diagnosis

I have to admit that I avoided watching this Channel 4 programme, set on a forensic unit at the Bethlem Royal Hospital, when it first aired. I have come to dread the clichés of mental health media depictions – focus on heroic doctors at the expense of the work of the whole...

Only a short while ago, PDA (pathological demand avoidance) was a term little known to the public; however, due to an increased presence in social media, PDA is becoming a household term. It is not surprising, therefore, that services are under increasing pressure to consider...

Major depression (MD) is the most common mental disorder, and among the most disabling diseases in the world. Despite tremendous efforts and investments, research results of the last decades have been disappointing at best. Drug efficacy and biomarkers are good examples:...

Moving beyond diagnosis:
Practising what we preach

Despite years of well-founded criticism, psychiatric diagnosis is still widely used – not only by psychiatrists, but psychologists too. Why? In this special issue, we address this conundrum....

The problem with diagnosis

Psychiatric diagnosis is fundamental to psychology not practising what it preaches. The idea that diagnosis identifies mental disorders which may become objects of study has created theoretical and practical divisions between...

Diagnosis and drug treatment

The institution of psychiatry is built on two assumptions: that mental distress and deviant behaviour arise from biological abnormalities, and that biological interventions can resolve them. These foundations form the basis...

Hearing my voice

Psychiatric understandings dominate our view of mental illness. This has not always been so. It was not until the mid-nineteenth century that psychiatrists wrested control of asylums away from lay administrators, before establishing...

Working outside the diagnostic frame

We cannot abandon the injured or the maimed, thinking to ensure our own safety and sanity. We must reclaim them, as they are part of ourselves.
Brian Keenan (1993, p.288)

The other articles in...

Don’t jump ship!
New approaches in teaching mental health to undergraduates

We hope that the articles in this special issue have convinced you of the need to move beyond diagnosis. Peter Campbell and Rufus May have outlined some alternative...