DSM5 — quoting Allen Frances

source: online newspaper destandaard.be interview by Kathleen Vereecken

Years ago, psychiatrist Allen Frances worked on the DSM-IV, the renowned diagnostic guide for mental disorders. From May DSM-V is the new standard, and Frances rings the alarm bell …

allen frances - picture from the huffington post

allen frances – picture from the huffington post

[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.

Want to read more, Allen Frances keeps a blog: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dsm5-in-distress


31 thoughts on “DSM5 — quoting Allen Frances

  1. Just as I got used to the DSM IV, they finished number 5. I have not peeked into it yet, but it will be interesting to see how they see our state of mind for the next 10 years.

      • We are suffering, but they are not looking to help us. To help us they would have to help us build a new society. Instead, they have ‘new and improved’ drugs for us. So we can no longer see the madness of society, or our own…

          • Double punishment for believing them! Their economy is just fine without allowing ourselves to get drugged and reprogrammed to fit into their society better. Krishnamurti said something about it not being a good sign to be able to fit into a sick society. I just would like to know how sick they want us to be.

            • Soma, my friend, as Aldous Huxley explained in Brave new World, and probably had lots of conversations about this with Krishnamurti 🙂
              Our societies are really really sick. I agree.
              But who is society? the people in it.
              They have fundamental freedoms nobody had before … freedom that took thousands of years to get, and now see what they do with that freedom. Watch themselves being put to sleep by the media, and go to work out of envy – and do the same things as their neighbour, … why are they not creative?
              They are putting themselves to sleep by conforming to greed.

            • There are different layers of society. I may envy my neighbour and may want to do the same things, but if I do not belong to the same group as my neighbour many of those things can remain out of reach. It seems like me and my neighbour make up society, but there is a dividing line that prevents me from getting the same things as my neighbour. I do have the freedom to let go of my desires. No need to have the same things and pretend to be part of his society, nor to befriend my neighbour just to be part of his society. But both our societies have been engineered. We are bombarded with ‘advice’ to have the same things as our neighbours no matter that the engineers also demand that we fight our neighbours because of ‘scarcity’. And these engineers tell us that there is a financial crisis while they continue to spend millions on bombarding us with these mixed messages. Are those engineers not also society? What part? Because, I believe that they are sicker than the people they manipulate. Yet, they get to write a ‘manual’ that declares their victims sick! To awaken from this madness takes effort. To see what society within society one is part of. What faulty programs are running, and how to turn those off. And even when succeeding, to remain aware of new ways of mind control. It definitely helps to let go of greed, envy, anger and the rest. As they do not teach us how to do so in schools, we are left to figure it out by ourselves. Of course it seems easier to then just continue to sleep. But, how to know that one is asleep when never having been awake?

            • Different layers in society, sure … but still your neighbour, and still the same governments, media – yes different subcultures.

              Wherever I have travelled in the world, I have always seen humanity as very much the same everywhere. In fact, this is one of the things that struck me when I went Intercontinental for the first time, 25 years ago, we are all the same. There are many little differences, and knowing yourself, or not, is one of them. But I might be very deluded in thinking that I know myself, while my neighbour might well know herself quite well, without caring.

              I don’t see a dividing line. I see open and closed people, and a whole range of percentages along that line. As a teacher, I have always been able to open even the most closed off people. Their fears and their loves are always the same. Their experiences of past are different, their genetic make up, hence their initial programming might be different, that’s all.

              And yes, that’s why we all act a little differently, (although from a not so far distance all the same) and that’s why some get more carried away by the media then others. Be ware, doing the opposite is still being carried away. Any reaction is still a consequence, still an influence.

              Those who manipulate, usually have no idea what they are doing, a little element in the a long chain. Only at the highest power levels we have people who would do everything for that power.

              So if we want a different society, we should get rid of the attraction of power, in one way or the other. Think about it, so they won’t stick like flies to BS.
              Like you said, this starts at the level of education. But this doesn’t mean it has to happen in an organized way in schools. Any organization becomes a monster of its own, because of power structures attracting often narcissist idiots and people who don’t care doing their jobs well in the lower ranks.

