Psychological Diagnoses : An Unsupported Science? Essay

Psychological Diagnoses : An Unsupported Science? Essay

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Psychological Diagnoses: An Unsupported Science?

It appears that in the modern literature delineating psychiatry’s advancements, several critics are not pleased with the evolution of the field. They suggest that the science is declining in a sense; instead of us progressing in the way we treat mental disorders and in how we gain knowledge about disorder etiology, mental health has grown to become simply an outlet for the government to hide society’s issues as well as to gain a profit off of it. Furthermore, and most importantly, there is a developing belief that the current methods of diagnosis should be reexamined and potentially eliminated, reconstructed altogether. Both Sami Timimi and Thomas Szasz – two recognized, yet ideologically disputable, western psychiatrists – delineate these issues in published articles that hold very strong stances on how diagnostic operations should be modified.
Sami Timimi, psychiatrist at Lincoln University in the United Kingdom, published an article titled “No more psychiatric labels: Why formal psychiatric diagnostic systems should be abolished” just last year. The title by itself already presents Timimi’s strong position regarding giving diagnoses, which holds the basis for the entire article. Timimi expresses throughout his paper that there are several flaws in the current system of making diagnoses. He highlights four main areas in psychiatric practice in which these problems mostly occur: reliability, validity, treatment and outcome, and prognosis. He also provides explanation for these issues as well as the negative impacts they are creating.
Timimi begins his article by mentioning the failure of psychologists/psychiatrists to determine clear etiological processes related to psycholog...


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...y caused by biological/physiological abnormalities) as a “true” condition. Nonetheless, as I mentioned earlier, this view of mental disorders as false or pretend simply because there aren’t clear physical signs is unwarranted. For instance, someone who does not show any single physiological indicator of a disorder may have intense psychological symptoms that clearly represent the manifestation of some sort of mental illness. Furthermore, who is Thomas Szasz to create his own conception of illness? According to the Merriam-Webster medical dictionary, an illness is classified as “an unhealthy condition of body or mind” (“illness” 2015), which says nothing about cells and biology in reference to illness. Therefore, if one of the most well-known and irrefutable sources of language comprehension considers illness untied to physiology, Szasz is incorrect in his assertion.

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