Redactie, ‘Study finds psychiatric diagnosis to be ‘scientifically meaningless’,, NEUROSCIENCE NEWS (JULY 8, 2019)

Illusion of explanation

The study (…) involved a (…) 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’. (…) 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. (…) Although diagnostic labels create the illusion of an explanation they are scientifically meaningless and can create stigma and prejudice. (…) This study provides yet more evidence that the biomedical diagnostic approach in psychiatry is not fit for purpose. (…) Pragmatic criteria and difficulties that recur across multiple diagnostic categories offer flexibility for the clinician, but undermine the model of discrete categories of disorder. (…) Individual experiences and specific causal pathways within diagnostic categories may also be obscured.


“Heterogeneity in psychiatric diagnostic classification” Psychiatry Research. Kate Allsopp, John Read, Rhiannon Corcoran, Peter Kinderman. Psychiatry Research.