60% of Depression Diagnoses
Do Not Meet Criteria


More than 60% of a sample of 5,639 participants with clinician-identified depression (drawn from the 2009-10 US National Survey of Drug Use and Health) did not actually meet criteria for major depression, a study from the Bloomberg School of Public Health and Johns Hopkins University found.

Abstract →

Mojtabai, R., Clinician-Identified Depression in Community Settings: Concordance with Structured-Interview Diagnoses. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 82 (3) 161-169. Issue release April 2013.

Of further interest:
Study: Most People Diagnosed With Depression Do Not Actually Meet Criteria (The Atlantic)
Over-diagnosis and over-treatment of depression is common in the US (MedicalXpress)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].