Segment 6 - The Dangers of Overdiagnosis

Wayne Katon, MD, addresses the concern of overdiagnosis in mental health, which results in an overuse of drugs like Prozac for people with minor depression. He attributed the problem to the fact that primary care physicians have difficulty getting people into the therapy they need and have to result to medications.

Wayne Katon, MD, addresses the concern of overdiagnosis in mental health, which results in an overuse of drugs like Prozac for people with minor depression. He attributed the problem to the fact that primary care physicians have difficulty getting people into the therapy they need and have to result to medications. However, on the flip side, there is an undertreatment of people with major depression, Dr Katon said.

Paul Gionfreddo argued that he wasn’t as concerned about overdiagnosis as underdiagnosis of more severe mental illnesses. That said, he did caution against rushing to prescribing inappropriate medications.

“When you offer the wrong med … then people get the idea that the meds aren’t going to work,” he said. “And then when they need [the medications] for a condition that is real, there’s resistance to them.”