Tag Archives: Allen Frances

ABC News: DSM-5 Criticized for Financial Conflicts of Interest—70% of task force members have ties to Pharma

Controversy continues to swell around the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, better known as DSM-5. A new study suggests the 900-page bible of mental health, scheduled for publication in May 2013, is ripe with financial conflicts of interest.

The manual, published by the American Psychiatric Association, details the diagnostic criteria and recommended treatments — many of which are pharmacological — for each and every psychiatric disorder. After the 1994 release of DSM-4, the APA instituted a policy requiring expert advisors to disclose drug industry ties. But the move toward transparency did little to cut down on conflicts, with nearly 70 percent of DSM-5 task force members reporting financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies — up from 57 percent for DSM-4.

Millions mistakenly classed mentally ill—including shy or defiant children, grieving relatives

MILLIONS of healthy people – including shy or defiant children, grieving relatives and people with fetishes – may be wrongly labelled mentally ill by a new international diagnostic manual, specialists said recently.

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Healthy people who are shy may be wrongly classified as mentally sick in a new health manual issued by the American Psychiatric Association. AFP/SOURCES

In a damning analysis of an upcoming revision of the influential Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), psychologists, psychiatrists and mental health experts said its new categories and “tick-box” diagnosis systems were at best “silly” and at worst “worrying and dangerous”.

Therapists revolt against psychiatry’s bible

The most surprising critic of the DSM is a one-time pillar of the psychiatric establishment. Allen Frances, professor emeritus at Duke University, chaired the task force that created the DSM-4. Now he’s railing against both the process and proposed content of the new DSM in blogs on the website for Psychology Today that blast the new revision as “untested” and “unscientific.”

Psychiatric diagnoses are loose enough already, Frances told me, and that laxity has led to “epidemics of over-diagnosis in child psychiatry” causing huge numbers of children to be unnecessarily labeled with attention deficit disorder and bipolar disorder and treated with medications.

Psychiatry bible ‘turns sorrow into sickness’

IT’S been branded a “dangerous public experiment” that could turn normal human experiences into an epidemic of mental illness with healthy people being drugged unnecessarily.

In radical changes to the way mental health conditions are diagnosed, what was once considered a child’s temper tantrum could be labelled ”disruptive mood dysregulation disorder”. If a widow grieves for more than a fortnight she might be diagnosed with ”major depressive disorder”. If a mother in a custody battle tries to turn a child against the father, it might create ”parental alienation disorder”.

These are among new conditions proposed for the fifth edition of the psychiatrist’s bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), due to be finalised next year.

Those in favor of Psychiatry’s Billing Bible? The American Psychiatric Association. Against it? Just About Everyone else

The arguments against DSM-5 are really quite simple and straightforward — and to me seem absolutely compelling. DSM-5 has failed to allow an open, independent and rigorous scientific review of the evidence supporting its suggestions. It is the result of a secretive and closed process that has lost touch with clinical reality. Its suggestions for new diagnoses and for reducing thresholds on old ones will promote a radical explosion in the rates of psychiatric diagnosis that will worsen our country’s already excessive use of medication. Finally, the DSM-5 preoccupation with diagnosing disorders in people who are not really ill will result in a misallocation of resources that disadvantages those most clearly in need them.