In a new article in the top-tier medical journal JAMA Psychiatry, prominent researcher Kenneth Kendler writes that our current psychiatric diagnoses are just “working hypotheses, subject to change.”
According to Kendler, the notion that any psychiatric theories define something “at least approximately true” is “implausible.”
“To argue that our DSM categories accurately correspond to reality would require that among the theories considered was one that was at least approximately true and that the right one was chosen. That is implausible,” Kendler writes. “Given the youth of our science and the complexity of our disorders, it is very unlikely that we now possess definitive theories of their etiology.”
In short, Kendler writes that there is little scientific evidence for psychiatric diagnoses and that he believes the DSM diagnoses do not “correspond to reality” and it is “implausible” that they are “approximately true.”
Kendler is one of the most highly-cited researchers in psychiatry and is famous for his studies on the genetics of schizophrenia. He writes:
“Despite years of research, we cannot explain or directly observe the pathophysiologies of major mental health disorders that we could use to define essential features.”
Kendler makes this argument in favor of what he calls the “instrumentalist” position—that although these diagnoses do not meet any scientific criteria and in fact are unlikely to be “true” in any meaningful sense, they are still sound medical science because he believes in “the reality of major mental illness as an aggregate category.”
This isn’t the first time that Kendler has made this point; in a 2016 article in World Psychiatry, he wrote:
“Instead of thinking that our disorders are true because they correspond to clear entities in the world, we should consider a coherence theory of truth by which disorders become more true when they fit better into what else we know about the world.”
Yet, according to Kendler in that 2016 article, “We ought to be broadly pragmatic but not lose sight of an underlying commitment, despite the associated difficulties, to the reality of psychiatric illness.” Our current understanding of mental health is unscientific, unsupported by evidence, and does not reflect anything objective or “true.” And yet, “we” must commit to the “reality of psychiatric illness.”
In the current article, Kendler continues to make this point—that psychiatric diagnoses are constructs that we assume exist:
“We assume that constructs, such as schizophrenia or alcohol use disorder, exist, but we can only observe the signs, symptoms, and course of illness that we postulate result from these disorders.”
And that the DSM diagnoses do not represent any objective reality: “The DSM decisions are guided by aggregate evidence of validators, not observations of underlying realities.”
He adds that the history of psychiatry is full of diagnoses, considered objective at the time, which have been removed due to our changing cultural attitudes. For example, he lists monomania, masturbatory insanity, and hysteria. However, he does not reference the more controversial drapetomania (in medical texts until at least 1914) and homosexuality (listed as a DSM disorder until 1973).
Finally, Kendler notes that “a major criticism of our current nosologic efforts has been the limited progress made in moving from descriptive to etiologically based diagnoses.”
That is, although the diagnoses in the DSM define certain behaviors as “illness,” there is still no evidence of the assumed biological origin (etiology) of the “disorders.”
Kendler argues that a few other presumed diseases in medical science have this problem too—like obesity and fibromyalgia—and thus, the categories in the DSM are still useful. And he explains that the fact that no genetic origin for any psychiatric disorder has been found is simply because the origins are too complex—not because there is no genetic disorder to find.
In the end, he suggests that new statistical methods and genetics studies may eventually find some “true” mental disorders. But, he writes, “How important these advances will be in improving the empirical adequacy of our diagnostic system remains to be determined.”
Kendler, K. S. (2021). Potential lessons for DSM From contemporary philosophy of science. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online December 8, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.3559 (Link)
“’To argue that our DSM categories accurately correspond to reality would require that among the theories considered was one that was at least approximately true and that the right one was chosen. That is implausible,’ Kendler writes.” I agree.
“Given the youth of our science and the complexity of our disorders, it is very unlikely that we now possess definitive theories of their etiology.”
Yet those critical of psychiatry do have definitive theories of the etiology of the ‘serious mental illnesses.’ The ADHD drugs and antidepressants can create the ‘bipolar’ symptoms – listen to Robert Whitaker’s talks, or read his ‘Anatomy of an Epidemic.’
The antidepressants and antipsychotics can create ‘psychosis,’ a positive symptom of ‘schizophrenia,’ via anticholinergic toxidrome.
And the antipsychotics / neuroleptics can create the negative symptoms of ‘schizophrenia,’ via neuroleptic induced deficit syndrome.
The SMI’s etiologies are not nearly as “complex” as the psychiatrists would like us to believe. However, it is “complex” for the psychiatrists to mentally come to grips with the fact that the etiologies of their SMIs are of an iatrogenic, not ‘genetic,’ nature.
“And yet, ‘we’ must commit to the ‘reality of psychiatric illness.'” Well, I do agree psychiatrists have made many millions of people sick with their neurotoxic psychiatric drugs. As one who was made ‘manic’ with an antidepressant, which was misdiagnosed as ‘bipolar.’
“Manic-like episodes that are clearly caused by somatic antidepressant treatment (e.g., medication, electroconvulsive therapy, light therapy) should not count toward a diagnosis of Bipolar I Disorder.”
The ADHD drugs should have been added to this DSM-IV-TR disclaimer, rather than this disclaimer being taken out of the DSM5.
Then I was made ‘psychotic,’ via 14 different anticholinergic toxidrome poisonings – prior to finally escaping the lunacy of the ‘mental health system.’ So I do agree the symptoms of the ‘psychiatric illnesses’ are real.
But I do not agree that “the categories in the DSM are still useful.” Since misdiagnosing mania, created with an antidepressant as ‘bipolar.’ Or misdiagnosing ‘psychosis’ created via anticholinergic toxidrome with the ‘invalid’ DSM disorders. Results in the DSM categories hiding the true etiologies of a person’s ‘symptoms,’ thus results in lots and lots of systemic malpractice.
So if the goal of the psychiatric industry, and other DSM ‘bible’ billers, is to commit lots and lots of malpractice, and make people sick for profit … then continue using your ‘invalid’ DSM. However, if the goal of the ‘mental health’ workers, and other doctors, is to actually ‘help’ people … then the DSM needs to be flushed.
The truth is not that “complex.”
In other words, lets pretend Schizophrenia etc exists because it works for the Doctors, who get paid quite nicely, and lets ignore what everyone else says, including the patients.
Let’s assume our desired conclusion and then collect data in a biased manner to try and prove it. VEEEERY scientific!
That, Steve McCrea, is sadly, in a nutshell, much of modern day science, not just the psychiatric diagnosis bible (the DSM.) It’s just more prominent to us in the DSM and other psychiatric type literature because of our very negative experiences with psychiatry, etc. Thank you.
And we all now know that when one assumes, it’s all about making an “ass” out of “u” and “me.” Which does seem to be the primary function of the “mental health workers,” at least according to my experience.
But at least I knew,“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me…” So I didn’t trust an ELCA psychologist – the second time I was attacked by one – and allowed him to make as ass out of only himself. Since I wasn’t interested in partaking in the “shame on me” or “shame on both of us” part of that quote.
So instead I pointed out to him – via Facebook, which was his preferred method of communication – shame on the systemic child abuse covering up psychological, psychiatric, and religious leaders.
This – and filing a police report about the criminal nature of the conservatorship “art manager” contract he incessantly tried to get me to sign – finally seemed to allow him to “hear me roar,” since he has left me alone since then.
Although my entire family did have to decide to leave our childhood religion forever, due to these unrepentant ELCA psychologists – and their mental health and social worker “partner’s” – systemic child abuse and rape covering up crimes.
But, hey, at least some ethical pastors of a different religion confessed to me that the unrepentant, child abuse covering up, Holy Spirit blasphemers of the ELCA are participating in “the dirty little secret of the two original educated professions.”
But this begs the question, shouldn’t we put an end to “the dirty little secret of the two original educated professions”? And end “the two original educated professions'” multi-billion dollar, scientific fraud based, primarily child abuse and rape covering up, scientific fraud based, thus criminal, “mental heath” industries?
There is a debate about a celebrity at the moment that is getting as nasty as the furore over Brittney Spears. It seems the whole world has become peopled by circus fervid spectators wanting to gaze at that the misfortune and challenges and the wounded and feel pompous it is not all unravelling for them. It disgusts me.
