A new study has raised the question whether or not too many people are being diagnosed as having depression. While Professor Gordon Parker, a psychiatrist from Australia says that the threshold for clinical depression is too low, Professor Ian Hickie says otherwise.
Prof Parker carried out a study, following 242 teachers. 15 years into the study, he noted that 79% of the people had met the symptom duration criteria for major, minor or sub-syndrome depression. This caused him to conclude that it is normal to be depressed, reports the BMJ. He also warned that over diagnosis of clinical depression could lead to a diagnosis of it becoming less creditable.
However, Prof Hickie states that if increased diagnosis and treatment has actually led to demonstrable benefits and is cost effective, and then it is not yet being over diagnosed. He insists that diagnosis and treatment has led to a reduction in suicides and increased productivity. He also adds that due to this, there has been a reduction in the stigma attached to being depressed.Â