The Power of Diagnosis

Not all that long ago, almost any medical diagnosis was feared. Today diagnoses are sought after as frequently as they are avoided. A diagnosis can be the gateway to needed services or it can stigmatize the patient—sometimes the same diagnosis does both. Meanwhile the number of variations in normal health and behavior that receive medical diagnoses continues to expand. This month’s contributors explore the “medicalizing” of common human problems—from shyness and addiction to weight gain and baldness —and help us make sense of the power that medical diagnosis has in our everyday lives. 

Volume 13, Number 12: 847-924 Full Issue PDF