Blog des AK Psychiatriekritik der NFJ Berlin

Kategorie: Diskriminierung

Dr. Datta – Still Repackaging Psychiatry

On December 1, Mad in America published an article titled When Homosexuality Came Out (of the DSM).  The author is Vivek Datta, MD, MPH, a British physician.  The article was also published the same day on Dr. Datta’s blog site, Medicine and Society.

The article focuses on the removal of homosexuality from the DSM, which occurred in 1973.  Dr. Datta discusses this issue and various related themes, and he draws some conclusions that, in my opinion, are unwarranted and misleading.

Here are some quotes from Dr. Datta’s article, interspersed with my comments.


When Homosexuality Came Out (of the DSM)

41 years ago this month, homosexuality ceased to be a mental illness. Amid growing opposition from gay activists, and dissent within its own ranks, the American Psychiatric Association was begrudgingly forced to expunge homosexuality from the DSM-II. Paradigmatic of the social nature of psychiatric diagnosis, the purging of homosexuality from the psychiatric nomenclature highlights the instability of the psychiatric sign: once signifying disease and perversion, homosexuality came to be recognized by the establishment as a normal variant of human sexuality. The ‘coming out’ of homosexuality from the DSM-II allows us to reflect on the following: (1) change in the concept of mental disorder is slow; (2) diagnosis-making is a social act; (3) the construct of illness and disorder, ‘mental’ or otherwise is a social one; (4) the construct of illness has social consequences; and (5) shifts in the concept and nature of disorder reflect wider social, political and economic forces more than scientific advancement.


The Indian Health Service’s Psychiatric Drug Habit & the ‘Heavy Influence of Biomedical Models’

For many years, I’ve been curious about the full extent of the Indian Health Service’s psychiatric drug habit.

In my last blog post, I noted promising signs of agency self-reflection at the Indian Health Service (IHS) within a recent behavioral health strategic plan statement recognizing “the heavy influence of biomedical models” and the need to talk about that dominant ideology in “various IHS health conferences and meetings.”1

I view this statement as ‘IHS-speak,’ by which the agency admits that it has a major psychiatric drug habit. I’ve worked alongside people trying to resolve drug and alcohol issues for about 27 years, and am encouraged by this development because often the first step to recovery from addiction is admitting that one has ‘a problem.’


Feministische und queere Perspektiven für die Psychologie

International sind queere und feministische Psychologien mittlerweile gut etabliert: Vor allem in Großbritannien, den USA und Kanada konnten sie sich durch einschlägige institutionelle Verankerungen, Zeitschriften und Studienangebote einen kleinen aber festen Platz innerhalb der akademischen Landschaft erobern. In den deutschsprachigen Ländern gibt es eine solche institutionelle Verankerung bisher nicht. In den letzten Jahren haben sich queere und feministische Stimmen in der deutschsprachigen Psychologie jedoch immer mehr Gehör verschafft.

Diese Stimmen sollen nun erstmals im Rahmen einer Tagung versammelt werden, um so die Verankerung queerer und feministischer Psychologie im deutschsprachigen Raum zu fördern. Dabei möchten wir keineswegs das „Rad neu erfinden“, sondern vielmehr an internationale Arbeiten und Erfahrungen anknüpfen.


Pharma-funded Research

On August 20, 2014, Psychiatry Advisor published an article on its website.  The article was written by Leslie Citrome, MD, a professor of psychiatry at New York Medical College in Valhalla, NY, and a member of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology.  The article is called Is Bias Against Pharma-Funded Research Fair?  This is an interesting title, because bias, by its very definition, is unfair.  So the very wording of the question begs the question – which strikes me as unfair.  But let’s put that aside. 

Dr. Citrome begins by introducing the term “pharmaism” (anti-pharma prejudice).  He tells us that:

“Pharmaism includes the implicit belief that people associated with pharmaceutical companies are more likely to be intellectually and morally dishonest than others.”