freakoutcrazy

Blog des AK Psychiatriekritik der NFJ Berlin

Kategorie: Allen Frances

Allen Frances and the Spurious Medicalization of Everyday Problems

On April 5, Allen Frances MD, published an article on the Huffington Post blog.  The title is Can We Replace Misleading Terms Like ‚Mental Illness,‘ ‚Patient,‘ and ‚Schizophrenia‘  It’s an interesting piece, and it raises some fundamental issues.

Here are some quotes from the article, interspersed with my comments.

„Those of us who worked on DSM IV learned first-hand and painfully the limitations of the written word and how it can be tortured and twisted in damaging daily usage, especially when there is a profit to be had.“

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Allen Frances and the Spurious Medicalization of Everyday Problems

On April 5, Allen Frances MD, published an article on the Huffington Post blog.  The title is Can We Replace Misleading Terms Like ‚Mental Illness,‘ ‚Patient,‘ and ‚Schizophrenia‘  It’s an interesting piece, and it raises some fundamental issues.

Here are some quotes from the article, interspersed with my comments.

„Those of us who worked on DSM IV learned first-hand and painfully the limitations of the written word and how it can be tortured and twisted in damaging daily usage, especially when there is a profit to be had.“

The fact that words can acquire multiple, and even contradictory, meanings is well known to most high school graduates.  People of all walks of life are generally sensitive to this reality, and take steps to clarify their meanings, especially with regards to words that are known to be ambiguous.

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A Debate Between Allen Frances and Robert Whitaker

After Allen Frances and Robert Whitaker spoke recently at the Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry conference in Los Angeles, where they had a brief debate, Frances wrote to Whitaker suggesting that they should continue this debate in print. They do so here. Whitaker’s response follows Frances’ post.

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Open Letter to Allen Frances

This is an open letter from INTERVOICE to Allen Frances, Professor Emeritus at Duke University, about an article he published in the Huffington Post entitled Psychiatry and Recovery: Finding Common Ground and Joining Forces.

Professor Frances is an influential American psychiatrist best known for chairing the task force that produced the fourth revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV) and for his more recent critiques of the current version, DSM-5.

His article was written in reaction to an Op-Ed by Eleanor Longden, an INTERVOICE board member, published in the Huffington Post entitled Why I Thank the Voices in My Head. This article followed up the very well-received video of Eleanor’s TED talk about her experience of hearing voices. Within a month of being posted online, the video of her speech has been viewed on the TED website over 780,000 times and on YouTube a further 58,000 times.

This open letter addresses the points of concern we have about his article and seeks to initiate a dialogue, both with Professor Frances, and others who are concerned and disheartened about the direction that psychiatry is taking.

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DSM-5 Writing Mistakes Will Cause Great Confusion

There are two very different kinds of mistakes that any DSM can make — bad conceptual choices or bad writing. The big conceptual botches in DSM-5 have been discussed extensively elsewhere and won’t be covered again here. These are things like the new diagnoses (e.g. Mild Neurocognitive, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation, Binge Eating, Behavioral Addictions) and the reduced thresholds for existing ones (e.g. removing the Bereavement Exclusion for Major Depressive Disorder).

Our focus now will be on the fact that DSM-5 is filled with glaring mistakes in wording and coding. The devil often lurks in these very small details. I have learned through painful experience not to underestimate the potential mischief caused by seemingly tiny word changes.