Outline and Evaluate Issues Surrounding the Classification and Diagnosis of Depression

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Outline and Evaluate Issues Surrounding the Classification and Diagnosis of Depression

Scheff’s Labelling Theory is a process which involves labelling people with mental disorders when they produce behaviour that does not fit with socially constructed norms and labelling those who reflect stereotyped or stigmatized behaviour of the ‘mentally ill’. A disadvantage of labelling an individual with depression is that labelling can accentuate and prolong the issue. In addition by labelling someone with depression who in fact is not depressed may in fact become depressed as a result. Another problem is that labelling an individual with depression means that they can have problems with getting a job and leading a life in the future because they are not treated as a normal person. Thus labelling has a large effect on individuals with depression. On the other hand labelling a person with depression means that they are enabled to seek help and find treatment for themselves. Although labels are stigmatizing, they can also lead those who bear them down the road to proper treatment and recovery.

Another issue surrounding the diagnosis and classification is that there are different types of depression outlined in the different classification manuals. Sometimes clinicians are unable to distinguish between different types accept unipolar and bipolar. However, research has shown that 10% of people diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) develop bipolar episodes later. The same was found with dysthymic disorder which can develop in MDD later; this is known as double depression and is found in 25% of depressed patients.

Other diagnostic tool is the Beck Depression Inventory This is a 21 item self-report questionnaire designed to measure the severity of symptoms in individuals diagnosed with depression. Each question is designed to assess a specific symptom common in people with depression for example the sense of failure, self-dislike, social withdrawal or suicidal...
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