What is “a wound”.
A. a wound is something you know privately to be a fact. It is your wound. It is real. It makes you feel ill. You manage your wound in a discrete private way.
B. a wound is something everyone sees and is regarded with horror, judgement or sympathy. They manage your wound in a public, approving or disapproving way.
But here comes…
C. a wound that is private and unto you, needs your response to it, your guarding it or treating it in private.
D. a wound that is your wound may garner a public impulse to treat your wound. You may want that support or not want it.
E. any treatment whether the private treatment you do for you on your own or the treatment the public gives you can be good treatment, or bad treatment.
F. any treatment may be bad treatment for a variety of reason. The treatment may be wrong for you.The treatment may be wrong at that time. The treatment may be quite alien or from an unfamiliar culture. The treatment may be badly given by ignorant healers. The treatment may be badly given by imposter healers who are malign. There are many reasons why a treatment may be bad treatment.
All of the above become a tossed salad.
All of the above can be overlapped and get conflated. Arguers may hop from one to the other to the other in a jig that makes it difficult to prioritize what really matters.
If you have private wound it is for nobody to be telling you that you do not have it.
They may want to do so to point a finger or prove a point or be “right” like the circus fervid spectators. But what does “being right” have to do with one unique individual’s private wound? If that individual says they do have a private wound who is anyone else to argue to the contrary, who does not inhabit their body or brain?
A sense of “rightness” may come from consensus opinion. A consensus based on thirty other people’s brains on laboratory slides. Those brains are not the individual’s own brain, they are from a consensus of strangers that science uses to prove “rightness”.
Those who oppose science may fall into the trap of using the same sort of consensus opinion to disprove the “rightness” and by doing so hope to be “right” in an opposite way. But this is still begging the question, what about the individual who has a private wound unto themselves that is real and causes real abject misery?
The science consensus seekers care mainly about proving their research “right”.
The opponents who use science research against science consensus in order to establish a different consensus are still overlooking that the circus clown weeping is an individual with a bloody great big wound.
In the celebrity freak show with armchair critics filling the auditorium to see some star’s wound gloated over for a ritual humiliation the gloating is excused under the auspices of everyone being “nice” and just pointing out “the truth”. Whose truth? Whose truth? Whose?
Whose wound is it?
Even heckling is fine so long as being “right” can be won. But emotive determination to be “right” is not compassion for the unique individual with a wound.
A person with a private wound may not want your “right”. That free choice of theirs cannot be “wrong”, for no “free choice” an individual makes can be “wrong”.
Instead of asking…
“why do you think like you do?”
(which carries the assumption the thinking about the wound is the not “right” thinking)
“what do you need?”.
The rush to insist on a “right” way to treat everyone’s wounds comes from a fear of everyone being unique. If we agree we are all unique then other people would have to listen to you as if you are the expert on you and your private wound. Wouldn’t that be a lovely world?
Consensus thinking is a form of mass bullying most of the time. Consensus occurs in science. But consensus occurs in the debunkers of science also. The “prove it prove it prove it” consensus mentality essentially asks you to prove you have no private wound or prove that you do.
The DSM was all about that. But the shredders of the DSM can become similarly hostile to the individual.
The heavenliest DSM possible would be full of pages that describe your private wound in your way of understanding it. It would be a book that says basically only one thing…
“you are free to see the world in your way and nobody else’s way”
But what that would then have to be accepting of is that some individuals actually want to see the private wound they have in a way you may not agree with. They might even like the DSM way of regarding their illness. It is after all “their” illness. Some shamanic people want to regard their private wound as coming from a floating space door with the images of rutting cabybaras on it. So what? Everyone should be free to see what ails them in the best way they choose for them.
Anytime we feel “right” we are saving ourselves by imprisoning someone in mass consensus by preaching at them that they are “wrong, wrong, wrong”.
That is not the way of compassion. Compassion doesn’t know. Compassion just doesn’t know what is “right” for you, until you tell us all.
Alot of articles here are about B. About how society treats everyone’s private wound, as a visual difference that attracts such attention. An external response to the private wound such as coercion, forced treatment, stigma, exclusion, derision. These are wonderfully important subjects and such external responses do cause irritations on top of the wound. They almost become like a second wound, intensifying the anguish of the first one.
But for me they are two separate things. All the articles about mounting campaigns to change the external responses from society are impressive and valid but they have nothing whatsoever to do with my own private wound, which will not heal or stop or leave me just because there is a societal cease of bad treatment. Someone may point in the direction of new paradigms (sounds like new paradises) but most of these are full of what I have already tried a million times before. Psychotherapy is not new. Its decades old. Trauma care is not new either.
My schizophrenia is real. You can hurl all the consensus opinions you like at my private wound. It will not mend it.
I leave you with a youtube link to a interview of Mr Penrose. Please watch all of it.
He said the quiet part out loud. This would be the same Kendler who served on the DSM-5 depressive disorders group and argued in favour of stripping the bereavement exception from major depression. He is part of a proud tradition of psychiatrists (Insel, Lieberman, Hyman) who argue that mental disorders either are or are not valid depending on which argument best suits the circumstance.
Dr. Deacon – I’m very curious to learn more about this tradition. Is there a text that talks about this stance and outlines these folks and what they want to achieve in the field? As a colleague I find myself in a constant position to defend the concepts of antipsychiatry against this kind of wishy-washiness.
Thanks for your reply and interest in this topic. I wrote an article on this topic that contains direct references (with quotes) to psychiatrists speaking out of both sides of their mouths on the biomedical model of “mental illness”: https://jonabram.web.unc.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/2968/2013/09/Deacon_biomedical_model_2013.pdf. Why make your own arguments when you can simply quote points made by prominent psychiatrists who in moments of honesty say the quiet part out loud like Kendler did?
In this MIA post, you can see former APA president Jeffrey Lieberman argue that we shouldn’t be trying to diagnose Trump with a personality disorder because personality disorders aren’t valid anyway (check out my comment): https://www.madinamerica.com/2020/04/muzzled-psychiatry-time-crisis/#comment-171470.
Another excellent resource is this article by Leo and Lacasse: http://www.illawarraanxietyclinic.com.au/uploads/7/6/0/4/7604142/lacasse___leo_tbt.pdf.
Consistent with Leo and Lacasse’s article, the gold medal for duplicity has to go to Ronald Pies. Phil Hickey has rightfully eviscerated his BS many times. Here is a good example: https://www.madinamerica.com/2019/07/chemical-imbalance-theory-dr-pies-returns-again/#comment-158626.
You raise a valuable point though – wouldn’t it be nice to have a central source that catalogs direct quotes from prominent psychiatrists who argue that mental disorders either are or are not valid depending on which argument best suits the circumstance? I’ll think about putting together such a resource.
Dr. Deacon, I’m impressed by your response and am excited to print and read your article when I get a free chance at work tomorrow. I did check out the other issues and I am not surprised at so many people towing this grey line. On one hand, it’s good for antipsychiatry, but on the other hand, their words are meaningless without action. The words sound and feel subversive but in reality they do very little to change active practice. How much evidence has to pile up against the use of PD’s before the DSM admits they are a falsehood for good? And why can’t we just escape the DSM as a diagnostic tool? There has to be a way to maintain credibility as a field and maintain the rights to participate in insurance while also avoiding pathologization..
I’ll be sure to let you know what I think about your article, thanks!
