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:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... When it came time to blow out his candles on his ... the Pediatric Heart Transplant team at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital surprised his family ... hospital’s 30th heart transplant recipient. , “He was playing at home, when we got ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... PA (PRWEB) , ... December 07, 2016 , ... One ... regular changing of the securement tape is painful for her. "This is why the ... to patients’ heads," she said. , They then created a prototype of the patent-pending ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... The Honolulu cosmetic and ... website, which launched October 17, 2016, features comprehensive information regarding a wide range ... Visitors and patients can discover the latest clinical dermatology treatments for medical skin ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... , ... The medical profession is well aware that heart attacks do indeed ... heart attacks among 138,602 people recorded a 35% higher number of heart attacks in ... of course–no time of year is a good time for a heart attack! In ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... “The Road To Restoration”: ... trial, not a one hour a week showing of hands. “The Road To Restoration” ... begins, “Perhaps you are familiar with the brass ring that you could reach out ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/7/2016)... 2016   Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... enrollment in the ralinepag phase 2 trial.  Ralinepag is ... pathway for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). ... "This marks an important step in the ... focus on our pipeline," said Amit Munshi , ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... Conn. , Dec. 7, 2016 According to ... in more than one-third (38%) of patients with non-small cell ... epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) genetic mutation status. The findings ... ( LBA ID #6067 #P3.02b ) at the ... Vienna, Austria . The survey results revealed ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... 7,2016  Based on its recent analysis ... & Sullivan recognizes Nemaura Pharma Limited with ... for Enabling Technology Leadership. Nemaura Pharma,s transdermal ... traditional drug delivery technologies, especially in delivering ... delivery technologies, Memspatch and Micropatch respectively, facilitate ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: