Tag Archives: American Psychiatric Association

The Psycho-Therapeutic School System: Pathologizing Childhood

According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control, a staggering 6.4 million American children between the ages of 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), whose key symptoms are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity—characteristics that most would consider typically childish behavior. High school boys, an age group particularly prone to childish antics and drifting attention spans, are particularly prone to being labeled as ADHD, with one out of every five high school boys diagnosed with the disorder.

The New Yorker: The D.S.M. and the Nature of Disease

When the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders hits the stores on May 22nd, it will signal the end of a fraught thirteen-year campaign. Every revision of the D.S.M. causes controversy; that’s what happens when experts argue in public about the nature of human suffering. But never has the process provoked warfare so brutal, with attacks coming from within the profession as well from psychiatry’s usual opponents. Indeed, it’s possible that no book has ever been subject to such scrutiny in the course of being written. It is as if J. K. Rowling had produced her Harry Potter sequels in a glass studio with fans looking on and banging the windows whenever she typed something they didn’t like.

Psychiatry’s Weapon of Mental Destruction (WMD)—The Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

In 1952, the first hydrogen bomb was detonated and the American Psychiatric Association, APA, published its first book of mental illnesses: the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM.

No one, then, could have imagined that this seemingly innocuous manual would be more destructive, and result in producing more victims, than a nuclear weapon.

Since then the DSM has mushroomed and with each revised DSM untold millions carry the scars from its devastating effects.