Thanks for your very thoughtful comment. I’m with you – I want to see a change to the way things are done, not just rant in an echo chamber. Have you read James Davies’ fantastic book Sedated? (https://www.amazon.com.au/Sedated-Modern-Capitalism-Created-Mental/dp/1786499843/ref=asc_df_1786499843/?tag=googleshopdsk-22&linkCode=df0&hvadid=463537351125&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=9477832170568240871&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9071204&hvtargid=pla-1245590675720&psc=1). It helped me understand the bigger governmental/economic picture into which the biomedical model fits. There are critical needs in a neoliberal late-capitalist society the biomedical model/”mental health industry” fills that transcend its validity and utility, principally locating problems within individuals instead of social conditions and using psychiatric and psychological “treatment” to get people to be more productive workers rather than fighting for improved social conditions and finding meaning in their lives regardless of the effect on the economy. George Carlin nailed it in 1996: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLuZjpxmsZQ. Sedated opened my eyes to this and helped me understand why the current “mental health system” persists despite the obvious and one-would-normally-assume fatal problems with the DSM, psychiatry, use of psychotropic drugs, etc. His thesis is basically that this paradigm is intended to serve the interests of society’s capitalistic economic and psychological ideology (in the Reagan/Thatcher tradition) and not the best interests of the people in it. I find it compelling. And given the continued dominance of the biomedical paradigm despite all evidence indicating it is toxic, I genuinely question whether any amount of evidence of its invalidity and harmfulness can fundamentally change the situation given the powerful interests it serves. Still, I’m going to try anyway. My best to you.
I think it would good for all to escape the DSM as a diagnostic tool. As I wrote earlier, the zodiac is probably more accurate. The problem is that, at present, most insurance and even Medicare and Medicaid, rely on the DSM for their billing, etc. purposes. If you can find a psychiatrist or counselor who doesn’t use insurance, then you may be relieved of a DSM diagnosis. However, for most, the rates of these “health care providers” may be beyond reach for most people, as they don’t have the benefits of being involved with an insurance provider. Thank you.
The DSM—the entire “psychiatric diagnosis system” is so idiotic, etc. that even the horoscope and zodiac descriptions of personalities, etc. make more sense and carry more logic and they are basically more territory for the more legitimate comic strips. Please remember that the diagnostic categories of the DSM are voted on by the members of the psychiatric body. Of course, even regular diagnosis of “physical” ailments as my father once told me is many times determined by “ruling out what it is not.” And, yes there are certain lab and other instruments that can diagnosis through observations of the particular cells, etc. taken from the patient’s body. Maybe the latter two are more scientific. I am not entirely sure. What we can be sure of is that each one of us as humans can make mistakes and these mistakes can cause damage. But the biggest mistake each of us can make is to acquiesce to the psychiatrist with his or her alleged “diagnosis” that concerns you. How sad to consider oneself a diagnosis and not a child of God. I did and I suffered for it. Maybe I should have just stuck with my zodiac description to describe my weaknesses, but they didn’t match up either. So, why suffer. I will throw away all labels and just be me and I know I’ll be happier and healthier. Thank you.
Reminds me of the saying about something being so stupid only an intellectual would believe it.
I dont want “logic”.
I want love.
If it is real love it will let me love “my” self in the way I want to love “my” self.
If my preferred way of loving “me” puts no bruise on another person them my way of loving “me” is utterly harmless as a choice. My free choice.
For me “my” way of regarding my distress means I am authentically schizophrenic and my diagnosis is the correct one. Curious questions about the “cause” are fine. Curious questions about “bad treatment” are fine. Arguements about “my” diagnosis are discrimination of my basic human right to love “my” self in the way I deem works for me. It is “my” way of loving me. It has nothing whatsoever to do with anyone else. My human rights don’t stop where someone else’s fear starts.
When people deride the harmlessly peacefully kindly different they are mimicking the eugenics attitude found in the rot in early psychiatry.
Removed for moderation.
Gary Greenberg said it best: the DSM is a map without a territory
That’s a great description! A map of nowhere, with all kinds of directions to get from no-place to nowhere else.
Wait…does this mean that the esteemed psychiatrist who told me, “You have borderline personality disorder. That’s why the ECT didn’t work?” was actually maybe not basing anything he said or did on science, or, reality? I wish I knew all of this 40 years ago. Knowing it now is just feeling another twist of the knife. I need to hide alone in my apartment for the rest of my life because it turns out, no one believes me and no one cares.
You got it. He was blowing smoke out his ass. I’m sorry you didn’t get the right information before you encountered him. But thanks for taking up the sword for making it better!
I believe you and I care.
Most people aren’t evil, just anxious and ill-informed.
“You have borderline personality disorder. That’s why the ECT didn’t work?”
That’s like saying: It’s raining, because the glorbs didn’t zworble.
Actually, what you say describes the strange logic of psychiatrists, etc. They like to claim that how you respond to certain drugs determines diagnosis. I confess that I bought that outlandish, extremely unscientific idea for awhile. Then, when it occurred to me that they were always changing my drugs and that I wasn’t responding to the drugs as they wished and almost all my alleged diagnoses were either “unspecified (NOS)” or “atypical.” I began to get suspicious. The problem was that it didn’t really sink in until I was off the drugs completely that, of course, I wouldn’t respond to any of the drugs as they wished I would. Why? Because I was never sick at all. In fact most of my alleged symptoms were caused by these drugs. But, the psychiatrists, etc. of course would not want to admit the truth and be unemployed. They mostly just took jobs in other states. Thank you.
Rebel, I had a very similar experience. It went on for decades. To realize so clearly, after a lifetime of looking to these people as “experts” — and every time I questioned them or their decisions I would get pathologized even more and everyone around me bought into it so it was impossible to escape, and then see an article like this one, where this guy Kendler admits they’ve been making it all up all this time and yet still talks about “we must commit to the reality of mental illness”… To realize that these are the people who have been calling the shots the whole time. I should have trusted my gut. In DBT they told us to trust our gut, our “wise mind”, our intuition but every time I did they told me I was wrong. They made me put a line on my diary card under problem behaviors for “arguing with treatment providers”. I had to write down what my urge to argue was every day on a scale of 1 to 10 and I had to put a star beside it if I had actually argued with any of their b*******.
Once I got the borderline diagnosis then I got pushed into DBT. A new group of people who pretended to play good cop and act it all compassionate and like they had all the answers. They were just as bad as the psychiatrists it turned out. They lied to me and shamed me. They make a big deal about their evidence-based protocols and their gold standard blah blah and they don’t follow any of it and then blame the patient. They sent me to one fully certified DBT therapist who didn’t think she needed to follow DBT protocol about being on a consultation team. When I brought it up one day she told me that she wouldn’t need consultation if it wasn’t for me. She was verbally abusive and gaslighting and she worked with a psychiatrist to push me into another inpatient stay for what they called an ECT consultation after I explained to them that I’d already had ECT and it had disabled me and the doctor had told me it didn’t work because I was borderline. But they made me go anyway and it was only by luck that I didn’t have multiple additional ECT treatments on top of all the other damage they had already done. DBT treatment is just as damaging and traumatic as psychiatric treatment. It is all based on lies and the treatment providers have a constant scapegoat in the patient. They have all the power and they are all corrupt. Marsha linehan who invented DBT makes a big deal about adherence to protocol and evidence-based treatment but if a patient tries to report a DBT therapist for breaking protocol, none of them care. No one will listen. They just laugh it off. They already made their money because they get paid by the therapist who want the certification, they get paid for other stupid little workbooks that they publish. Marcia linehan is a millionaire I’m sure of it. I don’t think she cares about patients at all. The whole thing is corrupt and evil and it destroyed my life.
Thank you. At least I know I can always find validation here. I guess it’s the kind of thing where if someone hasn’t experienced it, they can’t comprehend it. I try to believe that people are just ill-informed, but that gets hard because I have spent the past several years putting so much energy into explaining to people and educating people about what’s really going on in the system with the drugs and the diagnosis etc. And I have found out firsthand that most people just don’t want to know. Sometimes they just pathologize me even more, tell me I’m being paranoid etc.
It seems like there are a lot of families that find benefit in scapegoating one member and when the mental health system is also pointing to that person and saying that there’s something wrong with them, if the family benefits from that it’s almost impossible to fight back. When you’ve been drugged and abused as many patients have, fighting two powerful systems at once is impossible. I’m starting to think that’s how they really get a lot of people…the people who get bounced between abusive systems and abusive families. The system gives the family ammunition by saying oh look this person is mentally ill and it’s not the family’s fault. The family gives the system ammunition by ceding control and pushing them into more and more abusive treatment.
Thank you for caring and for believing me. If not for this website I would literally not be able to find that validation anywhere.
