-- Psychiatrists use lists to define mental health. Lists that attempt to trace mental disorders to parts of the brain. Science historian Jamie Cohen-Cole says the change had unintended consequences.
"Psychiatrists have been looking for more than a century to pin down the specific diagnostic criteria for the illnesses that they are seeking to treat. Part of the problem that psychiatry has had all along is that it's a less scientific or biological science. And one of the things that the psychopharmaceuticals offer is a specific treatment for a specific illness," says Cohen-Cole.
Transforming diagnosis into a checklist has shifted psychiatric treatment from the couch to a prescription pad. And while identifying specific criteria for diagnosis means higher reliability and more scientific authority for psychiatrists, some skeptics wonder, what's the point of high reliability if the diagnostic criteria itself is flawed?