Is a Correct Psychiatric Diagnosis Possible? Major Depressive Disorder as a Case in Point

Jacobs, David H.
July 2009
Ethical Human Psychology & Psychiatry;2009, Vol. 11 Issue 2, p83
Academic Journal
The desire on the part of American psychiatry in the 1970s to "rejoin medicine" resulted in DSM-III and subsequent editions. The form of medical conditions is imitated as closely as possible by listing criteria symptom sets for supposedly discrete, autonomous clinical entities, although relevant biological phenomena remain conspicuously lacking. As in somatic medicine, symptoms are unconnected to social background, history, context, and so on. But the necessity to interpret what people say and to depict behavior as the basis for diagnosis inevitably leads to intractable problems of meaning and evidence, as illustrated by a close examination of Major Depressive Episode. Plausible description and understanding of personal problems requires patient-supplied depiction of the nature and scope of the problem, history, and context, and when these are fleshed-out clinical entities and the usefulness of mental disorder disappear.


Related Articles

  • Iterative Generation of Diagnostic Categories Through Production and Practice: The Case of Postpartum Depression. Godderis, Rebecca // Culture, Medicine & Psychiatry;Dec2011, Vol. 35 Issue 4, p484 

    Examining the process undertaken to name and codify psychiatric illnesses provides important insights into how everyday healthcare practices are shaped by knowledge production processes. However, studies of illness classification often rely on an overly simplified distinction between the...

  • A EXPERIÊNCIA SUBJETIVA COM A DOENÇA MENTAL: O caso da depressão. Neto, Cecília; Alves, Fátima // Sociologia, Problemas e Práticas;set-dez2012, Issue 70, p111 

    There have been few studies in Portugal on experience with mental illness, and above all on the way in which those who live with it in their daily lives experience and co-exist with in on a day-to-day basis. This article is based on empiric evidence from an exploratory study supported by...

  • Grief, Complicated Grief, Depression - And the DSM-5. Eyers, Kerrie // Grief Matters: The Australian Journal of Grief & Bereavement;Summer2013, Vol. 16 Issue 3, p64 

    The grief of recent bereavement is recognised, but what happens when preoccupation with the loss of a loved one impacts on the individual's capacity to re-engage with his or her life? When is a person's grief judged to be "pathological"? And what are the consequences of such a judgement? To...

  • Consultations: Make sure you're paid for the advice you give. Jansen, Derek // Getting Paid in Behavioral Healthcare;Feb2004, Vol. 9 Issue 2, p1 

    Reports on the findings of a survey conducted by Medicare Carrier indicating that one of the most misunderstood and under-claimed services in the U.S. is the request to psychiatrists for their expert opinion. Providers' preference for using the code for Psychiatric Diagnostic Interview; Types...

  • Occurrence of mental health problems in Swedish samples of adults with intellectual disabilities. Gustafson, Carina; Sonnander, K. // Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology;Jun2004, Vol. 39 Issue 6, p448 

    Objective:. The aim of this study was to investigate the occurrence of mental health problems in adults with intellectual disabilities (ID) and the number of adults with ID receiving care at general mental health clinics. Method:. The Reiss Screen for Maladaptive Behaviour and the...

  • Conditions Associated with Identification of Mentally Ill Youths in Juvenile Detention. Rogers, Kenneth M.; Pumariega, Andres J.; Atkins, Lanette; Cuffe, Steven P. // Community Mental Health Journal;Feb2006, Vol. 42 Issue 1, p25 

    The current study examines the prevalence and severity of psychiatric symptoms in incarcerated youth. A random sample of youth ages 13–17 who were referred for mental health services (n = 120) and not referred for services (n = 120) at a juvenile detention facility were studied....

  • Implementing Recovery Oriented Evidence Based Programs: Identifying the Critical Dimensions. Farkas, Marianne; Gagne, Cheryl; Anthony, William; Chamberlin, Judi // Community Mental Health Journal;Apr2005, Vol. 41 Issue 2, p141 

    In the decades of the 1990s many mental health programs and the systems that fund these programs have identified themselves as recovery-oriented. A program that is grounded in a vision of recovery is based on the notion that a majority of people can grow beyond the catastrophe of a severe mental...

  • BIS/BAS Levels and Psychiatric Disorder: An Epidemiological Study. Johnson, Sheri L.; Turner, R. Jay; Iwata, Noboru // Journal of Psychopathology & Behavioral Assessment;Mar2003, Vol. 25 Issue 1, p25 

    Behavioral inhibition and behavioral activation levels have been theorized to relate to a broad range of psychopathologies. To date, however, studies have focused on a single diagnosis, and the measures used to assess different psychopathologies have varied greatly. This study assessed how...

  • ACA offers feedback for DSM revision.  // Counseling Today;Jun2010, Vol. 52 Issue 12, p40 

    The article presents a feedback of the American Counseling Association (ACA) concerning the revision of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). The ACA recommended that the DSM-5 should focus on clinical utility across mental health disciplines...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics