Is It Time We Stopped Diagnosing Mental Health Disorders?

Improve symptoms and reduce stigma without a diagnosis.

Write Mind Matters
4 min readJun 3, 2022
Photo by Florian Schmetz on Unsplash

There isn’t enough knowledge or consensus about mental health yet to gain much from making a specific diagnosis. In fact, studies suggest a diagnosis might actually trigger and aggravate symptoms.

“ … the regions of the world with the most resources to devote to mental illness–the best technology, medicines, and the best-financed academic and private-research institutions–had the most troubled and socially marginalised patients.” — Sami Timimi.

Psychiatry Research published a paper in 2019 suggesting psychiatric diagnoses were meaningless in that they fail to address individual needs and are not necessary for treatment.

The validity and reliability of both the most common diagnostic tools, the DSM and ICD, have been under question throughout their history, though today more researchers are reconsidering their clinical use.

Categorizing mental health disorders and diagnostic criteria have theoretical implications for academic research, but their clinical use is debatable. Psychiatric disorders overlap, often considerably, leading to confusion, mistrust, overshadowing, overdiagnosis, and potentially damaging misdiagnoses.

The only confirmed causal links to psychiatric disorders are those that point to a genetic base and to trauma, specifically in PTSD; though most disorders have some evidence of prior trauma.

Genetic and trauma-related links are predispositions that can be influenced by environment rather than specific measures, however, research continues on the potential of biomarkers.

“There is no evidence that the mental disorder … called “Social Anxiety Disorder … actually exists. It…



Write Mind Matters

BA(psych), GradDipPsych(student), DipHlthSc(NatNut)|Parenting, personality disorders & trauma.