The Age of Depression

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The article "The Age of Depression" by Allan V. Horwitz & Jerome C. Wakefield discusses advanced methods diagnosis and identification applied to depression and sadness, and criticizes limitations and disadvantages of the DSM I, II and III editions (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder).


156). Thus, the authors underline that depression is a term used both too widely and too narrowly. Psychiatrists who use it too widely apply it to diverse normal states, like sadness and grief, and diverse abnormal states, like paranoid paralysis due to fear, and obsessive ambivalent paralysis. "Revolutionary transformations" in psychiatry allow identify new causes and manifestation of emotional and mental disorders classified as depression. The authors give a special attention to strengths and weaknesses of such types as DSM I and DSM II editions. The new edition, DSM III proposed a new approach to psychiatric diagnosis criteria. Thus, the author underline that 'the main drawback of symptom-based criteria was they eliminated the consideration of the context in which the symptoms arose" (Horwitz & Wakefield 2005, p. 157). The authors take into account research studies comparing statistical results obtained during 1980s and 1990s. They found that some psychiatrists who apply the concept too narrowly deny depressive dynamics in others to hide them in themselves, from themselves. Or the diagnosis is not made because the patient disguises the illness: (1) as a behavioral symptom; (2) as an attitudinal symptom; (3) as a physical symptom; (4) as another psychological disorder. The authors claim that the main limitation of these studies that they ignored the context of symptoms. ...
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