I’ve been quite selective about whom I disclose to. Answers typically fall into two categories: “you should see a psychologist about that” or “that sounds like a horror movie”. I cut anyone from the first group out of my life immediately. They do not get the trauma.
I have slowly learned that over time also. It’s lonely, but still preferable to having those conversations with people who, as you say, don’t get it.
Thanks, Steve. I guess I’ve known the truth for a while now. It just sucks that knowing hasn’t done me any good. In fact knowing has probably created more problems and then I go around trying to convince people and lost whatever human contact I had before, when I was still playing the scapegoat, the untreatably mentally ill, the one who had all the help but just couldn’t get it right. I guess I should be glad to know the truth about people who cut me out of their life when I stopped playing that role for them. The loss is enormous. I was a single mother. I went for treatment, and kept getting more and more treatment, because I thought if I got help I would be a better parent. The opposite happened. My adult son cut me out of his life many years ago. Meanwhile these “drs” go on with their oblivious lives and spew garbage with their theories and opinions. They make good money ruining lives. Most of them probably have families and are considered good upstanding people. Meanwhile I’m looked at and treated like an old loser failure addict crazy person. It’s a lot to take. And I don’t see anything changing. Mainstream media complains that there are not enough psychiatrists, that not enough people are getting the mental health treatment they need. They finally caught on and started reporting about big pharma and its role in the opiate epidemic but still have blinders on about the psych drugs, psychiatry etc. I read someone else say they were angry at themselves for trusting doctors and treatment providers. I’m mad at myself too. I just kept going back over and over again for a decades. It didn’t help that everyone around me was pushing me in that direction. I found an old email from a so-called friend who was telling me to go back and admit myself again to the psych ward but this time I need to make them see the depressed part of me and not the borderline part (in other words it was my job to say the magic words so that they wouldn’t abuse me again at the hospital). And now I know that during that time I was suffering from academia but of course back then I had never heard of it. It was all “you must not be taking your medication as directed and you must not be using your coping skills and listening to your treatment providers”.. Sorry for the rant.
No problem. You have been deeply traumatized by people you should have been able to trust, and it sounds like the destruction was massive in your case! I admire you for pressing on despite it all. That takes a lot of courage!
Thank you, Steve.
Of course, that is supposed to read, “I was suffering from akathisia”, not academia.
Perhaps the biggest lie by Kendler is “Given the youth of our science and the complexity of our disorders, it is very unlikely that we now possess definitive theories of their etiology.”
Psychiatry and real medicine all became scientific at the same time in 1848 or so with Virchow’s development of cellular biology. Before that we had only non-science based humoral imbalance explanations of all illness, essentially a worthless but impacting theory for some hundreds of years. Yet we have cogent explanations of the etiology of most medical disease processes (cancer, tuberculosis, diabetes and dozens more) yet non for mental illness. It’s not surprising since it is a metaphoric illness as my dear departed friend Tom Szasz so cogently analized some 60 plus years ago. All of Kendler’s arguments are just continued propaganda to justify psychiatry a failed scientific enterprise.
Yes, that line really made my blood boil. I’ve heard people parrot that notion… that psychiatry can’t be held accountable because it’s so young!!! “Give us time, we are still learning.” Oh but they didn’t say that to the patients they diagnosed and told that they would need to take toxic drugs for the rest of their lives. The psychiatrists have supreme confidence when they tell their patients how pathological they are and how severe their mental illness is and how they’re so mentally ill that they don’t even realize how much they need the “medication.”
But oh you’re still learning so we can’t hold you accountable for all the harm?
I remember the media blast in the ’90s when Prozac and the atypical antipsychotics came out. Blasting on the covers of the weekly national news magazines that they had cured mental illness! They discovered that its all down to a chemical imbalance and as long as people take these safe and effective new drugs, these miracle drugs, as directed by their doctors, all will be golden. And now when all the people who were victimized by that lie (and the other lies up to present day) are still suffering, the psychiatrists complain that they are just now learning. Boo Hoo.
Yeah, why don’t they tell you they’re “still learning” when they’re pretending they know you have a “lifetime biological brain disease” and that you have to take the drugs for the rest of your life and there is nothing you can do about it? Might be helpful to know that they might have no idea what they’re talking about!
They may be “still learning” or may actually only think they are “still learning.” But on this subject, I have learned the very hard way. And, that is if you value your life and your money and your soul, etc. stay away from psychiatry, etc. and their little minion buddies. There are many things, etc. that are evil or the embodiment of evil, unfortunately, in this world, but in my opinion, psychiatry is the absolute definite embodiment of evil. Thank you.
They admit they are “still learning” when talking to each other in scientific publications that are read only by other experts. But they lie and say they “know” that mental illness are real brain illnesses caused by a chemical imbalance when talking to the public. Robert Whitaker and Lisa Cosgrove identified the core issue here in Psychiatry Under the Influence – what do we do with a trusted societal institution that is demonstrably incapable of being honest with society?
It’s hard, sometimes, not to hate society for buying into it. The overwhelming majority of people who I’ve tried to educate about the reality of psychiatry (often by sending MIA articles and explaining things til I’m out of breath) seem to have a knee-jerk reaction to deny what I’m saying, what people on this website are saying). If they knew what it was costing society – both the direct monetary cost and the harder-to-see cost of wasted potential – would it make a difference?
I still get shocked reactions from people when they learn that although I’m on disability for psychiatric reasons, I don’t see a psychiatrist or take “medication”. So, I keep to myself now. The best way to protect myself is to not put myself in situations where I’m being questioned.
It’s like, c’mon, people. Wake up. I guess they like the idea that there’s a field/profession that “deals with” people who make them uncomfortable. I don’t even consider myself a liberal anymore, because I think liberals are the worst in terms of giving Psychiatry a pass. The New York Times, the New Yorker, all the lovely work leftist people are A okay with the constant lies and abuse. I guess unless/until it happens to someone they care about.
We don’t have cogent explanations for how aspects of dna and cell division work, nor how vast lumps of the brain work, nor how consciousness works.
Since we do not know those essentials there is kind of no such thing as “the” biomedical model to triumphantly piss all over. It does not exist in full comprehensive finished form yet, if ever, only but in the fantasy of the little emporer of the human ego. So given that the pristine all-knowingness of the biomedical model never was more than jolly supposition in the first place, calling the DSM hogwash is like an adult saying the tooth fairy is a trick.
ALL forms of human certainty are assumption.
You could even wheel out death itself as proof of the certainty of mortality and someone else can pipe up with a perfectly credible and string theory certainty in God or heaven or the hereafter or immortal atomic expanded consciousness.
So I am a bit tired of the DSM hockey match. Is it real? Is it not real?
All the while an opportunity is missed to actually construct something healing and restful and harmoniously beautful for EVERYONE.
But doing that requires shifting from a defensive battle over certainty to an acceptance of this…
Only your feelings can be your certainty.
It strikes me as hubristic to put all one’s “certainty” eggs in the “science got it right basket”.
What trauma focused care is needing is to keep awareness of the notion that “certainty” about anything or anyone is as absurd as the “certainty” that goes hand in glove with certitude promoted by boffins in science.
The only person who should be certain is yourself.
I sometimes want to tell people who I know in my circles…
Can you not see? If you are certain of yourself and your feelings you will feel so confident of your certainty that no anger will arise in you if you spot someone different who has a uniquely different certainty.
Anger comes from fear. Fear of loss.
That fear may be a fear of loss of security in your way of understanding yourself. But if your way of understanding yourself feels to you so easy to threaten or wobble and undermine, then you should wonder “why?”
Why are you letting other peoples choice of certainty, such as a certainty of perhaps a religious sort, or a scientific sort, or a herbalist sort, have any worry to you all. If you have a worry it is because “you” think the other person’s certainty “has something” meaningful to say to “you”. Probably it does not, but “you” continue to let it loom large that way. Even if it is irrelevant to you.
Other peoples certainty should be trivial and laughable to you. It is not your feeling of certainty. So why bother about it?
