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A medical or psychiatric diagnosis which seems to overgeneralise to a wide variety of complaints and symptoms, is often known as a trashcan diagnosis (In the UK we would call this a Rubbish diagnosis), and is often is given when there's obviously something wrong but the doctor doesn't know what it is.

Some trashcan diagnoses such as schizophrenia have become more narrowly defined and are now used to refer to specific problems. Others, such as borderline personality disorder, have had a variety of definitions over the years. Some trashcan diagnoses have valid applications but are simply being used too broadly; examples would be ADHD and Autism. Much of the controversy over medical and psychiatric diagnoses can be put down to the role of pharmaceutical and insurance companies in the health industry.

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