A startling suggestion is buried in the fine print describing proposed changes for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders — perhaps better known as the D.S.M. 5, the book that will set the new boundary between mental disorder and normality. If this suggestion is adopted, many people who experience completely normal grief could be mislabeled as having a psychiatric problem.
McGorry and Mendoza are adept at capturing media attention, using emotive statistics and feel-good messages as powerful soundbites. However, few people seem to have critically examined their claims, which have been widely accepted at face value. We have examined several claims, and found them seriously problematic. Not only is there a high degree of spin in the rhetoric but also there is misrepresentation of evidence.
The “Psychosis Risk” proposal has stimulated widespread opposition (even I am told from within the Workgroup itself). The arguments against it are simply overwhelming. The false positive rate in predicting psychosis would be between 70-90%, meaning that between two and nine youngsters would be misidentified for every one accurately identified. The treatment most likely to be used would be antipsychotic medications. These have no proven efficacy in preventing psychosis, but most definitely have terrible side effects- especially enormous weight gain and its life threatening complications. These medications are overprescribed to those least able to resist- the young and those who are most financially disadvantaged.
A new study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry and headed by psychiatrist John H. Gilmore, professor of psychiatry and Director of the UNC Schizophrenia Research, claims to be able to detect “brain abnormalities associated with schizophrenia risk” in infants just a few weeks old.
A new study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry and headed by psychiatrist John H. Gilmore, professor of psychiatry and Director of the UNC Schizophrenia Research, claims to be able to detect “brain abnormalities associated with schizophrenia risk” in infants just a few weeks old. We would like to point out the obvious flaw in this bogus study; there is no medical/scientific test in existence that schizophrenia is a physical disease or brain abnormality. Not one confirmatory chemical imbalance test, X-ray, MRI or any other test for schizophrenia, not one. So the “associated with schizophrenia risk” amounts to what George Orwell called Doublespeak (language that deliberately disguises, distorts, misleads)—it means nothing.