Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Medicalising unhappiness

Author’s reply to Braithwaite

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 12 February 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g1437
  1. Ian Reid, professor of psychiatry1
  1. 1University of Aberdeen, Royal Cornhill Hospital, Aberdeen AB25 2ZH, UK
  1. i.reid{at}

I’m grateful to Braithwaite for giving me the opportunity to bang on about this a bit more.1 2 He misunderstands—the point is that Mitchell and colleagues’ study cannot account for rising prescription rates because they aggregated data across more than two decades.3 These authors do not chart a change in diagnostic practice, so the findings cannot support the idea that a loosening of diagnostic categories over time accounts for increased prescribing as Godlee suggests.4

The crucial point here, as Mitchell and colleagues point out,1 …

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