Robert Whitaker notes on Al Jazeera’s “Inside Story” that a helpful diagnostic text must be both reliable and valid, and the DSM is neither – resulting in a harmful expansion of diagnosis and medication. Allen Frances says that experts “always expand, they never reduce” their authority over a domain. 5% of the population has a psychiatric disorder that can be diagnosed and effectively treated, Frances says, but the DSM is misused such that more than 25% of the population is so diagnosed and a “ridiculous” 20% of the population is taking medication.
From Al Jazeera:
“Known as the bible of psychiatry, the DSM or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is the most influential guide for helping doctors define what a mental illness is. But it has sparked a backlash among some respected psychiatrists in the United States who say the new guidelines are turning normal behaviour into illness, and will lead to the medication of patients that should not be.”