Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Mental Health Concerns Not “Brain Disorders,” Say Researchers

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The latest issue of the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences features several prominent researchers arguing that mental health concerns are not “brain disorders.”

Mental Health Professionals Critique the Biomedical Model of Psychological Problems

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While a great deal of the excitement about advances in psychological treatments comes from the potential for research in neuroscience to unlock the secrets of the brain, many mental health experts would like to temper this enthusiasm. A special issue of the Behavior Therapist released this month calls into question the predominant conception of mental illnesses as brain disorders.

How Reliable is the DSM-5?

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More than a year on from the release of DSM-5, a Medscape survey found that just under half of clinicians had switched to using the new manual. Most non-users cited practical reasons, typically explaining that the health care system where they work has not yet changed over to the DSM-5. Many, however, said that they had concerns about the reliability of the DSM, which at least partially accounted for their non-use. Throughout the controversies that surrounded the development and launch of the DSM-5 reliability has been a contested issue: the APA has insisted that the DSM-5 is very reliable, others have expressed doubts. Here I reconsider the issues: What is reliability? Does it matter? What did the DSM-5 field trials show?

Constructing Alternatives to the DSM: An Interview with Dr. Jonathan Raskin

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Dr. Raskin discusses psychotherapists’ dissatisfaction with current psychiatric diagnostic systems and explores alternatives.

Why the Rise of Mental Illness? Pathologizing Normal, Adverse Drug Effects, and a Peculiar...

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In just two decades, pointing out the pseudoscience of the DSM has gone from being an “extremist slur of radical anti-psychiatrists” to a mainstream proposition from the former chairs of both the DSM-3 and DSM-4 taskforces and the director of NIMH. In addition to the pathologizing of normal behaviors, another explanation for the epidemic — the adverse effects of psychiatric medications — is also evolving from radical to mainstream, thanks primarily to the efforts of Robert Whitaker and his book Anatomy of an Epidemic. While diagnostic expansionism and Big Pharma certainly deserve a large share of the blame for this epidemic, there is another reason.

Duty to Warn – 14 Lies That Our Psychiatry Professors in Medical School Taught...

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Revealing the false information provided about psychiatry should cause any thinking person, patient, thought-leader or politician to wonder: “how many otherwise normal or potentially curable people over the last half century of psych drug propaganda have actually been mis-labeled as mentally ill (and then mis-treated) and sent down the convoluted path of therapeutic misadventures – heading toward oblivion?”

Moral and Political Implications of the DSM

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-A special issue of Public Affairs Quarterly examines "the moral and political implications" of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

United Nations Report Calls for Revolution in Mental Health Care

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In a new report, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dr. Dainius Pūras, calls for a move away from the biomedical model and “excessive use of psychotropic medicines.”

Developing Alternatives to the DSM for Psychotherapists

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A new article suggests counselors and psychotherapists are dissatisfied with current diagnostic systems and outlines some potential alternatives.

New Podcast – is it Really Mental Illness?

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From the University of Liverpool News: In a new podcast, Dr. Peter Kinderman, the vice-president of the British Psychological Society, argues that emotional distress is...

No Brain Connectivity Differences Between Autism, ADHD, and “Typical Development”

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Neuroscience researchers find no differences in brain connectivity between children with diagnoses of autism, ADHD, and those with no diagnoses.

The Power Threat Meaning Framework One Year On

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The team that developed the Power Threat Meaning framework as a diagnostic alternative reflects on the response to the framework after one year.

Lancet Psychiatry’s Controversial ADHD Study: Errors, Criticism, and Responses

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Amid calls for a retraction, Lancet Psychiatry publishes articles criticizing the original finding and a response from the authors.

Illness Inflation: Expanded Medical Definitions Create More Patients

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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has issued a watchdog report titled “Illness Inflation” that examines how new medical conditions are often the product of industry...

Mental Health Professionals and Patients Often Disagree on Causes of Symptoms

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A new study finds that clinicians’ disregard for mental health patients’ insight into their own condition may be detrimental to treatment.

The Genetics of Schizophrenia: A Left Brain Theory about a Right Brain Deficit in...

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In recent months, two teams of researchers in the UK and the US published complementary findings about the epigenetic origins of schizophrenia that have scientific communities who indulge in ‘genetic conspiracy theories’ abuzz. While these results are intriguing, and no doubt involve pathbreaking research methodologies, this line of thought represents a decontextualized understanding both of the symptoms that are typically associated with schizophrenia, and their causes.

The Role of Racial Bias in the Overdiagnosis of Schizophrenia

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Researchers detect disparity between white and African American patients diagnosed with schizophrenia when symptoms of a mood disorder are present.

Top Ten Things You May Not Know About the ICD-10

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In this piece for Psychology Today, Dr. Jonathan D. Raskin lists 10 facts about the current version of the International Classification of Diseases, which is...

Does DSM-5 Matter? Yes; but not for Psychiatrists

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What makes the DSM so pernicious is that it is a cultural document whose influence transcends not only psychiatric practice but also the Western civilization from which it originates. Each revision of the DSM rescripts and reimagines how we make sense of our experiences, reinterprets what thoughts, feelings and behaviors are socially sanctioned, and ultimately what it means to be human.

Psychiatric Diagnosis Can Lead to Epistemic Injustice, Researchers Claim

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A discussion of the role of epistemic injustice in the experiences of patients diagnosed with psychiatric disorders.

An Alternative Perspective on Psychotherapy: It is Not a ‘Cure’

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Kev Harding argues against conceptualizations of therapy as a ‘cure’ to an ‘illness’ and instead offers alternative approaches.

Western ‘Depression’ is Not Universal

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Derek Summerfield, consultant psychiatrist at South London and Maudsley National Health Service Foundation Trust, challenges the assumption that Western depression is a universal condition.

Time to Abolish Psychiatric Diagnosis?

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‘Diagnosing’ someone with a devastating label such as ‘schizophrenia’ or ‘personality disorder’ is one of the most damaging things one human being can do to another. Re-defining someone’s reality for them is the most insidious and the most devastating form of power we can use. It may be done with the best of intentions, but it is wrong - scientifically, professionally, and ethically. The DSM debate presents us with a unique opportunity to put some of this right, by working with service users towards a more helpful understanding of how and why they come to experience extreme forms of emotional distress.

Why the Fuss Over the DSM-5, When Did the DSM Start to Matter, &...

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Why all the fuss over DSM-5? Why did Robert Spitzer, the editor of DSM-III, begin to protest about the “secrecy” surrounding its production as early as 2007? Why did Allen Frances, editor of DSM-IV, begin in 2009 to challenge the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) announced goal that when making DSM-5 “everything is on the table”? Why did he dispute the APA’s position that there had been enough progress in neuroscience to call for a “paradigm shift”, and why did Frances and others go on to protest repeatedly what they viewed as DSM-5’s “medicalization of normality?”

Susie Orbach’s Guide to Books to Understand Yourself

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In this piece for The Guardian, Susie Orbach argues that we should not turn to the DSM to understand ourselves, but instead to the work of...

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