Navigation Links
Are too many people diagnosed as 'depressed?'
Date:8/16/2007

Are too many people now diagnosed as having depression? Two experts give their views in this weeks BMJ.

Professor Gordon Parker, a psychiatrist from Australia says the current threshold for what is considered to be clinical depression is too low. He fears it could lead to a diagnosis of depression becoming less credible.

It is, he says, normal to be depressed and points to his own cohort study which followed 242 teachers. Fifteen years into the study, 79% of respondents had already met the symptom and duration criteria for major, minor or sub-syndromal depression.

He blames the over-diagnosis of clinical depression on a change in its categorisation, introduced in 1980. This saw the condition split into major and minor disorders. He says the simplicity and gravitas of major depression gave it cachet with clinicians while its descriptive profile set a low threshold.

Criterion A required a person to be in a dysphoric mood for two weeks which included feeling down in the dumps. Criterion B involved some level of appetite change, sleep disturbance, drop in libido and fatigue. This model was then extended to include what he describes as a seeming subliminal condition sub-syndromal depression.

He argues this categorisation means we have been reduced to the absurd. He says we risk medicalising normal human distress and viewing any expression of depression as necessary of treatment. He says:

Depression will remain a non-specific catch all diagnosis until common sense prevails.

On the other side of the debate Professor Ian Hickie argues that if increased diagnosis and treatment has actually led to demonstrable benefits and is cost effective, then it is not yet being over diagnosed.

He says increased diagnosis and treatment has led to a reduction in suicides and increased productivity in the population. Furthermore the stigma of being depressed has been reduced and the old demeaning labels of stress and nervous breakdown have been abandoned.

He says concerns about the number of new drug treatments on the market are unhelpful, arguing that new drugs to treat depression have reduced the prescribing of older, more dangerous sedatives and says that the consequences, such as suicide, of not being diagnosed or receiving treatment are rarely emphasised.

Audits carried out in the UK, Australia and New Zealand do not support the notion that the condition is over diagnosed, far from it, he says. Instead he points to the diagnosis rate of people with major depression and says this needs to be improved in which case rates of diagnosis must continue to rise.


'/>"/>

Contact: Emma Dickinson
edickinson@bmj.com
44-020-738-36529
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Bad News for Short People
2. New hope on the Horizon for People Wishing to Quit Smoking
3. Antioxidants protect health tissue in people undergoing radiation therapy.
4. Skinny people need to exercise too
5. Prescription Drug - Helps People Stop Smoking
6. Hormone treatment helps obese people slim down
7. Safe for people with asthma
8. Over Six Million HIV Infected People In South Africa- Finds A Survey
9. Younger People More Susceptible To Gum Disease
10. More People Seeking Treatment for Depression
11. Arginine food bar assists people with angina
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 ... ... will discuss health policy issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June ... share their work on several important health care topics including advance care planning, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Lewisville, TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... in the United States, named Dr. Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its ... be the facility Medical Director of our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of ... of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even ... progress toward their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com reveals that behind ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, ... out at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control ... use it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to announce they are ... drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort Keepers provides quality ... and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is one of the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... FRANCISCO, Calif. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... ), a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for ... unmet needs, today announced the closing of its ... of common stock, at the public offering price ... in the offering were offered by GBT. GBT ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ALEXANDRIA, Va. , June 24, 2016 ... a set of recommendations that would allow ... information (HCEI) with entities that make formulary and coverage ... determine the "value" of new medicines. The ... that does not appear on the drug label, a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 According ... by Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle ... GLP-1, Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - ... This report studies the market for the forecast period ... reach USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 from USD 1.65 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: