June 30, 2011
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
- Psychiatrist Joel Paris argues that psychiatry is sometimes susceptible to diagnostic fads. Some have been based on theory (overdiagnosis of schizophrenia), some based on etiological (causation) concepts (overdiagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder), and some based on the development of treatments. Paris points out that psychiatrists like to diagnose conditions they can treat, and gives examples of what he sees as prescribing patterns paralleling diagnostic trends, for example an increase in bipolar diagnosis once lithium came into use, and similar scenarios with the use of electroconvulsive therapy, neuroleptics, tricyclic antidepressants, and SSRIs. He notes that there was a time when every patient seemed to have "latent schizophrenia" and another time when everything in psychiatry seemed to be "masked depression", and he fears that the boundaries of the bipolar spectrum concept, including in application to children, are similarly expanding.
In the debate surrouding the classification of mental disorders, the "disease-entity model" is proposed by the Neo-Kraepelinians, which has a biological and universalist approach to mental disorders, while the Freudian psychodynamic model has a particularist and sociopsychological approach.