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Could you possibly shed some light on why therapists and counselors (apart from psychiatrists) are willing to be a part of the DSM diagnosing scheme – especially when, as I understand it, their ethics demand that they do no harm?
Correction to previous post: must give a billable “diagnosis” not “diagnose”.
It should not be forgotten that ALL “mental health” workers (not just psychiatrists), upon an individual crossing the threshold of their place of business, if using insurance, must give a billable “diagnose” to that person for payment. And they rarely inform potential clients of this fact. So, it’s not just psychiatrists who label, defame and dehumanize people. And they call themselves “helpers”.
As for crossing the threshold, literally crossing the threshold into a mental health worker’s place of business makes an individual automatically “mentally ill” since that visit will necessitate a “diagnosis” for payment to be made (if insurance is involved).
It seems to me that diagnoses were invented so that psychiatrists could have a “condition” to connect their drugs to to validate their use. Then it became the way insurance was billed for payment and all therapists got on board and used diagnoses for payment. And these therapists began to believe in them too. And “mental illness” was born and the populace and all the mental health professionals came to believe it was all true and real science and the one and only way to interpret human beings’ stressful experiences. And people came to believe that the self-proclaimed mental health professionals had the answers to life’s difficulties, perplexities, meaning, etc. and sought out their “expertise”. Only it was all a lie.
Thank you, Paula, for the work you do. Pathologizing pain and distress leads to a lot more pain and distress, it seems. Isn’t it amazing that simply listening, on equal footing with another human being, is often all a person needs.
Seeing a clinical social worker, psychologist or counselor is not “safe” either. Even if no drugs are suggested or taken, upon crossing their threshold one automatically becomes “mentally ill”, since to get paid, they must give everyone a DSM “diagnosis”. Unwitting people are now harmed with these invalid, bogus, unscientific labels simply by the act of walking into a clinic. The whole system is corrupt.
Here is an interesting article on the Politics of Mental Health – Highlights from Symposium 2019 by Bessel van der Kolk:
“As long as we live with a diagnostic system without scientific validity, all of us are part of the problem. Too often we label our patients with the diagnoses that are in line with what the insurance companies will reimburse us for, rather than what’s actually going on.”
“If people mistrust mental health professionals, they may have a good reason for it. We’ve become slaves to the insurance companies, and until we start dealing with the politics of mental health care today, we’re stuck.”
Thank you, Someone Else, for your kind words.
Here is a quote from an article entitled: “10 Secrets Your Therapist Won’t Tell You”:
“I will give you a diagnosis whether you need one or not. Nobody likes to admit this, but without a diagnosis, the therapist won’t get paid by your insurance company. And it can’t just be any diagnosis (despite the mental health parity law passed last year). It has to be a “covered” disorder. Which means that if you come in with something that isn’t quite clinical depression, your therapist may diagnose you with it anyway, just so they can get reimbursed. (That’s one of the many reasons why you shouldn’t put too much faith into your diagnosis in the first place.)”
This is exactly what happened to me. How is it that people who are supposedly compassionate, caring individuals can stoop to such a low level? I imagine many, if not most, mental health workers actually believe in this whole DSM “bible”. After all it serves them well financially. Well, when things don’t make sense, they do when you “follow the money”. Too bad ethics and the search for truth don’t seem to matter much in our world today. This profession is deeply corrupt indeed.
My apologizes for getting off topic and venting about my recent experiences. The pain is fresh.
I tried to add something to the previous comment but the system timed me out. I just went to a mental health clinic and saw a counselor in training. I was not hospitalized. They did not even suggest drugs. I thought some nice people there would help me sort out a bad experience and help me move on. But their requirement to diagnose for insurance dollars meant a normal reaction to a bad experience must be pathologized and diagnoses that would pass the “medical necessity” test must be dished out. It’s a racket and very harmful. They have too much power and people’s rights are being trampled on. It is unfortunate that most people are unaware how the system works and do not know what they are walking into. It is not just getting some counseling, it’s a surrendering of your rights and you don’t even know that is happening, because they are not forthcoming. Somehow people need to be made more aware of how harmful the “mental health” system is. The truth is people experience anguish, periods of despair, times of anxiety when everything is turned upside down, and massive changes come about, but this is not “mental illness”. It is the human condition. Our society is sick with screwed up values and people can at times find themselves in untenable situations. The “mental health” system we have today is not the answer. It is part of the problem. We need an entire transformation of society, I believe.
Good advice, Julie. And I’m definitely through with “mental health”.
The school system, I might add, is what sent me into the “caring arms” of the “mental health’ industry where I got labeled with GAD, MDD, Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorder. I am awaiting a call from the clinical coordinator of this clinic as I am requesting that these “diagnoses” be removed from my records. If MIA will accept my paper, I may write about my experience. When I got the therapist notes (actually he was an intern, but he didn’t tell me that) I found lie after lie. Needing a billable diagnosis he said I had symptoms that I didn’t have to justify it – likely to be covered in case of an insurance audit. He wrote that I’m experiencing fatigue and difficulty concentrating. In reality, I’m exercising every day for at least an hour and have a very high energy level, read voraciously and have no issues at all with concentration. But these are stated as problems I’m having – total lies- used as justification for the MDD diagnosis to bill insurance. I may not succeed in getting these “diagnoses” removed, but I intend to confront them with all the research I have gathered about psychiatric diagnosis, it’s scientific invalidity, their failure to inform me from the start that using insurance requires a “diagnosis”, its harms, etc. And to think of the intrusion of the “mental health” industry into the schools is appalling and very frightening.
Tread carefully, Julie. I won’t go into all that I witnessed and experienced in my two years in the school system. I went in with extreme idealism and the desire to inculcate love of learning, exploration, and curiosity, but what I found was gaslighting and abusive principals, rigid teach-to-the-test mentality, and basically it parallels the corruption in the “mental health” industry. Teachers are demoralized because they do not have autonomy, are treated like dirt and of course, the students are in essence, like the teachers, being abused. There is a website called endteacherabuse.org that a former co-worker started with another previous teacher awhile back, that provides some interesting reading. I always worry when I hear that someone is thinking about going into teaching. It isn’t what you think it is, especially if you are older and you think it’s going to be like the experience you had in school.
Having worked in public schools as a teacher, the idea that what is needed is mindfulness programs is laughable. The real reforms needed are related to abolishing the draconian, oppressive mandates created by politicians that have made schools soul-crushing for both students and teachers. It’s like saying we’ll whip you during the day, but in-between we’ll give you mindfulness sessions to help you forget about the abuse we are daily meting out.
That is truly horrendous. You have every right to be irate. At some point, when I feel ready to, I will try to share my story here on this forum, a story which, compared to many of the stories here, is not nearly as bad as many. But, very painful nontheless. The destructiveness of the mental health system is mind-boggling. I wish for you all the best.
While it is obvious that people differ greatly in their proclivities, why is it that there is such a desire to put labels on people – such as introvert and extrovert? While, I wouldn’t put “introvert” and “extrovert” in the same category as pathologizing DSM “diagnosis'” – still why must we try to reduce complex and unique individuals to labels at all?
This is all so true. Thanks for sharing. I only made it two years as a teacher. It is not a career I would recommend to anyone at this time.