Grief and anxiety are not mental illnesses
There are humane and effective alternatives to traditional psychiatric diagnoses.
It is relatively straightforward to generate a simple list of problems that can be reliably and validly defined. There is no reason to assume that these phenomena cluster into diagnostic categories or are the consequences of underlying illnesses. We can then use medical and psychological science to understand how problems might have originated, and recommend therapeutic solutions. This approach would yield all the benefits of the current diagnosis-and-treatment approach without its many inadequacies and dangers.
Prof Peter Kinderman is head of the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society at the University of Liverpool.
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