Sunday, September 02, 2007

My Three Shrinks Podcast 32: Doctor Anonymous on Depression Overdiagnosis

[31] . . . [32] . . . [33] . . . [All]

Today's podcast features a guest, Doctor Anonymous, who joined us via Skype. DrA is a midwest US primary care physician who blogs about medicine and health care. We've been trying to get him on for a while, but call schedules and such just didn't align. We both had Skype set up, I added Call Recorder (which allows you to easily record both sides of the conversation, each on a different channel), and it went off without a hitch.
DrIzzy from Michigan added a complimentary iTunes review (thank you), but he commented on our sound levels, which we agree are sometimes subpar. He points out that, since we have made the podcasting "big time" (LOL), we should get us some grown-up sound equipment. Now we are using a single Snowball microphone with the high-gain patch (mentioned in Podcast #3), which is sometimes doesn't pick up Clink and Dinah as well. So, we are thinking about getting a mixer and some lapel condenser mics. Let us know if any of you have suggestions about this. I'd like to add a couple Google ads on the sidebar to help pay for it; Dinah is equivocal. Let us know what you think. (Oh, the bird in the background is Monkey, my parakeet.)

Oh, and I see that DrA has started a call-in show! Check out the first one here.

September 2, 2007: #32 Doctor Anonymous on Depression Overdiagnosis

Topics include:
  • DrA on Skype (not a soundboard). Dinah relished the memory of Podcast #24. Check out DrA's blog,

  • Is Depression Overdiagnosed? We discuss two point-counterpoint pieces in the August 18 2007 issue of BMJ (British Medical Journal). The YES piece is written by Gordon Parker, who believes there is a trend to turn "sadness" into a medical condition: "The ease of assigning a diagnosis of clinical depression, even of major depression, has rebounded on psychiatry, blunting clarification of causes and treatment specificity."

    The NO piece is written by Ian Hickie, who argues that despite the benefits of increased rates of diagnosis, many people with depression continue to go unrecognized, untreated, and impaired: "The increased rate of diagnosis has had other benefits, including reduced stigma, removal of structural impediments to employment and health benefits, increased access to life insurance, improved physical health outcomes, reduced secondary alcohol and drug misuse, and wider public understanding of the risks and benefits of coming forward for care."

    Find online comments on these articles at BMJ's website here.

  • Further discussion about the symptoms of major depression, subsyndromal depression, dysthymia, substance abuse, the influence of the pharmaceutical industry, depression screening, access-to-care problems, inpatient bed capacity problems, per capita psychiatrists and psychologists, stigma about mental illness, primary care management of depression, emergency evaluations.

  • We digress into hot McDonald's coffee, Twinkies, and chocolate.

Find show notes with links at: The address to send us your Q&A's is there, as well.

This podcast is available on iTunes (feel free to post a review) or as an RSS feed. You can also listen to or download the .mp3 or the MPEG-4 file from
Thank you for listening.