British Medical Journal: DSM-5 Risks Mislabeling People as Mentally Ill


In a “Personal View” article published yesterday in the British Medical Journal, Allen Frances expresses concern that a “poorly tested” condition included in the DSM-5, “Somatic Symptom Disorder”, lacks specificity and will result in “mislabeling a sizable proportion of the population as mentally ill.”

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Of further interest:
‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’ – the most ubiquitous mental health diagnosis you never heard of (Dx Revision Watch)

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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. In 1989 I was finishing my clinical pastoral education as a chaplain in a university medical center. A young 22 year old man was a patient on my surgical unit. He had a huge tumor in his right hip joint. It was so large that he was no longer able to walk and used a wheel chair. He was at the medical center to have the tumor removed. He was very bitter and very angry. He’d spent over a year going from one doctor to another, complaining about the pain in his hip and his increasing inability to walk properly. Numerous doctors had told him there was nothing wrong with him and that his problem was “all in his head.” He was sent to two or three psychiatrists who told him he had serious mental health problems because he refused to accept their judgment that there was nothing physically wrong with him. Eventually, someone finally admitted he did actually have something physically wrong with him because the tumor was huge and was poking out the side of his hip!

    This young man would have been the perfect victim of this kind of flim flammery and snake oil peddling diagnosing that will result from this kind of DSM stupidity. I have no doubt that this diagnosis is in the DSM 5 on purpose to catch more and more people in the insidious net of “mental illness” trumped up by psychiatry and the drug companies. Why can’t people in our society figure this out on their own? It is worse than obvious what psychiatry and the drug companies are doing!

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    • Stephen,

      It sounds like the poor man you describe was already subjected to this fraud. I read that by the time the latest DSM comes out, psychiatrists have already been perpetrating the latest fad frauds like this.

      I find Dr. Frances’ critiques of the DSM 5 a very mixed blessing and rather hypocritical since he served as editor over the DSM IV that by his own admission caused huge increases in ADHD, bipolar and autism epidemics resulting in people taking dangerous drugs who didn’t “need them.” He refuses to admit that all the bogus, life destroying stigmas of all the DSM’s are fraudulent, created nasty epidemics of nonexistent psych disorders and subjected everyone targeted to useless, deadly psych drugs. But, the psychiatry/BIG PHARMA/corrupt government hacks cartel made billions from this evil agenda while robbing a huge number of people of all their human, civil rights. Dr. Frances admitted in a WIRED article that psychiatric diagnosis is “bullshit” in that there is no way to discern normality from abnormality based on any science or medical evidence since they have none. Thus, the bottom line is that the whole DSM system of checklists of normal human behaviors or reactions to frequent life stressors, crises, losses, abuse, injustice, oppression, inequality and others to falsely accuse anyone they encounter of having a biological brain disorder or “mental illness” to justify pushing the latest lethal drugs on patent with BIG PHARMA is the most pernicious, self serving, evil plot ever imagined to prey on humanity in the guise of “mental health.” Oh, I forgot…the psychiatrists who invented the eugenics theories in the U.S. that German psychiatry used to justify gassing those they stigmatized as mentally ill before and after Hitler came to power that they expanded to the NAZI concentration camps is pretty close to the DSM biopsychiatry diabolical plot to hijack democracy, human lives and freedoms, the health care system and the entire globe, which relies on the same evil bogus eugenics agenda as they constantly lie about finding new genes for their bogus disorders with the latest fraud fad bipolar.

      The concern that I have is if one falls for the bait of debating the pros and cons of the DSM 5, one can inadvertently appear to be validating the even more deadly DSM III & IV that the mental death profession produced when they sold out to BIG PHARMA so they could pretend to be real medical doctors with their great prescribing benefits. These initial grossly expanded DSM III & IV to inflict the biopsychiatry horror on one and all with these bogus stigmas invented and voted in to match lethal drugs produced by BIG PHARMA by the old boy network of psychiatry in the APA with huge conflicts of interest.

      But, you are quite right that each the purpose of each new DSM is to expand the web of deceit of the mental death profession and catch more victims in its ever expanding net. As you say, people must learn to see through and avoid this nasty bait.

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