When you find your own certainty you feel brilliant and cheerful and happy. Not angry and fearful of loss of your certainty just because someone has a different certainty, maybe a scientific certainty, or a spiritual certainty, or a zen certainty, or a Native American Indian certainty.
What causes ALL forms of lovelessness and war is human pontificating “certainty”.
“calling the DSM hogwash is like an adult saying the tooth fairy is a trick.”
Belief in the tooth fairy doesn’t harm anyone, whereas belief in the legitimacy of the DSM abets the destruction of lives through labeling and all the harm that follows.
(Removed at request of poster)
I was really just giving my feedback to the article writer.
But I will take a moment just this one time to reply to your concen since I believe you may not have gotten the gist of my actual phrase. No need to respond. In fact I rather you drop the matter after I clarify your doubt.
My phrase was suggesting that in any person it is a sign of gullibility to take the DSM so very seriously if they do not want to, or take it seriously enough that it could feasibly consumes a persons waking thoughts.
A book is a book. It is not the person who uses the book. To imbue the daft book with the supernatural power to sway minds is superstitious phobia, as one might get for any object, like a spider or a cat.
To give a book that level of mystical credence is what the bullies who use the excuse of the apparent hypnotic power of the book to bully actually “want you to do”.
A book is not the inquisition that a people use a book to justify. A book is a stack of pages. If this were not the case and a book could be an inquisition then it does not explain why there are still Christain Bibles, for instance.
Similarly an erotic magazine is not the same thing as a rapist. If a rapist had the excuse of an inanimate object such as a smutty magazine to blame then there would be no rapists in prison.
Similarly a culture does not cause someone to be a criminal. If that were so, then corrupt bankers could blame their culture for their capitalist greed
The reason for wanting to lambast the favourite items that pertain to cruel people is it allows the therapeutic fervour of the backlash to extent to absolutely any innocent person who has come in to contact with the contaminating articles of those cruel persons. But doing that then makes one equal to them. And if they are cruel then that is probably not a good idea.
If society wants cruel people to be held accountable or responsible for traumatizing others then the responsibility should rest with the individual and not their choice of books or magazines.
I have always found banned books comparatively exciting. Historically they usually have a grain of truth in them, such as Nineteen Eighty Four, Alice In Wonderland, Tropic of Cancer, Brave New World, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
I do not doubt this last example was shared by the banning of other associated items.
It is always great to ban bullying. You do not need to go after a bully’s shoes and clothes and spectacles and books and tea set to haul them off to court. And not everyone who finds their books in a charity store is a bully.
I stand by what I said and I would prefer people don’t attempt to silence me on this website as I have been silenced literally everywhere else in my life.
Agree KateL, don’t let anyone silence you again. I know you are devastated by the harm the “DSM hogwash” and psychiatry has done to you and you must continue speaking your mind and feelings. The MIA site has been so helpful for the many who have been harmed. Those in favor of psych ‘diagnoses’ or who feel psych diagnoses helped them should find a pro-diagnosis website rather than cause more distress for those who are not in a good place and come to MIA for validation and to have a voice. Take good care and keep speaking your mind. ♥
Posting as moderator:
To be clear, we welcome those who feel psychiatric diagnoses are “helpful” to them – all are always welcome to post at MIA as long as they follow the Guidelines. We welcome all viewpoints. However, it is important that such posters respect the fact that they will encounter alternative viewpoints here, and to own their own viewpoint as theirs and not try to force is on others or to invalidate others’ attempts to communicate their own views. We are all free to disagree, but with respect. I am getting the feeling that some folks are feeling their views are not being respected. Which is ALSO a free topic of conversation, as long as we make sure it’s not getting to personal attacks on people for disagreeing.
I, too, stand by what Katel said and her reply, also. It is unfortunate when we attempt to silence those who tell the truth about anything; in this case, the DSM. Katel is right. The tooth fairy harms no one; maybe a small amount of money under one’s pillow when you lose your baby teeth. It’s actually a sweet tradition like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. But the DSM is unlike the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny. The DSM is dangerous and in the wrong hands; which is almost every psychiatrist, etc. it can not harm someone, but even kill someone. The DSM may very well be one of the most dangerous books on the planet ever published. But, I don’t believe in censorship. The DSM needs to remain available to read so that we can see in print the harm humans can do to other humans and then seek to find ways to no repeat these crimes in the future. Thank you.
So it is less the existence of these labels than the way they are USED. The DSM was originally used only as an insurance billing document, and no one took the categories as anything but vague categories used for general communication. They evolved into these pseudo-scientific labels which doctors and others can use to avoid looking at causes and to justify the use of drugs. I have never objected to an INDIVIDUAL choosing to identify with a particular diagnostic DECRIPTION. When it become untenable is when scientists pretend that “depression” is a unitary category with a unitary cause which should be “treated” by a unitary “treatment plan.” Such a viewpoint simply invites and justifies ignoring the complex causes and influences on something so universally present and natural as anxiety or depression, and the blaming of the patient as well as using drugs as a first-line intervention. None of this can happen if the DSM doesn’t serve as a means for doctors to justify condescending to their patients and subtly or not so subtly blaming them for feeling “too depressed” or “too anxious” instead of looking at what has happened in their lives (including known physical problems) that might explain one or another particular instance of “depression.”
So I have no hostility or disrespect for someone who calls himself/herself “ill” or “depressed” or “schizophrenic” or “autistic” if those labels work for someone. I do have a big problem with a doctor or other authority figure telling someone ELSE that they “have depression” or “have schizophrenia” as a means of labeling and downgrading the client’s experience without any actual scientific basis for their claims. It is very different to say that no one has the behavior labeled “ADHD” (which is NOT true) and to say that “ADHD” is not a valid scientific entity for a doctor or anyone else to assign to a person who presents to them, particularly over the client’s objection.
That was my point Steve. Respect should go both ways. What is the reason behind antagonizing and invalidating someone who is struggling and then telling them they should not respond.
I am not inclined to believe that the current psychiatric takeover of society is completely an issue of capitalism gone amok or even that it rests in the Reagan/Thatcher era/philosophies, etc. Yes, the most prominent psych drug, i. e. prozac arrived at the end of that political era. And, at that time, it is as if we almost entered the “prozac” era. Most probably it is a confluence of unfortunate events that occurred almost under our radar or it could be said, while we were sleeping. It all sounded too good—too good to be true. There was already an audience for this out there—raised on tv, soft drinks, fast food, and junk food. It was a joke that we were all junk food junkies. But, what sealed the fate of these drugs was when Big Pharma began to buy out our mass media and news sources. Additionally, there were being touted in schools to children whose brains are still developing and used in nursing homes just to quiet those who might be at the end of their lives. It has just become easy to pop a pill to deal with whatever is bugging us. This is not a problem of capitalism. It is a problem of increasing urbanization burdened with encroaching socialism. Think of the famous books, “1984” and “Brave New World.” This is evil exemplified and trying to get a greater toehold in an increasingly fragile, vulnerable society. There is a way out, in my humble opinion. We need to restore what may be called traditional values. We need to stop playing God or wanting to be God. We need to consider where our treasures lie and it does not lie in drugs or in psychiatry, etc. Thank you.
Dear Peter Simmons,
The DSM comes out of two things. The historical setting from where it arose and the human error in fixating on being “right”.
In the past, a person with anorexia or psychosis might have felt very afraid of their illness. An illness is where the person themselves volunteers that they do FEEL ill. No one externally tells them at that point in their bathroom that they are ill. It is not at that point “a judgement”. It is a persons own troubling maybe even life destroying FEELING. In the past that person had NO ONE to turn to for advise. There were NO therapists. There were NO counsellors. Priests were deemed to be bullying at that time so there was no comfort from the established church. A church losing credibility after the war. You could not get help from your stigmatizing family and friends. Work would sack you. Your spouse would throw you out in the street. So where could you go. Ahaaa! The family doctor, bound by priestly confidentiality. But that pillar of the village did not know what to do. He will have wanted to stop you throwing in the towel by REASSURANCE that your madness was not an isolated oddity but had a rational explanation. He will have told you he had heard of other people just like you with anorexia or psychosis. This will have comforted your panic and you may have felt curious to unite with those fellow sufferers. The doctor tells you a psychiatrist can REASSURE you more. So you visit one and get told you are showing signs of an illness similar to three other people. Now you band together to FEEL NO SHAME in just all FEELING ill.
