The word "diagnosis" is derived from two Greek roots: dia, which means "to distinguish," and gnosis, which means "knowledge." It is most often understood to be a noun, but from the perspective of a psychologist or a person assessing an afflicted individual, it is seen as a process whereby one understands the condition of the person affected. It is also important to remember that diagnosis is not a one-time event but is ongoing. For example, diagnoses may shift. Changes can be noted in terms of signs (the observable indications of mental health problems) and symptoms (the problems reported by clients indicating their discomfort, notice of changes, or abnormality in their way of being). In some ways, diagnosis has no discrete end but consists of different observation points in time when the progress of a disorder is evaluated.

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