Originally Posted by Kart
To some extent, I suppose it doesn't matter so much if you understand what's going on underneath as long as people get better.
I think it matters in the sense that 1) the subjectivity in the diagnosis is one of the results of having no clue of what's going underneath. If the pathogenesis and etiology are found out, we will probably have a very different list of psychiatric diseases with a much more organic way of formulating them and find out who has them and who doesn't 2) in terms of moving the treatments further in research.
Of course I'm not slighting psychiatrists because of many of them are in this field for this very purpose (at least the academic ones), but I personally am not too hung up at this moment about what constitutes "major depression" or "social phobia".