Tag: DSM constructs
When psychiatrists conduct "diagnostic" assessments on public figures, they are drawing attention to the fact that psychiatry's "diagnostic" system is more like a children's matching test than a genuine medical nosology. They are drawing attention to the fact that the Emperor has no clothes. And we all know where that leads.
On December 25, 2015, renowned psychiatrist Robert Spitzer died. Spitzer was a giant in world psychiatry, best known as the architect of the third edition of the psychiatry’s diagnostic bible — The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) — the edition that effected a turnaround and became the template for how psychiatric diagnosing has proceeded ever after. As such, this death has hardly gone unnoticed, with stories about him proliferating. Most of what is written is highly laudatory. What concerns me is how to understand his “psychiatric contribution” to society.
A paradigm is a way of thinking about things. For the past 60 or so years, our thinking about mental health and illness has been dominated by what can be referred to as the "DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) paradigm." What this looks like in everyday practice is that when a child is referred to my behavioral pediatrics practice for anxiety, the questions that parents, referring doctors, and teachers ask is, "Does he have anxiety disorder?" followed by "How to we manage his behavior?" and "Does he need medication?"
My opposition to psychiatric drugs is not just that they are harmful, dangerous, and destructive. That would be plenty motivation enough. And it is. But in addition, my profession, which I love and value, has been hijacked by the APA and Big Pharma. It is my goal to return psychiatry to its proper place - where good psychotherapy is understood to be the treatment for human suffering.