Tag Archives: American Psychiatric Association

The American Psychiatric Assocation’s PR Crisis—The Truth is Out There

As the news tumbled out last week that the American Psychiatric Association had hired GYMR, an expensive PR company, to help the organization “execute strategies that include image and alliance building, public education campaigns or media relations to harness the formidable forces of Washington and produce successful results for clients” (services that GYMR brags about in its mission statement), it became clearer than ever that the APA has more than an image-problem with DSM-5.

With The Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, 51 professional organizations, a sizable blogging community, and the manual’s former editor, Allen Frances, all voicing strenuous concern about the manual’s planned revisions and likely content, the hiring of a PR firm to “execute … image-building”—that is, to gloss over serious diagnostic issues and controversies in psychiatry—amounts to a fig leaf, a frantic effort to whitewash the manual’s many flaws and questionable content.

Diseases Grow at Psychiatry Meeting—Thanks to Big Pharma

The first week in May brought a new leader in France and new prospects for same sex couples seeking marriage. But at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting in Philadelphia, attended by 11,000 psychiatrists, it was the same old same old. Instead of listening to the public outcry about overmedicated children, soldiers, elderly and everyday people watching too many drug ads, the psychiatry group re-affirmed its resolve to pathologize healthy people and even rolled out new groups to target.

Psychiatry’s Billing Bible Prompts ‘Bickering, Contention, Organized Revolt and finally, A Backdown’

EFFORTS to update the psychiatrists’ bible – the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – have led to bickering, contention, organised revolt and, finally, a backdown.

The association announced it has abandoned plans to class so-called attenuated psychosis syndrome and internet addiction as psychiatric disorders.

And four disputed additional criteria for diagnosing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been dumped: “impatience”, “acting without thinking”, “uncomfortable doing things slowly and systematically” and “finds it difficult to resist temptations or opportunities”.

New Scientist—’Label jars, not people’: Lobbying against the shrinks

“LABEL jars, not people” and “stop medicalising the normal symptoms of life” read placards, as hundreds of protesters – including former patients, academics and doctors – gathered to lobby the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) annual meeting.

The demonstration aimed to highlight the harm the protesters believe psychiatry is perpetrating in the name of healing. One concern is that while psychiatric medications are more widely prescribed than almost any drugs in history, they often don’t work well and have debilitating side effects. Psychiatry also professes to respect human rights, while regularly treating people against their will. Finally, psychiatry keeps expanding its list of disorders without solid scientific justification.

How Big Pharma and the Psychiatric Establishment Drugged Up Our Kids

In his book Psychiatryland, psychiatrist Phillip Sinaikin recounts reading a scientific article in which it was debated whether a three-year-old girl who ran out into traffic had oppositional-defiant disorder or bipolar disorder, the latter marked by “grandiose delusions” that she was special and cars could not harm her.1

How did the once modest medical specialty of child psychiatry become the aggressive “pediatric psychopharmacology” that finds ADHD, pediatric conduct disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, mood disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, mixed manias, social phobia, anxiety, sleep disorders, borderline disorders, assorted “spectrum” disorders, irritability, aggression, pervasive development disorders, personality disorders, and even schizophrenia under every rock? And how did this branch of psychiatry come to find the answer to the “psychopathologies” in the name of the discipline itself: pediatric psychopharmacology? Just good marketing. Pharma is wooing the pediatric patient because that’s where the money is. Just like country and western songs about finding love where you can when there is no love to be found at home. Pharma has stopped finding “love” in the form of the new blockbuster drugs that catapulted it through the 1990s and 2000s. According to the Wall Street Journal, new drugs made Pharma only $4.3 billion in 2010 compared with $11.8 billion in 2005—a two-thirds drop