Psychiatric diagnosis ‘scientifically meaningless’

As reported in ScienceDaily:

“Perhaps it is time we stopped pretending that medical-sounding labels contribute anything to our understanding of the complex causes of human distress or of what kind of help we need when distressed.” Prof. John Read

“A new study, published in Psychiatry Research, has concluded that psychiatric diagnoses are scientifically worthless as tools to identify discrete mental health disorders.

The study, led by researchers from the University of Liverpool, involved a detailed analysis of five key chapters of the latest edition of the widely used Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), on ‘schizophrenia’, ‘bipolar disorder’, ‘depressive disorders’, ‘anxiety disorders’ and ‘trauma-related disorders’.

Diagnostic manuals such as the DSM were created to provide a common diagnostic language for mental health professionals and attempt to provide a definitive list of mental health problems, including their symptoms.

The main findings of the research were:

  • Psychiatric diagnoses all use different decision-making rules.
  • There is a huge amount of overlap in symptoms between diagnoses.
  • Almost all diagnoses mask the role of trauma and adverse events.
  • Diagnoses tell us little about the individual patient and what treatment they need.

The authors conclude that diagnostic labelling represents ‘a disingenuous categorical system’ …”

Read more here.

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