APA President-Elect Responds to DSM Criticism on Fox News


Dr. Keith Ablow, a former APA member who resigned “in protest,” criticized the DSM on FoxNews.com last week. Dr. Joseph Lieberman, president-elect of the APA, responds saying, “It is one thing to have a distressing and disabling psychiatric condition … it is quite another level of tragedy when that condition goes undiagnosed, or when one is unable to get access to treatment because of stigma and shame or a lack of insurance coverage.”

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. Hey, President-elect, we don’t want your so-called “help” and we know there is no science in your holy bible of the DSM, so don’t spend time trying to convince us that there is. All you are doing with this new addition is trying to enlarge your net for capturing more people with your fake diagnoses into the system so that you can forcibly drug them to the gills. Go back to Columbia, we are not impressed.

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    • I was mostly interested that Fox news was taking an interest, and then that the APA president was moved to respond. I did not know anything about Ablow. It’s interesting to me that he would be looking to make his bones on debunking the DSM; I wonder whether he would have a few years ago. So I mostly put the post up as a barometer.

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    • Me thinks Dr. Ablow just writes up his assignments, as issued by FOX news and practices reading them until he sounds like he’s sharing his own brilliant thoughts. His politics are based on lucrative employment. On the issue of the APA and the DSM he got it right.

      If you give a monkey a typewriter, sooner or later he’ll spell a word.

      That’s a rap!

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  2. You have to wonder if he really believes what he just wrote or feels obliged because his “bank” asked him to. Such an anemic response makes me think his heart really isn’t in it.

    Remember Baghdad Bob during the first Gulf War? Even when US troops were banging at the doors Bob assured the world that Iraqi troops had roundly beaten the infidels! Pay no attention to the man behind that curtain…

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  3. Whatever Ablow’s own politics (which I think are reprehensible), that he presented this case to the Fox News audience is a good thing — maybe the libertarians will get on board with dissing the APA.

    As for Lieberman’s response, I thought the APA was going to upgrade the brand of baloney it purveys? This is the same old anti-“stigma,” pro-“access” shtick grafted onto some DSM-5 boilerplate p.r.

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  4. I just read that article and it made me sick. Literally, I am queasy now. He’s making it sound like all this great and hi-tech, conclusive, unequivocal science has been going on behind closed doors in all these years and that the DSM-V will be bringing psychiatry and medicine up to date with these great scientific breakthroughs. This sort of garbage actually works. I don’t doubt that 90% of people without a strong opinion against psychiatry will believe Leiberman, just as about 90% of people in the U.S. believe in chemical imbalances.

    Makes me sick. You win, MR Leiberman, again. Here’s to millions of more kids getting drugged, brain damaged and having their lives potentially destroyed.

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  5. I read the article but found the ‘Recommended Stories’ section to be much more interesting (and revealing): loaded with sex / sexuality.

    In one such article, 6th grade boys are receiving “psychological counseling” for their sexual behavior, while the “very concerned” members of the Education Department are possibly going without such care and treatment. http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/05/10/6th-graders-made-porn-video-at-mexican-school/?intcmp=obnetwork

    I would love to be a fly on the wall of that psychological counseling session for those boys. Will they be called “disordered”, for BEING sexual? Will they be medicalized? Will they be diagnosed? Just how, exactly, will their sexuality & behavior be judged by the professionals? What is the real problem in that case: that they recorded their activity? that the recording was made public? that they’re homosexual? that it was on school property (and not in one of their bedrooms)? or is it the matter of their age?

    In another Recommended Story, Hannah Montana / Miley Cirus has stated that sex is cool and magical – ““[Kids] have a TV, so they know what sex is. So educate them and let them know it’s a beautiful thing, and it is magic, and it’s when you connect with somebody.”

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2012/05/22/hannah-montana-has-left-building-miley-cyrus-says-sex-is-cool-and-magical/?intcmp=obnetwork#ixzz1vgZicBlt

    In conclusion – maybe each new child who is born must immediately be assigned a Psychologist or possibly even a Psychiatrist. Please remember: Eros and Psyche, for ever and ever.

    Fox news, you’re just SO foxy. *Wink Wink*

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  6. I also felt ill. This is what the DSM is all about – stating things and because you have a degree of some sort, insisting that your stating them is true. There is no data on what percentage of the participants have pharmaceutical company ties (it is a LOT!) despite claims of “rigorous screening for conflicts of interest.” There is not one example of how science informs the diagnostic process (because it pretty much doesn’t). And he continues to march out the “brain disorder” pablum that NAMI and the APA and all the big supporters of the biomedical industry have been spouting for years, despite the disproof of these very theories back in the 1980s or before.

    What a bunch of hooey!

    —- Steve

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