It matters that people have a way to use the latest findings in psychology beyond buying a pill for depression. It matters that people have a way of looking at their lives that lets them ask the big questions and determine how they want to live – and that this is supported by therapists and mental health professionals.

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Posts tagged with the category Diagnostic fiascos

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...
What is a mental disorder? This is a question the American Psychiatric Association (2012) has been contemplating as it prepares the DSM-5, the soon-to-be-published revision of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The DSM-5 development website proposes the following new definition of mental disorder (APA, 2012): A behavioral...
Writing in the Washington Post, Paula Caplan recalls the story of a mother who had been labled bi-polar and put on psychiatric medication – when in fact her problems were more mundane. She was a new mother; she was sleep deprived; she was working full-time and caring for her dying grandmother. Since the 1980s, Caplan said she has met...
The New Existentialists, a Saybrook University-based website dedicated to promoting the work of the 21st century’s Existential Psychology movement, has added a new section following the controversy surrounding the DSM-5 … the so-called “Bible” of psychiatry. “While the DSM has had a long history of controversy since...
The DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for GID is: A strong and persistent cross-bender identification (not merely a desire for any perceived cultural advantages of being the other sex). Persistent discomfort with his or her sex or sense of inappropriateness in the gender role of that that sex. The disturbance is not concurrent with the physical intersex...