It’s not too late to save ‘normal’

A chairperson from the DSM-IV makes a plea to avoid what she has now concluded were mistakes:

Our panel tried hard to be conservative and careful but inadvertently contributed to three false “epidemics” — attention deficit disorder, autism and childhood bipolar disorder. Clearly, our net was cast too wide and captured many “patients” who might have been far better off never entering the mental health system.

The first draft of the next edition of the DSM, posted for comment with much fanfare last month, is filled with suggestions that would multiply our mistakes and extend the reach of psychiatry dramatically deeper into the ever-shrinking domain of the normal. This wholesale medical imperialization of normality could potentially create tens of millions of innocent bystanders who would be mislabeled as having a mental disorder. The pharmaceutical industry would have a field day — despite the lack of solid evidence of any effective treatments for these newly proposed diagnoses.

3 thoughts on “It’s not too late to save ‘normal’

  1. This assessment speaks to my heart. I am both worried about and weary from the gross over medicalisation of varieties of normal human experience. The millions of kids on psychostimulants represent a tragedy, Huge numbers of adults are on anti-depressants for unhappiness for which they do not one bit of good. Big pharma is laughing all the way to the bank as reason weeps.


  2. I'd love to have you visit Dawn Farm. If you're ever in the states, we'll have to try to arrange it.


  3. What a great offer.Coincidentally, I have, from time to time, thought about how I'd like to visit, though I'd be struggling to put a pin on Ann Arbor on the map!I do get to the States from time to time, though probably not this year. Incidentally, a common theme has been the sense in having harm reduction services adopt a recovery approach. Stephen Bamber has written eloquently about this.You can get to it from today's Daily Dose link. (NSPs in a recovery oriented system) I think it's a great piece of thinking and writing.


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