Tag Archives: American Psychiatric Association

The New York Times on Psychiatric Disorders, “Not Diseases, but Categories of Suffering”

YOU’VE got to feel sorry for the American Psychiatric Association, at least for a moment. Its members proposed a change to the definition of autism in the fifth edition of their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, one that would eliminate the separate category of Asperger syndrome in 2013. And the next thing they knew, a prominent psychiatrist was quoted in a front-page article in this paper saying the result would be fewer diagnoses, which would mean fewer troubled children eligible for services like special education and disability payments.

Then, just a few days later, another front-pager featured a pair of equally prominent experts explaining their smackdown of the A.P.A.’s proposal to eliminate the “bereavement exclusion” — the two months granted the grieving before their mourning can be classified as “major” depression. This time, the problem was that the move would raise the numbers of people with the diagnosis, increasing health care costs and the use of already pervasive mind-altering drugs, as well as pathologizing a normal life experience.

Fewer patients, more patients: the A.P.A. just can’t win. Someone is always mad at it for its diagnostic manual.

7 Reasons America’s Mental Health Industry Is a Threat to Our Sanity

Drug industry corruption, scientifically unreliable diagnoses and pseudoscientific research have compromised the values of the psychiatric profession.

The majority of psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals “go along to get along” and maintain a status quo that includes drug company corruption, pseudoscientific research and a “standard of care” that is routinely damaging and occasionally kills young children. If that sounds hyperbolic, then you probably have not heard of Rebecca Riley, and how the highest levels of psychiatry described her treatment as “appropriate and within responsible professional standards.”

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.

Psychiatry’s Diagnosis Manual Under Fire – will feed culture of overdrugging/overdiagnosing

The “bible” of American psychiatry – a manual of mental health used around the world by doctors, consumers and insurance providers – has come under fire from a growing group of psychologists who worry that proposed revisions will feed into a culture of overdiagnosing, and overtreating, otherwise healthy people.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or the DSM, is undergoing its fifth major revision in the more than 60 years since it was first published by the American Psychiatric Association. The last update was in 1994, and the new manual is expected to be released in spring 2013.