How Recognizing “Comorbidities” in Psychopathology May Lead to an Improved Research Nosology


Address reprint requests and correspondence to Lee N. Robins, Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, 4940 Children's Place, St. Louis, MO 63110.


A short history of the roots of DSM-III and the politics of its creation help to explain the extensive occasions it offers for fulfilling criteria for multiple diagnoses. With use of standardized interviews, it becomes possible to discover all the diagnoses a single person can qualify for. This should prompt rethinking how diagnoses are selected and what rules for preemptions accord with the nature of psychopathology.