Misdiagnosing normality: psychiatry’s failure to address the problem of false positive diagnoses of mental disorder in a changing professional environment

Author/s Jerome C. Wakefield
Publishing Year 2010 Issue 2010/3
Language Italian Pages 20 P. 295-314 File size 418 KB
DOI 10.3280/PU2010-003001
DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation click here

Below, you can see the article first page

If you want to buy this article in PDF format, you can do it, following the instructions to buy download credits

Article preview

FrancoAngeli is member of Publishers International Linking Association, Inc (PILA), a not-for-profit association which run the CrossRef service enabling links to and from online scholarly content.

In psychiatry’s transformation from an asylum- based to a community-oriented profession, false positive diagnoses became a major challenge to the validity of the diagnostic system. The shift to descriptive, symptom-based operationalized diagnostic criteria of DSM-III further exacerbated this difficulty because of the contextually based nature of the distinction between normal distress and mental disorder. Through selected examples, the degree of success with which DSM-III and DSM-IV have attended to the challenge of avoiding false positive diagnoses is examined. Conceptual analysis of selected criteria sets, with a focus on counterexamples to the claim that DSM criteria imply disorder, is performed. Psychiatry has so far failed to systematically confront the problem of false positives. Flaws in criteria, which can be recognized even by lay people, remain unaddressed, despite the fact that the issue is purely conceptual and is not sensitive to any new research information.

Keywords: Diagnosis in psychiatry, false positives, validity of diagnostic criteria, philosophy of psychiatry, clinical significance

  • Il processo diagnostico e relazionale in psichiatria. Validità epistemologica tra normalità e patologia Alfio Allò, in Ricerca Psicoanalitica /2021
    DOI: 10.4081/rp.2021.277
  • La psychiatrie et la santé mentale à l'épreuve du DSM Pierangelo Di Vittorio, in Déviance et Société /2014 pp.103
    DOI: 10.3917/ds.381.0103

Jerome C. Wakefield, Patologizzare la normalità: l’incapacità della psichiatria di individuare i falsi positivi nelle diagnosi dei disturbi mentali in "PSICOTERAPIA E SCIENZE UMANE" 3/2010, pp 295-314, DOI: 10.3280/PU2010-003001