By Sharon Kirkey
April 26, 2010
As Dr. Allen Frances read through the list of proposed changes to psychiatry’s bible of mental sickness, alarms started ringing in his own mind.
“I was surprised,” the renowned U.S. psychiatrist says, “that the proposals managed to be much worse than my most pessimistic expectations.”
By the time he was finished reading, Frances had calculated that the recommendations contained within the first draft for the fifth and latest revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – a hugely influential book used daily by doctors worldwide, psychiatry’s official classification of all the ways humanity can go “mad” – could unnecessarily trigger wholesale “epidemics” of mental illness and expose millions more adults and children to potentially harmful psychiatric drugs.
Frances, more than most, knows the kind of surprises that may be lurking.
He chaired the task force that wrote the current edition of the manual – referred to as DSM-IV – which Frances says is a book that unintentionally contributed to vast and sudden increases in the diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism and childhood bipolar disorder (manic depression), after it made changes in those definitions.
Rates of bipolar disorder alone jumped 40-fold in the U.S. after the definition was broadened to suggest that children don’t have to experience the typical manic symptoms seen in adults to be diagnosed bipolar – and that depression in kids can be a persistent irritable mood.
Read entire article: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/canada/Psychiatry+bible+could+roll+whole+list+disorders/2951855/story.html#ixzz0mbCzBKaU
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