The Sting of Psychiatry's DSM Label Bible is Unfair Power
by David W. Oaks — last modified May 06, 2011 01:40 AM
The American Psychiatric Association "label bible" -- known as Diagnostic and Statistical Manual -- is up for revision. The APA has delayed the process because of intense criticism including from APA leaders themselves. So to try to address this public relations disaster, the APA held another teleconference for "stakeholders" and invited MindFreedom. This time, MFI had a three-person delegation on the call, and challenged the APA about the harm caused by DSM.
American Psychiatric Association Challenged on Revision of its "Label Bible" by MindFreedom International
On Monday, 2 May, 2011, the American Psychiatric Association held a second invitation-only teleconference about the future of their "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual" (DSM).
Once more, the APA is inviting comments on their "DSM" web site, with a deadline for comments by 15 June.
And once more, MindFreedom made sure to have representatives on the call, this time with a three-person delegation of activists: Paula Caplan, David Oaks, Frank Blankenship.
The APA is holding these events and launching web sites because they have experienced fierce opposition about their proposed revisions, including from the leadership of the past version of the DSM, Allen Francis.
Joining the APA teleconference was a three-person delegation from MindFreedom International:
* Psychologist and author Paula J. Caplan
* Frank Blankenship of MindFreedom Florida
* David Oaks, Director, MindFreedom International
What I suggested on the call was that the APA indefinitely halt any future progress on the flawed DSM, because the power behind the DSM itself was harmful. Also, to address that harm, the APA ought to put out a disclaimer -- a cautionary note -- that says that nothing in the DSM is meant to be used in any way, shape or form that that could lead to loss of liberty or property or discrimination.
Frank and Paula have also commented about the phone call in their blogs:
Frank Blankenship is blogging about the event on his blog.
You can find the LUNATICKFRINGE BLOG post on DSM here.
or use this link:
Psychologist and longtime critic of psychiatric diagnosis, Paula J. Caplan, is blogging about the meeting at Psychology Today's web site.
Her latest essay -- which is called "What?! Psychiatrists Now Define 'Openness'?! (Part 1)" -- is about the ongoing secrecy involved in the creation of such diagnoses and of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the fifth edition of which is now in preparation and scheduled for 2013 publication:
or use this link:
In Part 2, she reports the inside story of last Monday's conference call with the those crafting the new DSM-5, in which she participated with David Oaks and Frank Blankenship as representatives of MindFreedom International:
or use this link:
Cautionary Tale of DSM?
So what do you think?
For instance, what should be the wording by the APA of a truly strong warning and truthful disclaimer about any DSM?
Would it matter?
Would an attorney defending someone's rights be able to make use of that in court, for example?
Here's DSM IV current and weak 'cautionary':
DSM-IV & DSM-IV-TR Cautionary Statement
The specified diagnostic criteria for each mental disorder are offered as guidelines for making diagnoses, because it has been demonstrated that the use of such criteria enhances agreement among clinicians and investigators. The proper use of these criteria requires specialized clinical training that provides both a body of knowledge and clinical skills.
These diagnostic criteria and the DSM-IV Classification of mental disorders reflect a consensus of current formulations of evolving knowledge in our field. They do not encompass, however, all the conditions for which people may be treated or that may be appropriate topics for research efforts.
The purpose of DSM-IV is to provide clear descriptions of diagnostic categories in order to enable clinicians and investigators to diagnose, communicate about, study, and treat people with various mental disorders. It is to be understood that inclusion here, for clinical and research purposes, of a diagnostic category such as Pathological Gambling or Pedophilia does not imply that the condition meets legal or other nonmedical criteria for what constitutes mental disease, mental disorder, or mental disability. The clinical and scientific considerations involved in categorization of these conditions as mental disorders may not be wholly relevant to legal judgments, for example, that take into account such issues as individual responsibility, disability determination, and competency.
Reprinted from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth Edition. Copyright 1994 American Psychiatric Association