mvic wrote:An example is early studies on Aspergers excluded women because they "muddied the data". These studies were used to refine what Aspergers meant and create new proofs and definitions - if they were really nonsensical it could have been taken as far as to prove "women don't get aspergers". Because it was defined by the male form of the condition. You see how this is meaningless.
Yes good point. The reason is imo that diagnostic criteria in this field of medicine are based on interpretation not on scientific evidence.
Thus a DSM exists.
Psychiatry (and even worse psychology) suffer from having their basis in philosophy. I'm sure Freud and his cohorts were very dedicated but dedication alone doesn't result in solid data.
Burdened by their zeitgeist they lay a philosophical foundation for modern psychiatry/psychology that was quite out of kilter with reality. But it stuck nonetheless and still does.
Obviously there are common behavioral patterns and obviously you can group them somewhat. But beyond the extremely cut and dried cases it's gets very misty.
Patterns overlap, evolve, mix and diagnosis based on generalized observational criteria becomes a random chance thing.
If you observe someone and you have caught a detail of a diagnosis you are bound to look for more things to confirm this initial chance observation. And when you look you will find.
DSM and the like are the epitome of confirmation bias generators.
There's only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people's cultures and the Dutch.