The central theme of this blog is that the APA’s so-called diagnostic system is spurious and destructive. It is destructive of the individuals that get caught in its net and destructive socially in that it undermines those values of resourcefulness and efficacy which are essential ingredients of a successful society.
Psychiatrists have become tawdry drug pushers. To this end they have prostituted their medical affiliations and have avidly promoted the big lie: that ordinary human problems are in fact illnesses best “treated” by drugs.
Now as everyone knows, you can’t fool all the people all the time. And it is my prediction that eventually this pernicious system will fall. It is like a sandcastle. It can’t last.
And cracks are starting to appear in the sandcastle. I recently came across two articles which I’d like to share with my readers.
The first is “Ritalin Gone Wrong” by Alan Sroufe, PhD, in the New York Times, January 28, 2012. Here are some quotes:
Attention-deficit drugs increase concentration in the short term, which is why they work so well for college students cramming for exams. But when given to children over long periods of time, they neither improve school achievement nor reduce behavior problems. The drugs can also have serious side effects, including stunting growth.
To date, no study has found any long-term benefit of attention-deficit medication on academic performance, peer relationships or behavior problems, the very things we would most want to improve. Until recently, most studies of these drugs had not been properly randomized, and some of them had other methodological flaws.
What we found was that the environment of the child predicted development of A.D.D. problems. In stark contrast, measures of neurological anomalies at birth, I.Q. and infant temperament — including infant activity level — did not predict A.D.D.
Finally, the illusion that children’s behavior problems can be cured with drugs prevents us as a society from seeking the more complex solutions that will be necessary. Drugs get everyone — politicians, scientists, teachers and parents — off the hook. Everyone except the children, that is.
The second article is “A Giant Step Backwards for Introverts” by Nancy Ancowitz and Laurie Helgoe, PhD. (I am grateful to reader Francisco for referring me to this piece.) Here are some quotes:
Is there really something wrong with you if you’re an introvert—or among that 50 percent of Americans who are more energized by their quiet time than their social time?
We know what happens when a naturally occurring orientation is determined to be unhealthy while another is upheld as the standard of health. As recently as the 1970′s, the WHO and the APA considered homosexuality a psychiatric diagnosis. Inclusion in the ICD and DSM justifies existing stigmas—whether targeting homosexuality or introversion. Such diagnoses mistake difference for illness.
In the United States giddy and garrulous are good, and quiet and contemplative are suspect. The WHO’s definition and APA’s proposed definition of introversion align with that rigid Western bias. Martin Kommor, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, Charleston, says, “We psychiatrists know too well that many of our diagnostic labels have been more a reflection of the political/moral climate than any real disease.”
It was this last statement by Martin Kommor that truly jumped off the page. Although the article shows Dr. Kommor’s credentials as a PhD, he is in fact an MD and a psychiatrist. “We psychiatrists know too well that many of our diagnostic labels have been more a reflection of the political/moral climate than any real disease.”
No matter how you read this, he is saying that psychiatrists have been blatantly lying about this matter for the past several decades. Not mistaken. Not overly zealous – but simple straightforward deception! And this is from the chairman of a prestigious university psychiatry department!
Cracks in the sandcastle! Please check out these articles. Write to the authors expressing support and send the link to a friend. It has been suggested that the psychiatric Juggernaut is unstoppable. We’ll see.