This is not an easy read for anyone but those who might have an interest in Psychiatry or the medicalisation of life; it is however very enlightening....moreThis is not an easy read for anyone but those who might have an interest in Psychiatry or the medicalisation of life; it is however very enlightening. Written by a psychaitrist, though no doubt he is now systematically shunned by his colleagues, this study shows up the DSM, the Bible of psychiatry to be one of the greatest hoaxes of all times, but one with tragic consequences.
The main purpose of its inception was the decline, during the 60's and 70's in the perceived status of psychiatry to almost the same level as voodoo. This group of Doctors suffering from the terrible insecurities produced by having almost no scientific basis for either their diagnosis or treatment of patients, needed a legitimising touchstone, the DSM. Needlless to say the creation of a "book" where, arbitrary and scientifically baseless they maybe, classifications of mental conditions could be made, given a name and a number which not only served the profession's purpose of legitimising their specialty but also kept insurance companies, lawyers and governements happy by providing something to fill in or boxes to tick so that the money could flow....and flow it did; largely into the pockets of psychaitrists, drug companies and of course research establishemnts that housed and served who? The very people who authored the DSM itself.
The recounbting of the history of the Manual's development together with all the turf wars, ego battles and infighting among the vested interests may be a bit dry in the reading but it is also deeply disturbing. As one who has been at one time swept up by this particular cabal orientated around the DSM I have not only seen the damage but have been sucked into its very vortex myself. I count myself truly lucky that in a moment of rare insight and in complete contradiction to the advice of professionals I was able to defy the odds, refuse their bullshit diagnoses wrapped up in fancy, though official sounding terms and make my own way without the aid of the soul destroying, mind numbing drugs the psychiatrists in my life were only too happy to dispense. Such dispensation much to the pleasure of the drug companies who reap huge financial benefits.
My escape derived from desperation; the bastards nearly killed me over a period of several decades, but I was an adult with at least some life experience and a sense of self preservation which often expressed itself as defiance, though this latter was of course regarded by my psychiatrists as pathalogical. I could decide to give them the flick and I did, the demise they threatened would result could not have been any worse tha the place they put me. There are chidren on the other hand who are classified by psychiatrists based on the DSM as having ADD, ODD and Bi polar disorder. They do not have that choice, and now thousands of kids are having heavy duty drugs thrust down their throats daily, drugs that were once called antipsychotics but have been conveniently renames mood stabilsers by the pharmceutical industry as a marketing expediency. This appalling instance of professional abuse (so much for the Hippocratic Oath)is but a single instance, a tragic tip of the iceberg
The reification of the DSM in the main, serves only the purposes of psychiatrists (access to payments and research funds) drug companies (profits) and of course finally and significantly the APA (Americam Psychiatric Association) which produces the DSM reaping millions from every edition ($6 million from DSMIV)and of course perceived legitimacy for its members.
This is not to say that all psychiatrists are driven by self interest and are schysters, though many are, but if one were to do a cost benefit analysis it is my view that the 19th Century model of sanitoria, large beautiful old houses set in bucloic natural surrounds could do more good at a fraction of the cost now demanded by a profession rampantly craving respectibility, legitimcy and the fruits that flow from both in the form of cash.
It has been quite a conjuring act, they have largely pulled it off and now at whim anyone who displays behaviour that may be eminently human but that draws the attention of an ambitious heavy hitter in the American Psychiatric Association can quickly find themselves classified as mentally ill, drugged out of their mind and contributing liberally through their medical insurance to the lifestyle of a substantial segment of the nouveau riche and infamous.(less)