The Diagnosis

  • Tullio GiraldiEmail author


This chapter covers the extraordinary discovery at the end of Second World War of psychotropic drugs that allowed, for the first time, for the effective control of the symptoms of psychiatric diseases . Psychiatrists acquired the opportunity to act as other doctors, making a diagnosis and then prescribing a drug. In 1952 the American Psychiatric Association developed the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) , which had five successive editions until DSM-5 in 2013. More than 300 conditions were characterised, including “major depressive disorder” , which became the standard diagnostic criteria for depression. The DSM encountered numerous serious criticisms, and strong experimental evidence demonstrated its incapacity to distinguish real patients from healthy pseudopatients , which is the basis of the current explosion of depression and use of antidepressants


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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TriesteTriesteItaly

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