WSJ Hosts Debate on Depression Screening


The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently issued a controversial recommendation that all adolescent and adult patients undergo depression screening in primary care. The Wall Street Journal has published a back and forth on this issue between Richard Chung, a pediatrician, and Allen Frances, the well-known academic psychiatrist, entitled “Should All Teens Be Screened for Depression?”. While Chung argues that early diagnoses may lead to better outcomes, Frances insists that screening will lead to the medicalization of normal adolescence and worries that “teens may be haunted for life by carelessly applied labels.”

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  1. Oh $%&^. How does Frances consistently manage to convince others he’s the voice of reason? The labels themselves are the problem, not the possibility “mislabelling” people. His DSM was a thoroughgoing pseudoscientific fraud, and all the problems of depression screening that he opposes were created by the perspective of treating all forms of psychological distress as distinct, diagnosable entities in an implied disease model. Oh, and he still wants to stigmatize and separate the “really sick” from the rest of humanity.

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    • Not to mention the antidepressant drugs work no better than placebo, but have a black box warning because they can make teenagers suicidal and violent.

      Let’s screen for a scientifically invalid disease, so we may give as many children as possible drugs that make them violent and suicidal. Really?

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  2. What the fuck is the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and what are they trying to prevent? Could they maybe come up with a more Orwellian name? Also can we charge people who get kids hooked on psych drugs with “attempted genocide”?

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  3. Sure, providing humanistic understanding and support, person-centered, trauma informed therapy, lessons in mindfulness and CBT, social and academic support could help teenagers going through difficult emotions as they face young adulthood. Medications and diagnoses will not improve outcomes and are much more likely to cause harm. I wish I trusted our mental health services, but I don’t. Any services built on research sponsored by Big Pharma is likely very biased and has helped create our misguided, medical model paradigm in this country…sad and frightening

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  4. This is just another excuse to widen the net to capture everyone who has no been labeled at this time. It is so transparent that I’m surprised that this is even being given any attention at all. I’m sorry, but being a teenager means that you will experience some depression as you make your way to adulthood. It’s the nature of being a teenager. This is no reason to begin drugging everyone as if this experience is some kind of disease. It is a normal part of being a teenager and a normal part of life. But of course, I forgot, the drug companies and psychiatry want to pathologize everything these days.

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  5. Indiana NAMI Rep pushing mental illness screening, which will result in even more kids on drugs.

    Here is a debate on the subject of “screening”, the pharmaceutical industry targeting kids

    “Preventive Services Task Force” Big government wants to screen your kids invade your family affairs, get in your life, meanwhile we have a national debt of over nineteen trillion dollars.

    Maybe they should try to stop mortgaging our kids future instead of trying to label them and enrich the dirty pharmaceutical companies.

    Anyone at the WSJ reading this ?

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  6. The nanny state describes the tendency of busybody politicians to enact policies that make economic and health decisions for citizens.

    They want us to trust most crooked industry on earth with our kids ???

    Get out of our lives but most of all stay away from our children.

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