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Posts tagged with the category Diagnostic fiascos

We find ourselves in very interesting times with regard to our understanding of mental health. We find ever more heated, passionate, and polarized discussions taking place with regard to the so called mental disorders—how or even whether to try to classify them, which factors are generally helpful in recovery vs. which factors are generally...
Several writers have presented exciting new ideas for classifying and diagnosing human problems. Peter Kinderman, for instance, has proposed a “problem list and formulation” approach in which clinicians list however many presenting problems a client brings to session. Jeffrey Rubin has put forward ideas for a “Classification and...
The recent publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) has brought several new disorders into the public consciousness while eliminating some old ones. As just two examples, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation disorder is in, but Asperger’s is out. The often-overlooked irony is that when it comes to diagnostic...
For those of you who haven’t read this recent story in The New York Times,  I highly recommend it. It is essentially a woman’s (Linda Logan’s) rich and moving autobiographical account of her struggle with “bipolar disorder.” The main message that I imagine most people will take away from this story is that the...
Schneider, Rubin, Lichtanski, and Hoffman.
A few Sundays ago, I attended a protest at the American Psychiatric Association Convention in San Francisco with my Saybrook colleagues, Kirk Schneider, Kristopher Lichtanski, and Shawn Rubin. We attended because of our concerns about Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) due to be published next month. Despite numerous...
Photo by Alex Proimos.
Part I. The Context: Overwhelmingly Negative Reactions to Publication of DSM-5 The American Psychiatric Association just held its annual convention in San Francisco, and this is not your ordinary gathering of psychiatrists. This convention inaugurates the launching of the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,...
Photob by Evan-Amos.
According to the Binge Eating Disorder Association, “Binge eating disorder (BED) is the most common eating disorder in the United States. An estimated 3.5% of women, 2% of men, and 30% to 40% of those seeking weight loss treatments can be clinically diagnosed with binge eating disorder. The disorder impacts people of all ages, including...
For years we in the Existential Psychology have been shouting at the top of our lungs that the DSM is a fatally flawed approach to mental health.  We’ve pointed out that there are no empirical bases for its categories, that its treatment approaches are often arbitrary, and that the entire exercise takes time, energy, and money,...
Photo by Jorge Royan.
On April 1, The New York Times reported on the startling fact that 11% of children in the United States are now diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). One in five young males of high school age now have the diagnosis. Among children between the ages of 4 and 17, 6.4 million now bear the ADHD label and, no doubt, are...
Editor's Note: Jerome Wakefield gave a presentation on his harmful dysfunction approach to defining mental disorders at SUNY New Paltz in March 2011. Jonathan Raskin served as discussant, and his response, reproduced here, remains highly relevant in light of ongoing debates about how the upcoming DSM-5 should define mental disorder. Video of...
She sits quietly at the table with her head bowed just enough so that the shadow of her hair crosses her face, blocking a clear view of her melancholy affect. Her fork dances among the food on her plate, moving food from one spot to another but never lifting food to her mouth. Her eyes are hollow and empty, looking but not seeing. Her face and...
1921 map indicating states with sterilization laws.
In my casual observations in conversation with colleagues, I find that very few mental health professionals are aware of the historical link between psychiatry and eugenics. I was not aware of this history until relatively recently, when I read Robert Whitaker’s groundbreaking and brilliant text, Mad in America. When I read that section of the...