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Diagnosis in Psychiatry 

Diagnosis in Psychiatry
Chapter:
Diagnosis in Psychiatry
Author(s):

Joel Paris

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199350643.003.0001
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date: 27 May 2022

Diagnosis in psychiatry lacks precision because disorders have fuzzy boundaries with each other and with normality. Validity is problematic because diagnosis is entirely based on signs and symptoms; there are no biological markers for any of the major mental disorders. Clinicians can under-diagnose or overdiagnose disorders, but the problem of overdiagnosis is more prevalent and more problematic. At the present state of knowledge, psychiatry does not need hundreds of diagnoses, only a few of which have established validity. Overdiagnosis is an attempt to short-circuit a process of scientific discovery that will require many more decades of research.

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