According to epidemiologists 30% of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness in 2011. That’s disturbing enough, but this is also the year when the definition of what a so-called “mental illness” is could change. You could be mentally ill right now – and if the pharmaceutical companies get their way, you certainly will be.
The DSM-5, the very newest “Bible of psychiatry” is scheduled to come out, and as the publication date nears the battle is raging.
Accoding to many critics, the DSM-5 will go out of its way to make many of the ordinary issues of life “treateable” by expensive medication. They won’t make your life any better, but they will pump you full of drugs. Allen Frances, lead editor of the DSM-4, calls what’s happening now a “hoax.” If it is, it will have a drastic impact on that 30% of Americans who get diagnosed – along with their families, friends, and loved ones.
So, lets look at some of the hard and fast facts on this elusive and tenuous publication – and then examine why so many psychologists think the new DSM will give drug companies a license to medicate everyone for anything:
1.) Field Trials were scheduled to begin in May 2010; to date only a pilot study is underway—with field trials awaiting its finish needing it its protocols to launch.
2.) September 2012 is the “drop dead date” for two sets of field trials and revisions to be complete; an impossible deadline at this point with critics cautioning against the likelihood of empirically invalidated “Rube Goldberg Design”
3.) The manual hopes to include “dimensional assessment” aimed at providing more accurate diagnostic “testing” criteria to the current descriptive phenomena. Sounds good, right? The problem—the scales used in the dimensional assessment of said disorders have very recently been developed—without the validation of clinical application or testing. And, more?—they could be used by insurance companies to say what dimensions of diagnoses get coverage.
4.) In February 2010, the “rough draft of the DSM-5 was released with “invented” sub-threshold disorders including: attenuated psychotic symptoms syndrome—which is said to lead to “full blown psychoses” in adulthood—which research says is only true for a quarter of whom are diagnosed. Well, what about the other 75 percent of people? —innocent, healthy targets for drug makers and antipsychotic drugs which effect the brain development, obesity and diabetic onset … unnecessarily.
In A Warning Sign on the Road to DSM-5: Beware of Its Unintended Consequences, Allen Frances states, “Undoubtedly, the most reckless suggestion for DSM-V is that it includes many new categories to capture the sub-threshold treatments… flood [ing] the world with tens of millions of newly labeled false-positive patients. The result would be a wholesale imperial medicalization of normality that will trivialize mental disorder and lead to a deluge of unneeded medication treatments—a bonanza for the pharmaceutical industry but at a huge cost to the new false-positive patient.
So, essentially, are all the new diagnoses in the DSM-5 just incentives for the pharmaceutical industry to further medicate Americans? Diagnostic dimensional and descriptive nomenclature, even while devoid of biological markers, gives more impetus and incentive for BigPharma to step in and over-medicate unsubstantiated “pathologies” while under treating the suffering involved in everyday living.
Enter Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR)
This organization is one of a kind. They have stepped up to the plate – exposing the practices of BigPharma – the dehumanizing effects of many psychotropic medications and stigmatizing psychiatric diagnoses.
CCHR’s mission statement says, “CCHR functions solely as a mental health watchdog, working alongside many medical professionals including doctors, scientists, nurses and those few psychiatrists who have taken a stance against the biological/drug model of “disease” that is continually promoted by the psychiatric/pharmaceutical industry as a way to sell drugs.”
CCHR calls themselves the watchdog in charge of investigating and exposing psychiatric human rights violations. They do just that. They inform the public about the malpractice of psychiatry – while acknowledging emotional and psychological distress.
Perhaps nothing captures the work of CCHR, current psychiatric malpractice and BigPharma better than Thomas Szasz, founder of CCHR, stating, “There is no blood or other biological test to ascertain the presence or absence of a mental illness, as there is for most bodily diseases. If such a test were developed…then the condition would cease to be a mental illness and would be classified, instead, as a symptom of a bodily disease.”
We have our work cut out for us. Humanistic psychologists, existential psychologists–all those in favor of the human person must stand up against this human travesty—in favor of the human person and their inalienable rights.
— Liz Schreiber