wastebasket diagnosis


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A diagnosis which may be based on a fad, not proven to exist, not physiologically explained, or not described with specificity, and thus so broadly inclusive to the point of being scientifically useless

wastebasket diagnosis

Medtalk noun A diagnosis which may be faddish, not proven to exist, or physiologically explained, or described with specificity, and thus so broadly inclusive to the point of being scientifically useless
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Up to around 10 years ago, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) was readily dismissed as a 'wastebasket diagnosis,' meaning, it's the diagnosis a doctor gives when he can't identify any cause of the patient's extreme fatigue, or feeling 'low bat,' even with just minimal physical or mental exertion.
Doctors have tended to diagnose IBS when they couldn't find any other cause for the symptoms, making it something of a "wastebasket diagnosis," he says.
We at times toss people into a kind of wastebasket diagnosis of normal tension glaucoma, because we don't know their history and assume what exists now is a reflection of what is going on, but it may not be.