I’ve recently come across another DSM critic – or as Dr. Novella terms us – a mental illness denier.
His name is Peter Kinderman, and he is head of the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society at the University of Liverpool. He has recently written an article called “Grief and anxiety are not mental illnesses.”
Here are some quotes:
“For a few of us, our experiences of abuse or failure lead us to feel that life is not worth living. We need to recognise these human truths and we need to offer help. But we should not regard these human experiences as symptoms of a mental illness.”
“Psychiatric diagnoses are not only scientifically invalid, they are harmful too.”
“But this latest edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, or DSM-5, will only make a bad situation worse because it will lower many diagnostic thresholds and increase the number of people in the general population seen as having a mental illness.”
“Standard psychiatric diagnoses are notoriously invalid – they do not correspond to meaningful clusters of symptoms in the real world, despite the obvious importance that they should.”
“But diagnosis and the language of biological illness obscure the causal role of factors such as abuse, poverty and social deprivation. The result is often further stigma, discrimination and social exclusion.”
It’s a short article, but it hits the nails on the head! Strongly recommended.
Although this article was at BBC Health News, Dr. Kinderman has his own site at Peter Kinderman’s Blog, where you can find additional posts.