The psychiatrist writes a DSM book. It explains that other people should be unafraid of FEELING ill.
Society tries to absorb that message that it should cease stigmatizing those who just FEEL ill.
Soon the field of therapy percolates into society and ALSO tries to tell society it should not chuck out its spouses or orphan its odd children or sack its workers for having a personal FEELING of illness. Both psychiatry and therapy attempt to NORMALIZE what society is still determined to stigmatize. Until everyone, from neighbours to store keepers to school teachers, are OPEN about FEELINGS.
But still society nurses its need to stigmatize in a new way. It starts to denigrate some FEELINGS as not normal. Such FEELINGS get deemed the new sign of madness by society. Soon there comes a compulsion to “fix” the FEELINGS that are JUDGED by judgey society to be “wrong”. Such as homosexual feelings or post natal depression feelings or any other feeling that does not make you meet and greet customers with a winning workaholic smile.
Big Pharma drives in to the village to set up its merch stall of quick “feelings fixes”. By now what were once private FEELINGS that may have had some feeling ill feelings amongst them, ones you dared not be OPEN about, are now EVERYONEs BUSINESS. As if feelings are a new route to “sin” and thus a stain on society. Feelings now need managed in the same way dirty little sinful thoughts used to be. Your feelings must now show they are feelings baptised by being dipped in the all-knowing font of therapy, as well as being drug “fixed”. Psychiatry lumbered along in poking into the notion of PROBLEMATIC FEELINGS and at society’s push, got to work externally JUDGING your interior private feelings of feeling ill. Soon it was of no importance that you say you are FEELING ill but that you be judged from the outside as fit or not fit for resuming work in society.
This is where the old DSM that once was used to REASSURE you that you were not suffering alone and ought to feel no added shame about feeling ill, then became a method of REASSURING society that everything was being done to “fix” you. Soon you would be given the “right” medicine, courtesy of Big Pharma, to make your “wrong” feelings go away.
But then it has became apparent that the medicine is slowly making people feel ill in a while new way. For years people stood in their bathroom FEELING ill in that way, the iatrogenic way. No problem! Psychiatry and therapy both could assist society by REASSURING society that your iatrogenic illness was all yours and it all came from your deep seated bathroom ill FEELINGS. More drugs got made. Drugs to find the precise mechanism of your private ill FEELINGS that had become such a huge drain on society.
Then everyone on such drugs compared notes. Something possible now that therapy had given everyone a not stigmatizing language to discuss FEELINGS OPENLY. Suddenly everyone spoke of their iatrogenic illness. They all went to Big Pharma to ask why they had invented shitty drugs. Big Pharma pointed at psychiatry and the old DSM book. A book that was once just a way of helping people feel less alone in FEELING sick of anorexia illness or sick of nightmare psychosis hallucinations.
There is another book that once made people feel less alone. The Christain Bible. But soon it too became used by stigmatizing society to bully those who did not meet what had become a full compliment of “sinnless” critera.
Since every lonesome bathroom figure reaches out to see if they are utterly alone in FEELING ill, a reacching out that will NEVER END, this makes an inexorable path to clumping together with similar sufferers, who all become a REASSURING category. One that can huddle against societal stigma as a proud group. But since society WILL ALWAYS want to define itself by stigmatizing outsiders, society will ALWAYS take such categories, and damn them. This means that even if you toss old books away, unless you look into WHY society stigmatizes and scapegoats heretics, you wont stop your new categories, “trauma informed ones” from also rapidly becoming called a “them” for being bathroom people merely FEELING ill.
A heretic is a mirror. You cannot see how unbalanced you are until you look into the eyes of a heretic.
Which is why society cannot face them.
Or listen to the heretic. Which is why the heretic gets JUDGED and why the heretic gets locks up, or given their marching orders, or these days, exiled to another part of the internet.
I respectfully want to say that I have no power nor interest in silencing anyone. In the declaration of human rights it clearly states that NOBODY should be prevented from
HAVING AN OPINION.
I guess that could even include an opinon put forth by a psychiatrist about struggling with impossible case loads of dementia sufferers and alcoholic persons and mothers who batter their babies. I heard a rumour of one psychiatrist recently had to tell all his thousands of patients he cannot see them because three of his colleagues have abandonned ship.
Psychiatry is amongst the top professions to have their employees commit suicide. Many of them are prevented from even having an opinion, far less sharing that opinion. Maybe their suicide is not the same suicide as the rest in society or maybe their weeping is just crocodile tears.
I have never met a psychiatrist with a DSM on their desk. Ive had about twenty psychiatrists.
All of them were nice to me.
But back to the subject of silencing. As a mad schizophrenic person I am ill enough to not fuss minutely over my spelling and grammar. I do have the human right to silence a conversation I am not interested in being part of. That silencing is done by my expressing a wish to move away from further discussion on the matter. I am fully free to clarify my original point then drop any conversational matter that I find tangential to my former comment. In my wider life I would encourage people to realise that they can silence, by walking away from, any unnecessary bickering that they find irrelevant. In these harsh judgemental times it has become increasingly important to be clear that a person does not “have to” listen to the opinion of another person. All “have to” statements are a sign of coercion according to the declaration of human rights. What this can mean is that if someone foists their opinion on you, be they a psychiatrist or a therapist or lay person, by that person insisting you “have to” listen to them because they do not like feeling silenced by your preference to drop the matter, that psychiatrist or therapist or layperson is harassing you into making you believe you “have to” absorb what “they” believe. Therein lies the foundation of “conversion therapy”.
It is perfectly legitimate to not listen to any health care provider or counsellor or layperson or stranger that you do not gel with or have a rapport with. Each human being, according to the declaration of human rights, is definitely not on this planet to “have to” love anyone they do not want to. Equally no person is meant to muffle the opinions of others, not even if the opinion of another is that the other no longer feels inclined to want to continue listening to or discussing the matter but really just wants to escape.
I will close my part in any further discussion of this interesting arguement by reminding people that most commenters are daily dealing with feeling ill and so may not be linguistic marvels.
My illness of schizophrenia is one that most people appreciate confuses vocalizations profoundly. And in my opinion if as a mad person I cannot tell someone arguementative to stop bickering at me then my madness is not being accepted. And there is a word or two about the legal definition of illness and disability, especially around the negating and discrimination routinely spat out to the disabled. It is all in the declaration of human rights. Iatrogentic disability is set to become an enormous topic. It is good to relax into recognizing that the iatrogenically damaged, so deeply neurologically altered, are perfectly free to tell others to drop conversations that they find no interest in also. As with the schizophrenia sufferer, one wouldnt want to silence the iatrogenically messed up in their need to drop the matter in moving away from conversations, rows of no interest to them. So one would not want to silence their abrupt need for peace and quiet either.
I should add here that it is a waste of time replying to my comments now as this is my finale comment. I wish everyone at MIA the best of luck and I hope everyone knows that the challenging future, which eventually will turn out good, will welcome you all with open arms, to the lives you feel you should be enjoying.
I depart from the chatty smoky parlour and step out alone onto the cool, moonlit lawn.
Thank you, Rebel and Rosalee. And yes, I agree with you Rebel that I don’t think the DSM should be censored or destroyed. It should continue to exist as a record. It is my hope that if civilization is still around 100 years from now, people will look at the DSM and think how far civilization has come that they don’t subscribe to these labels any longer.