            • Society is so many things. Sometimes a construct, sometimes a reality. People are many things as well. As your Ted-video on education shows, no two children in even one family are the same. Yes, there are similarities, but the parents know that they are different. Not all differences will fit the society of the family. Not all similarities will enable a better family.
              Bottom up, society becomes larger, fragmented and confusing. Top down, society shows itself as divided groups to be made uniform, to control. If ‘society’ is not the same for everyone, is everyone then part of the same ‘society’?

            • I cannot organize a global society, because it is a fiction. That is why they try to turn us into robots. Have the science make the fiction become reality. It takes a society to control a global society! I do not have that ambition.
              In my opinion, we need to start reorganizing our own units of society: family. Learn to see past the sick society and man-made diseases they sell us. Respecting other families who do the same.

            • What you suggest is an organization of society bottom up! I will stop teasing now. I know it’s impossible. But family level sure must be a cornerstone, and also there must be some system of education that teaches more than is needed by ‘free market’ standards, adapted to the individual’s needs.

              However, a lot of problems we see today are the consequence of a global economy by the strongest and a lack of global legislation to control this cancer.

  2. It is unfortunate that teachers and parents want those “troublesome” kids diagnosed and medicated so they will be easier to manage and “toe the line”.

    • Perhaps mediocre teachers do this. I have the impression that the expectations of society are the problem. Parents don’t have time for their children anymore. So they are easily pursaded to the easiest of solutions: a pill.

    • This interview had been waiting up the sleeve, for when I had no time or inspiration to write something myself, like the past 3 days :-). But very interesting. Our society has become the brave new world from aldous huxley.
      Thank you for the link: once I posted a text on my office door, telling people and family how much time it costs to regain my concentration when interrupted. I compared this time to reach concentration to the time needed to fall asleep. If I am interrupted every 15 minutes, I can get no work done. I wonder whether those who don’t understand this ever got glued to a task and felt the difference between mediocre routine tasks and flaming creativity.

  3. Last year, I encountered the “pharmacist’s assistant” or “drug sales rep” in the form of a medical doctor. It is as though the only purpose for a diagnosis is determining what pharmacological concoction to apply to it. I’ve received repeated pressure to double the medications I take – which at 2 (one to replace the thyroid a surgeon removed; which at this point just is, no use in trying to determine whether that procedure was actually necessary or not, I was too young to make the decision for my own self) and one (Metformin) to help my body use the excess blood sugar in my blood stream more effectively – is 2 more than I want. A few months ago, I was able to reduce the Metformin from 3 a day, to 2 a day, by simply paying attention to my diet. My goal is next to drop to 1 a day. I decided to just say NO to cholesterol and blood pressure “lowering” drugs and take my chances. Afterall, death is inevitable anyway.

    • I was offered blood pressure reduction pills, a couple of times. Since then i bought a meter. And guess what: it is always normal, except when people come to watch while I measure. What this says about my ‘demand’ for private time is not yet clear to me, neither is the reason why I am like that.
      There are patients who would be better of with cholesterol reducers and blood thinners, but it is impossible that more than 1% of the people would be in that group.
      My father always managed to keep his bloodsugar within normal boundaries by reducing his weight and leading an active life … that is until he got a heart condition and needed a bypass. The time he spent in hospital after the operation, his sugar levels went completely berzerk, and it took a lot of time to get everything back under control – even in that major hospital. Unfortunately, this events lead him to lose his sight for 60%.
      On a side note, I think the patents on metformin have expired since 1982, thus not promoted anymore by the pharma lobby.

      • You may have “white coat high blood pressure” meaning it rises in the presence of a doctor or else your meter is off. Next time bring your meter to Doc’s office and see if it gives a high reading there.

        • Not only the doctors. When spouse or children come to watch, the same effect gives between 2 or 3 extra units. The meter was rented from the doc’s office 🙂

          • You’re a sensitive guy. I remember testing a biofeedback machine years ago that measured anxiety. When I was alone I could get the anxiety down butthe mere sound of voices approaching the door of the room made the needle jump wildly. So people vary in their sensitivity to the presence of others. As being Aspie, I can’t do many things in the presence of others that I have no trouble doing when alone.

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