source: online newspaper destandaard.be interview by Kathleen Vereecken
[In DSM-IV] we had modest goals. We were looking for sound scientific foundations for the existing diagnoses. It was our way to cool down the enthusiasm of the field experts who always want to push existing boundaries. Out of 94 new suggestions for diagnoses, we only kept 2.
It concerned me that collaborators to the DSM-V got a completely different mandate: they had to be creative and innovative most of the time. However good the intentions, there was insufficient scientific progress to justify radical changes in diagnosing.
Take the many fake diagnoses of bipolarity in children, quite fashionable these days in the US. The pharmaceutical industry and a professor from Harvard have succeeded in selling the idea that children with a lot of temperament who are aggressive, have a bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, the entire field supports this vision. Masses, especially those from vulnerable groups, now get medication prescribed that was never proven to work. The side effects are not to be underestimated: as an example an average weight gain of ten percent. This together with the stigma plus the getting used to at a young age of drug use.
Just one of countless examples where good intentions lead to something dangerous.
By the time children have become twenty one y.o., 83% of them will have been diagnosed. Brave New World from Aldous Huxley is no longer fiction. “Soma” has taken many forms.
The world is becoming more and more homogeneous, and we want ourselves and our children to be just perfect. We all want to be above average. This is not only absurd, but impossible. Sadness, anxiety, sleeping disorders, they are from all times. A lot of people get cured spontaneously, from this kind of so called mental disorders, without any medication. We are stronger than we think we are.