As someone who was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder at a particularly weak and vulnerable point in my life, following 6 years of psychiatric drugging and ECT, I don’t believe that this diagnosis or perhaps any psychiatric diagnosis found in the DSM was intended to help. I wasn’t told what it meant that I had this thing called borderline personality disorder which I had never heard of before. I went and looked it up online and read about Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. I read about how borderlines are scary, dangerous, manipulative, but often “hot” and good in bed, that they’ll ruin your life. That they can be superficially charming but it’s part of their manipulative nature. I read that it is considered untreatable, something wrong with the person rather than something the person is suffering from. If someone had been trying to drain or suck all the hope out of me in an instant, diagnosing me with borderline would have been a pretty effective way to do it. I read that borderlines are often stalkers and that they utilize psychiatric services including inpatient services more so than any other diagnosis and yet they never get well. I read that they are the most unruly, challenging, innervating patients on the ward and that they do something called splitting, which means they drive the staff crazy and make this staff argue with each other and the staff all hate them. I read that they are famous for dropping out of treatment and that they think everyone else is the problem when in fact they are the problem. I read that they are liars. That they are the most non-compliant patients. At some point, I learned that there are actually four subtypes of borderline. However I was never told which one I was:. Discouraged? Petulant? Impulsive? And a fourth that I can’t remember but that is equally denigrating. I read that really not a lot is understood about borderlines except that they are bad and that treatment providers would do well to avoid them at all costs. I read that the word borderline refers to the borderline between neurosis and psychosis, whatever that means. I read that there is no medication to treat borderline, and the best route for psychiatrists is to prescribe drugs to treat the symptoms which is how I wound up on a ridiculous amount of drugs for the 15 years that I accepted the diagnosis. I have been turned away mocked humiliated laughed at so many times in treatment settings. And yes I was non-compliant and I did have a lot of anger which seemed inappropriate to everyone but me considering the way I was being treated.
Right now there is a YouTube video up by someone named Dr Grande in which he discusses the difference between borderline personality and complex PTSD. Since none of this is scientific and it is basically all made up, what it comes down to is borderlines are bad and unworthy of compassion and people with complex PTSD are good and hurt and worthy of compassion. I didn’t watch the video but I already know that’s the gist of it. What else could it be? Is he going to show us the lab tests that differentiate between borderline and cptsd? The MRIS? The CAT scans? Is he going to go back in time and observe the childhood experiences of different people and then dub them borderline or sufferers of complex PTSD?
The diagnosis did so much damage to me and to my life. When I called my mother to tell her that the psychiatrist explained to me that I had borderline and that’s why the ECT didn’t work, she had never heard of it either so she said she was going to go online and read about it. She called me back a half hour later and told me that she couldn’t have me in her life any longer.
My final attempt to get help from psychiatry was when I made an appointment with someone who referred to himself as a holistic psychiatrist. He had his assistant call me the day before the appointment to cancel it, stating “he’s not taking any more borderline”.
I will always have a problem with the DSM.
Also if they were going to diagnose me with anything it should have been done when I was a teenager and begging for help and was denied help at every turn because they decided that I was just a spoiled brat looking for attention. It wasn’t till 10 years later when I was a single parent working full time and had my own health insurance that suddenly I was “severely mentally ill.” They have set everything up so that they’re right no matter how horribly they treat a person.
I think this is a sign for me to get off this website for a while anyway. All I’m doing is torturing myself reading article after article after article confirming what I suspected for decades but every time I voiced it people told me I was paranoid stupid crazy etc. The psychiatrists and other so-called helping people had no idea what they were talking about. It was all made up. It was all made to shame me and poison me with drugs that weren’t safe or effective drugs I never needed and that were forced on me like everything else was forced on me. It’s great to know the truth and hear a psychiatrist say oh yeah we made up the DSM haha. It’s pretty funny. But there’s no sense reminding myself over and over again on a daily basis about what destroyed my life behind any hope of repair.
What you observed for decades is absolutely correct. None of this was truly intended to help, except for those low-level people who think that forcing people to do things they don’t want to “for their own good” is some form of “help.” I can see how reading this stuff can bring back the pain, but don’t ever believe anyone who says that your observations were “wrong.” Honestly, I think the first step to healing from crap happening to us is learning to trust that we were RIGHT when we knew we were being fed a line of crap!
Thanks, Steve. I wish I hadn’t passed on the damage that was being done to me, but I can’t go back and change it.
How did you pass it on? It always feels bad if we can’t stop others from getting similarly hurt.
I passed it on to my son, who cut me out of his life (he had every reason to). Yeah the mental health system guarantees that the trauma will increase exponentially from one generation to the next. I got no help for 20 years and then I found out I had borderline when my son was a teenager, or so they said, and then I found a book in a bookstore about how the child of a borderline parent is the most tragic thing. They just took everything that was already completely horrible and made in a million times worse. And even when they try to act like they want to change things they’ll post an article like oh well you might have cptsd if you had a borderline parent. Like okay just euthanize me it’s all lost. When I was young enough for help to make a difference I got no help and got told I was a spoiled brat looking for attention (even by their rules this was bs. I had two older siblings who had already had multiple hospitalizations each for what they diagnosed as severe mental illness). Yeah an intensely chronically suicidal teenager is just looking for attention. And then 20 years later when my son is a teenager they do ECT on me for what they say is treatment resistant depression because I haven’t responded to years and years of drugging and then they tell me I’m borderline. It’s all a disaster. My family is all dead or estranged. No one in the family speaks to anyone else. It’s all lost.
It’s high time, what with the UN talking about mental health treatment constituting torture, for some truth and reconciliation, for reparations to the people who were harmed…not only patients but families of patients, children of patients. Every study showing the reality of psychiatric drugs, every tragic personal narrative, every half-admission by a psychiatrist or apologist for the mental health system adds to the weight of what patients have been saying for decades, that these systems are harmful and patients have no power to defend themselves against the harm. The answer to the question, what is going to be done in response to this mountain of evidence, seems to be, nothing. It’s great that these studies and stories have all come out because it serves as a warning to people before they get involved with this profession of what could happen to them. So, if they retain their power of choice they can stay away. But for the people where the harm has already been done there is not much for them beyond screaming into a void. To this day there is almost no doctor who knows about akathesia let alone will believe a patient or have any idea how to treat it or any of the other harms. To this day people who have been patients, who have been committed or institutionalized in the past, know that their first and probably only priority is to protect themselves from it ever happening again which means they can’t trust people. They can’t be honest about what they are going through. It doesn’t seem like anything will change as long as Pfizer and friends are underwriting all the news.
That’s how brilliant these doctors are, they could be 100% certain that my brother had schizophrenia and would need to be drugged with antipsychotics for the remainder of his life which is why he escaped to Puerto Rico and I never saw him again and they could be equally certain that I was just a spoiled brat (a suicidal wreck all through my teens) without knowing anything. And all their little interventions like accusing my mother of being an icebox mother only because it was in vogue at the time, not that they were going to actually do anything about it or the children still living in the house beyond sit the three of us down in an office at Yale psych ward and grill us about what our home life was like, terrifying us. Every time they get involved they make it worse.
Now my life is reduced to getting through every day completely alone plagued by horrible memories, guilt shame, anger, and regret, and dread about what horrible thing will happen next. That’s all my life is. Horrible things. If I dare call a help line to hear a human voice I get bombarded with questions about have I seen a psychiatrist and why am I not on any medication?
But yes psychiatrists are lovely people and their DSM book is perfectly innocent and any objection to it is childish…and actually probably proof of a mental disorder. Is there a diagnosis in the DSM for people who don’t believe in the DSM? I guess that would be anosognosia. It’s all perfectly innocent and meant to help. Just ask NAMI.
What you’ve been through is beyond outrageous. And finding out how much you’ve been deceived is an awful shock that no one should go through. And then the task of having to make sense of it all can seem almost impossible. But you’re a very strong person to have come this far.
Processing trauma and grief can take a long time, but it is possible. And telling your story here has value in ways you may never know.
Thank you, Birdsong!
You’re most welcome, KateL
No one should have to “state their case” in order to be treated with respect –
Kenneth Kendler says, “Instead of thinking that our disorders are true because they correspond to clear entities in the world, we should consider a coherence theory of truth by which disorders become more true when they fit better into what else we know about the world”.
A “coherence theory of truth”?
WTF is THAT supposed to mean???
“…by which disorders become more true when they fit better into what else we know about the world”.
Yes, confirmation bias is your best friend, especially when looking at the world through an already biased lens.
In other words, the good Chef Ken’s gonna keep dishing out WORD SALAD while wishing on a star –
Hey there, Ken-Ken!
