A third of Americans now show signs of clinical anxiety or depression


Hacker News is kind of the opposite of Twitter and I love it.

«Diagnostic criteria for anxiety and depression are very broad because they are necessary as tools for practicing doctors seeing patients (as opposed to applying them to a random selection of people). If you turn the process back, and just ask how many people in the population fit under them, you’ll always, even in normal times, get an unexpectedly large number. That doesn’t imply that anything is wrong or that anything needs to be done about it, doctors don’t use them like that. This is approximately the same phenomenon that causes medical students to self-diagnose themselves with every disease they learn about: one of the fundamental factors missing from such a diagnosis is that they haven’t walked into a clinic. It’s not a bug in the diagnostic criteria, it’s just a misapplication of them.

One of the main ways of fighting over-diagnosis is to not apply diagnostic criteria for every known condition to random people who you have no a priori reason to suspect they might have those conditions.»

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