Over-Diagnosis Of Depression : Essay Fountain

This task requires you to communicate your understanding of the history and evolution of science, using a contemporary example.

Your task is to select a current, controversial scientific issue, exploring how the history and philosophy behind your chosen issue has shaped the way it is being presented and discussed within contemporary society.




Depression refers to a medical illness that affects in a negatively the manner of thinking and feeling of an individual. The rate of diagnosis of the element of depression has risen sharply in the recent years owing to the advanced medical facilities that are available in the present age.

 There are different kinds of criteria in the present age that is involved in medicalising sadness (Fisher et al. 2016). There exists people in the present age who are missing out on the lifesaving treatment. The low threshold pertaining to the diagnosing of clinical depression challenges credibility and it faces the risk of inappropriate management. The stakeholders that are involved comprise of the people suffering from depression and the health care professionals who have to look after the mental well-being of the people. This article throws light on the issue whether depression is over-diagnosed in the present age and the history and philosophical characteristics pertaining to the issue (Reid, Cameron and MacGillivray 2014).

Clinical depression before fifty years was held to be either endogenous or reactive. The endogenous depression was indicative of a categorical biological condition that had low lifetime prevalence. On the other hand, reactive depression was created owing to the stressful events and it was exogenous. American Psychiatric Association in the year 1980 brought out the third revision of the statistical manual that acted as a reliable system based on criterion. It was responsible for dividing the clinical depression into the major and minor disorder segment (Mintzes et al. 2018). The gravitas that was associated with the term “major depression” helped the patients in getting medical insurance cover. The determination of the case ness will require a cut-off which leads to under diagnosis of the true cases or over-diagnosis in the event of a non-case. Extended dimensional model can help in medicalising of human distress that views depression like a mandating treatment.


The ancient Roman doctors used to study treatment pertaining to melancholia. There were doctors like Galen and Hippocrates who believed in the notion that humoral imbalance led to the incidence of melancholia (Chukhraev et al. 2017). There are certain individuals who are born with a kind of temperament that makes them prone to depression and medicine cannot do much for helping these individuals. There were other philosophical theories that competed against the biological approach in relation to depression. The increased rate in relation to the diagnosis has resulted in reducing the stigma and it has removed the structural impediment pertaining to health benefit (Segal, Williams and Teasdale 2018).

The values of the debate in relation to the over diagnosis of depression has increased access to that of life insurance and it has improved the physical health outcome of the people. The increase in the diagnosis rate can reduce the misuse of drugs along with alcohol and it has paved the path for wider public understanding in relation to the risk (Cooney, Dwan and Mead 2014). The value of the debate can be perceived in the fact that demeaning labels of nervous breakdown and stress has been reduced in the present age. The doctors can in the present age differentiate normal sadness from clinical condition that is more severe.

There exists a question regarding whether the increased treatment in relation to depression has been able to outweigh harm. In the event of the increased treatment bringing benefits it can be stated that over diagnosis of depression is not taking place. From the perspective of health it can be laid out that more number of adults are alive in the present age and it can help in treating more number of the people. Depression being treated at an increasing rate can reduce the number of the suicides and it can increase the productivity of the people. Provision of the right kind of medical care can prove to be cost-effective. The over diagnosis of depression can pave the path for promoting safer anti-depressant that can act as a catalyst of change. It can help in challenging the categorical along with specialist diagnostic system.



Chukhraev, N., Vladimirov, A., Zukow, W., Chukhraiyeva, O. and Levkovskaya, V., 2017. Combined physiotherapy of anxiety and depression disorders in dorsopathy patients. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 17(1), p.414.

Cooney, G., Dwan, K. and Mead, G., 2014. Exercise for depression. Jama, 311(23), pp.2432-2433.

Fisher, L., Hessler, D.M., Polonsky, W.H., Masharani, U., Peters, A.L., Blumer, I. and Strycker, L.A., 2016. Prevalence of depression in Type 1 diabetes and the problem of over?diagnosis. Diabetic medicine, 33(11), pp.1590-1597.

Mintzes, B., Swandari, S., Fabbri, A., Grundy, Q., Moynihan, R. and Bero, L., 2018. Does industry-sponsored education foster overdiagnosis and overtreatment of depression, osteoporosis and overactive bladder syndrome? An Australian cohort study. BMJ open, 8(2), p.e019027.

Reid, I., Cameron, I. and MacGillivray, S., 2014. Increased prescription of antidepressants shows correction of inadequate duration of treatment of depression. BMJ: British Medical Journal (Online), 348.

Segal, Z.V., Williams, J.M.G. and Teasdale, J.D., 2018. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression. Guilford Publications

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