If you’re not too busy making more mud pies, would you mind telling the world just what you mean by “clear entities”?
Or maybe that just means whatever you want it to, right?
And as for a “coherence theory of truth” – you mean if you believe it’s so, it will be so. Now isn’t that wishing on a star, or maybe you prefer blowing dandelions –
Hey there, Ken –
I see you’ve made progress by using the word “implausible”. Good job. And I’m surprised you go so far as to say, “Despite years of research, we cannot explain or directly observe the pathophysiologies of major mental illness disorders that we could use to define essential features”.
Wow. You don’t say.
So tell me, Ken – when are you gonna get real and just say, “We’re flat out wrong and don’t know what the hell we’re doing”???
And in case you hadn’t thought, do you know what the future holds for you and your esteemed colleagues?
You’ll go the way of the phrenologists, my friend, and goodness knows, your ego won’t like THAT –
So if we know they are not even “approximately true,” why would anyone of a scientific bent even bother to consider them of the slightest value?
‘Cause they live in a DREAM world!!!
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“So if we know they are not even approximately true, why would anyone of a scientific bent even bother to consider them of the slightest value?”
I think it’s called “grasping at straws” –
Kenny boy says, “our disorders” –
That’s right, buddy, them’s YOUR “disorders” – and nobody else’s –
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Ken’s “Coherence Theory of truth” is an excellent example of how mainstream psychiatrists intellectualize to hide the fact they don’t know what they’re talking about. But they DO know verbosity’s a great way to distract from their “scientific” failures. It’s their favorite ego-saving strategy, and when combined with their medicalese, it becomes a case of full-on gaslighting –
Ken’s “Coherence Theory of truth” is an excellent example of how mainstream psychiatrists intellectualize to hide the fact they don’t know what they’re talking about. But they DO know verbosity’s a great way to distract from their scientific failures.
Kenneth Kendler says, “Instead of thinking that our disorders are true because they correspond to clear entities in the world, we should consider a coherence theory of truth by which disorders become more true when they fit better into what else we know about the world”.
A “coherence theory of truth”? What is THAT supposed to mean???
“…by which disorders become more true when they fit better into what else we know about the world”.
Yes, confirmation bias is your best friend, especially when you’re looking at the world through an already biased lens.
Maybe when he’s not too busy making more mud pies, he might find time to tell the world what he means by “clear entities”. But maybe that just means whatever he wants it to mean, whenever he wants it to mean it. But he has made progress by using the word “implausible”. How truly amazing. And I’m surprised he goes so far as to say, “Despite years of research, we cannot explain or directly observe the pathophysiologies of major mental illness disorders that we could use to define essential features”. In other words, Ken’s gonna keep on dishing out WORD SALAD.
Yet I wonder….will he ever get real and simply say, “We’re flat out wrong and don’t know what the heck we’re doing”???
And I also wonder if it ever occurs to him just how he and his colleagues might be remembered in history. After all, phrenology’s phrenology, even if it is high tech –
Dr. Ken refers to disorders as “our disorders”, and he’s right – they’re HIS (psychiatry’s) “disorders” – AND NO ONE ELSE’S –
Dr. K says, “….we cannot explain or directly observe the pathophysiologies of major mental illness disorders….”
Maybe that’s because THEY DON’T EXIST –
If anyone spends any time at all on the antipsychiatry subreddit, they will see posts and comments from med students, psychiatrists, psychiatrists in training, psychiatric nurses, etc., all claiming that the members of the sub are delusional, “off their meds”, malcontents, too “mentally ill to accept their diagnosis, and dangerous.. and that these delusional people might convince other mentally ill people to stop taking their meds.
Clearly these students, this next generation of “mental health care providers”, have not gotten the memo. The people who are training them have not gotten the memo. Who will tell these people the truth before they do irreperable harm to their future patients?
I share your concerns.
The majority of people trained in the psychiatric medical model aren’t interested in listening to anyone but themselves; they’re very closed minded, so trying to speak to them is a waste of time. And the problems are systematic and cultural, meaning change is difficult, if not impossible. The awful truth is that it’s going to take a lot more people who’ve been harmed to stop it, because the only thing medically minded people respond to are lawsuits and legislation.
KateL asks, “Who will tell these people the truth before they do irreparable harm to their future patients”?
It’s probably going to take a lot more time and a lot more people speaking out against it for anything major to happen.
What’s important to keep in mind is that the pharmaceutical industry funds a lot of the medical textbooks, research and schools – and it just so happens to be one of the biggest lobbies in DC. It’s very, complicated, interconnected mess with hugely powerful financial and political interests at stake.
But back to your question, “Who will tell these people the truth…?”
Most people aren’t ready to hear the truth, but WE’RE the ones telling the truth to those ready to hear it, and THIS is how change takes place –
It’s people like the good doctor Ken who use medicine as an excuse to exercise their INFLATED EGOS –
All of this is meaningless when people who have been grievously harmed by made up diagnoses, toxic drugs, medically induced trauma etc, still can’t go to the doctor. Still get discriminated against on a daily basis. Get denied housing and every kind of social service that other vulnerable members of society are afforded.
Still aren’t believed by their family and friends if they even have any left. Still live in fear every single day, of more forced “help” if they don’t look right or sound right to all of the so-well-meaning good Samaritans who have their fingers hovering over the emergency service buttons and will congratulate themselves when they’ve made the call.
When are all of these elite psychiatrists (who have been admitting lately that almost nothing they did helped people and often caused great harm) going to start talking about and putting into practice reparations for the people whose lives are hell, all due to the “help” they got, often against their will?
I hear you, KateL, and there are many who share your frustrations.
No one knows when, but I believe positive changes are happening right now – slowly but surely – in no small part because of the Internet – which is letting the world finally know the horrors going every day – all in the name of “psychiatry” –
Thank you for your reply, Birdsong.
I’m almost 56. I think whatever changes happen will come too late for me and many others. In the meantime, I have to humiliate myself if I want to hear a human voice. I call a warmline on an almost daily basis and have been doing so for years. I have to listen through the queries about whether I am suicidal at the moment and then no matter what problem I’m having (I’m always having some sort of problem because I am completely alone in the world. At the moment I’ve been dealing with a problem with my landlord for months. They refuse to make repairs on a hole in the ceiling and other problems that they created in my apartment, which I pay 80 percent of my disability income to rent. I have tried talking to management about this and other problems to no avail. I was advised by the warmline and community action agency to call a local agency that supposedly advocates for people with disabilities in housing and other areas. The last time I spoke to someone at this agency she kept sending me links to the nami website and at one point told me I sounded like I belong in a psych ward. She offered no help. Desperate, I called the same agency again and I had to explain and defend myself for why I had asked this woman to close my case. This agency’s entire website is devoted to showing how they help people with physical disabilities. There is not one word about any other sort of disability and even if they addressed it it would be “for the mentally ill” as there is no category for people who were destroyed by psychiatry.). I explained to the woman at the support line that I moved to Western Massachusetts because I was told there are all sorts of services here and places for people with lived experience and I’ve been rejected by every one of these places. She just said “wherever you go you take yourself with you”. In other words, it’s your fault dummy. Then she told me that I should have a therapist who I can talk to about the housing issues and who will make these calls for me. It’s just endless humiliation. There’s no help. I’m completely alone. I’m being punished for having survived what Psychiatry put me through.
But good to know from the elite psychiatrists that the drugs don’t work, the chemical imbalance theory was made up, as were the diagnosis, and although NIMH spent $20 billion on research, they themselves admit it was a big failure and there are more people disabled now than before numbers of people being diagnosed and treated by Psychiatry exploded.
I can only hope that change comes in time to make a difference for younger generations. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.
I’m very sorry for all you’re going through right now. I wish your landlord and other services could be more responsive to you. And it’s not you fault.
It is good to know some psychiatrists are admitting inconsistencies (lies, really). But the shock of learning how you’ve been misled takes a while to subside. But know it will. And I think more and more people are wising up to psychiatry every day, and this is reason for much hope.
Thank you, Birdsong. I appreciate it.