A medical disaster hit US-psychiatry 40 years ago

A medical disaster hit US-psychiatry 40 years ago, in the form of the DSM-III, the so-called psychiatrists’ bible. The trouble is, no one checked then, whether the DSM’s axioms were medically sound — they’re not. I sent the following academic paper to the leading psychiatric journal, and they said it was “fun” but not “rigorous” enough for them to publish. The real reason is they daren’t. Read what I wrote, and see what YOU think. Then try asking any other medical professional of your acquaintance if they too would be as happy as DSM-psychiatrists are “to be neutral with respect to theories of etiology”.

“The DSM after 40 years — a medical help or a hindrance?”

Let’s take psychiatry out of its chamber of secrets, and into the clinical sunlight. There’s no doubt that this was one of the aims the American Psychiatric Association (APA) had in mind, in publishing the DSM-III in 1980. But how successful has it been? Doubts have been raised, most recently in a Report by the Belgian Superior Health Council (2019) which concludes that “the literature suggests that a biomedical approach does not, as hoped, reduce stigma and discrimination.” Rather remarkably, its authors go even further — their paper’s very title “advises against the use of the DSM categories”. In other words, it actually recommends psychiatrists to stop using the DSM altogether. Bold and controversial advice — 40 years is a long time for any psychiatric regimen. Where does this recommendation come from? How might we benefit? Should it be implemented? Can it be justified, medically? These are significant clinical questions, and call for calm careful analysis.

talk to the mind

In general medicine, it’s not possible to open a conversation with the organ at fault, the liver, for example, or the gut. In psychiatry, that’s precisely what you do. If you are interested in how an individual has reacted to a given event, ask. Indeed, it is sensible to gain as clear an impression as you can of how that particular individual does react. In general medicine, this is known as ‘Patient Agency’, what and how, the patient believes, thinks, or acts, or, significantly, reacts. And again, it’s indispensible to effective medical practice.

Dr Bob Johnson.

Empowering intent detoxifies psychoses

Refs below.

The Editors responded to this by saying it was “Fun to read but not rigorous enough for us.”, to which I responded —


Ariane Bazan, et al, Belgian Superior Health Council advises against the use of the DSM categories. www.thelancet.com/psychiatry Vol 6 September 2019, 726
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(19)30284-6/fulltext. Full report at https://www.health.belgium.be/en/advisory-9360dsm

a Happy Psychiatrist ’cos 100% cures available. Sceptic? Take TRAUMA CHALLENGE http://tinyurl.com/tr-chnj http://tinyurl.com/PDvid http://tinyurl.com/EmHlthKndl

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