Vicissitudes of Psychiatry’s Diagnostic Manual Revisions

“The proposed revisions to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association will continue the trend set by prior revisions: namely, expanding the number of people who, according to DSM diagnostic criteria, will be labeled as having a “mental disorder” for which a prescription for psychotropic drugs will be issued. Indeed the chairman of the DSM-IV Task Force recently wrote: “The relentless march to medicalize normality out of existence is opening a new and especially ridiculous front.”

“The latest area of controversy focuses on the proposed revision of the definition “behavioral addiction disorder” extending the addiction diagnosis to include drug, alcohol and gambling.  It is estimated that the change would expand the number of people labeled as “addicts” by 20 to 30 million who would be entitled to treatment and disability payments costing taxpayers many hundreds of millions of dollars.   APA’s chief executive, Dr. James Scully, Jr., defends the expansionist revision by reiterating the hackneyed claim that “The biggest problem in all of psychiatry is untreated illness, and that has huge social costs.”  New Guidelines May Sharply Increase Addiction Diagnoses

“Insightful critics have observed that the designation “mental disorder” for inclusion in each of the revised editions of the DSM can be traced to the availability of a drug that will be marketed as a remedy for the newly invented “mental disorder.”  Indeed, the DSM is a driving force for rendering every human emotion and behavior that can be affected in one way or another by a psychotropic drug, to be classified as a symptom of a mental disorder. More than anything else, the DSM catapulted clinically ineffective drugs–such as, SSRI antidepressants and (atypical) neuroleptics into industry’s most profitable blockbuster drugs—even as they have caused severe harm.

“The DSM has been described as “a hideous distortion of medical science”–its objective is expansive and self-serving. The New York Times report by Ian Urbina (May 12, 2012) perfectly captures the seeming lack of insight (dishonesty ?) displayed by psychiatrists when questioned about their financial conflicts of interest. Urbina reports:

Dr. Charles O’Brien [University of Pennsylvania] who led the addiction working group, has been a consultant for several pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi-Aventis, all of which make drugs marketed to combat addiction. He has also worked extensively as a paid consultant for Alkermes, a pharmaceutical company, studying a drug, Vivitrol, that combats alcohol and heroin addiction by preventing craving. He was the driving force behind adding “craving” to the new manual’s list of recognized symptoms of addiction.”

“I’m quite proud to have played a role, because I know that craving plays such an important role in addiction,” Dr. O’Brien said, adding that he had never made any money from the sale of drugs that treat craving.  New Guidelines May Sharply Increase Addiction Diagnoses

“Surely such an indication of dissociation must qualify for a DSM diagnosis and a psychotropic drug. …”

Students of the history of psychiatry know such sociopathic dishonesty is nothing new.  What’s new is that people whose families and lives haven’t been decimated by this self-described “profession” are starting to pay attention to reports by survivors.

For some insight into the sickness embedded in psychiatry be sure to check out the section on psychological consequences in my MGM paper (linked at the top) especially the footnote related to psychiatry’s normalization of overt sado-pedophilia, footnote 102.

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