Psychiatry Is Not Based On Valid Science

von freakoutcrazy

On December 23, I wrote a post called DSM-5 – Dimensional Diagnoses – More Conflicts of Interest?  In the article I sketched out the role of David Kupfer, MD, in promoting the concept of dimensional assessment in DSM-5, and I speculated that at least part of his motivation in this regard might have stemmed from the fact that he is a major shareholder in a company that is developing a computerized assessment instrument.  I ended the piece with a general criticism of psychiatry:

“There is only one agenda item in modern American psychiatry:  the relentless expansion of psychiatric turf and drug sales.  They’ve promoted categorical diagnoses and chemical imbalances strenuously for the past five decades.  Now that these spurious notions are on the point of expiration, psychiatry is developing dimensional diagnoses and neurocircuitry malfunctions as the rallying points of the ‘new and improved’ psychiatry.

But the bottom line is always the same:  turf and money.  Something is truly rotten in the state of psychiatry.”

The article precipitated a fairly lengthy debate in the comments section.  The discussion was wide ranging, and some of the issues addressed were fundamental to the entire psychiatric debate, in particular:  whether or not psychiatry is based on valid science.

My own position is that the foundations of psychiatry are spurious, and the purpose of this post is to set out my position on this matter.