• Stijn Vanheule


In this section Stijn Vanheule points out that worldwide an increasing number of people suffer from mental health problems. At the same time numerous scholars have been increasingly warning us against the tendency toward overdiagnosis. This paradox points to the heart of all mental health-related professional action: diagnoses should accurately grasp the problems people suffer from, and should not be influenced by the whims and fancies of third parties that might profit at the expense of potential patients. In the introduction two diagnostic approaches are contrasted: psychiatric classification and clinical case formulations. The author explains that the book examines core assumptions underlying both approaches, and reviews evidence concerning their scientific status and subjective impact on patients and society.


Mental Health Problem Mental Distress Symptom Formation Psychiatric Classification Mental Suffering 
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Other References

  1. Bolton, D. (2013). Overdiagnosis problems in the DSM-IV and the new DSM-5: Can they be resolved by the distress – Impairment criterion? Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 58, 612–617.Google Scholar
  2. Frances, A. (2013). Saving normal – An insider’s revolt against out-of-control psychiatric diagnosis, DSM-5, big pharma, and the medicalization of ordinary life. New York: William Morrow & Harper Collins Publishers.Google Scholar
  3. Whiteford, H. A., Degenhardt, L., Rehm, J., et al. (2013). Global burden of disease attributable to mental and substance use disorders: Findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. The Lancet, 382, 1575–1586.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. World Health Organization. (2013). Mental health action plan 2013–2020. Geneva: World Health Organization. Retrieved June 21, 2016, from

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stijn Vanheule
    • 1
  1. 1.Ghent UniversityGhentBelgium

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