Andrew Lautin, MD


The Lure of the Context–Dependent Psychiatric Diagnosis

May 13, 2009

In “Major Depression After Recent Loss Is Major Depression-Until Proved Otherwise” (Psychiatric Times, December 2008, page 12), Dr Pies highlights one of the more provocative questions encountered when we train in clinical psychiatry: “Suppose your new patient Mr Jones, tells you he is feeling ‘really down.’ He meets all DSM–IV symptomatic and duration criteria for a major depressive episode (MDE) after having lost his wife to cancer 2 weeks ago. Should you diagnose MDD?”