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Is depression overdiagnosed? yes.

The number of people being diagnosed as suffering from depression has been rising. According to Professor Gordon Parker, from the University of New South Wales, we are misdiagnosing unhappiness.

He argues, in an article published in the British Medical Journal, that  it is 'normal to be depressed' and that this is not the same as clinical depression.  Parker points to his own research which followed a group of 242 teachers over a 15 year period, he found that 79% of respondents had already met the criteria for depression.   Feelings of sadness and low mood are part of normal experience, Parker fears that we risk medicalising normal human distress as necessary of treatment.  A recent study in the United States found that as many as one-quarter of people currently labelled as depressed were reacting normally to stressful events. It suggested that even psychiatrists regularly miss the broad picture.  There is a concern that patients are being diagnosed as depressed even though they may just be sad.  To read this article and the full argument click here


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