal behaviours and the risks that result from them.
Keywords: Ethics, diagnosis, cure, tie, truth, DSM IV