Medical Nemesis Revisited: Physician-Caused Anger, Despair & Death

Regaining power over our own health was the goal of Ivan Illich’s 1976 book Medical Nemesis, which detailed an epidemic of physician-caused death and illness. This epidemic continues, and so does an epidemic of physician-caused anger, despair and crazy-appearing behaviors. In 2013, the Journal of Patient Safety reported that the “true number of premature deaths associated with preventable harm to patients is estimated at more than 400,000 per year,” making it the third leading cause of death in the United States It is especially drug use errors, communication failures and diagnostic errors that result in another medical nemesis: They can make us appear—and sometimes feel—like we’re “crazy.”
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Deconstructing Psychiatric Diagnoses: An Attempt At Humor

Based on my experience both as a therapist and client in the mental health field, I have learned that when therapists or psychiatrists give you the following diagnoses all too often here is what they really mean:
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Book Review: “Mad Science: Psychiatric Coercion, Diagnosis, and Drugs”

Mad Science is not ‘just another critical mental health book’ – the authors are not simply telling the same-old-story. Instead, it is innovative, creative, and thought-provoking. All of us hold fundamental assumptions about mental health diagnosis, coercion, and drugs. Mad Science guides the reader through identifying these assumptions, and then rigorously evaluates the underlying scientific evidence.
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DxSummit Officially Launches

As co-chair of the Diagnostic Summit Committee of the Society for Humanistic Psychology, I am pleased to announce that today we officially launch the Global Summit on Diagnostic Alternatives (DxSummit.org), an online platform for rethinking mental health. Our goal is to provide a place for a collegial and rigorous discussion of alternative ways to conceptualize and practice diagnosis. Today’s launch is marked by the appearance of our first eight posts. These posts come from a variety of prominent people in the field, each offering a unique perspective on the current state of diagnosis and where we might take things as we move forward.
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Do Diagnoses Injure People?

Yes, a psychiatric diagnosis can be a dangerous thing to have. But, these days, so is having any medical diagnosis. The names and words of the diagnoses themselves are not so much to blame for the harm. Rather, the harm comes through the ways the diagnoses are created and how they are used.
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Does It Matter if We Believe in Mental Illness?

It’s clear that different people relate to the idea of “mental illness” and labeling differently. Many people find the experience of being diagnosed with a mental illness stigmatizing and disempowering. However, there are others who find the idea of “having …
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