Strictly Bipolar by Darian Leader - review
It may seem perverse to express nostalgia for a category of mental illness, but many sufferers, as well as some psychiatrists, regret the passing of "manic depression". My brother, Archie, was diagnosed with the condition in the 1980s, the decade the American Psychiatric Association formally rebranded it " bipolar disorder ", but he was not alone ... (more)
Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Guardian.
#1 May 6, 2013
There is no science to the mental health industry. No medical model. NO evidence based medicine. No test for chemical imbalance of the brain to which the APA admitted to the falsehood in 2004. The industry is based on hearsay and is political.
Inside the Battle to Define Mental Illness
Every so often Al Frances says something that seems to surprise even him. Just now, for instance, in the predawn darkness of his comfortable, rambling home in Carmel, California, he has broken off his exercise routine to declare that “there is no definition of a mental disorder. It’s bullshit. I mean, you just can’t define it.” Then an odd, reflective look crosses his face, as if he’s taking in the strangeness of this scene: Allen Frances, lead editor of the fourth edition of the American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (universally known as the DSM-IV), the guy who wrote the book on mental illness, confessing that “these concepts are virtually impossible to define precisely with bright lines at the boundaries.” For the first time in two days, the conversation comes to an awkward halt.
There are no genetic tests, no brain scans, blood tests, chemical imbalance tests or X-rays that can scientifically/medically prove that any psychiatric disorder is a medical condition.
#2 May 6, 2013
APA Admits there is no test for "chemical imbalance"
American Psychiatric Association admitted it lied to the American Public
29 September 2003 Issue 61
This week, a few representative excerpts from an article that I discovered on my internet travels only a matter of days ago, concerning the area in which biopsychiatry has, it seems to me, most comprehensively misled the world at large.
Please go to the website linked to below the excerpts and read the complete article. Then you will not be bamboozled should a doctor, teacher, journalist, ad man, politician, family member, friend, some bloke in your local pub, or whoever, start waffling on at you about 'mental illness' being caused by 'chemical imbalances' in the brain. You will know better!
There Are No "Chemical Imbalances"
"The hypothetical disturbances of neurochemical function that are said to underlie "mental illness" are just that: hypothetical. No experiment has ever shown that anyone has an "imbalance" of any neurotransmitters or any other brain chemicals. Nor could any conceivable experiment demonstrate the existence of a "chemical imbalance," simply because no one, least of all the biopsychiatrists, has the slightest idea what a proper and healthy chemical "balance" would look like."
"...the views and beliefs of biopsychiatry have nothing to do with the answers to scientific questions in any case: the hunt for biological "causes" of "mental illness" is an entirely fallacious enterprise in the first place; the non- existence of data to support its assertions is quite beside the point."
"The latest edition of one pharmacology text has this to say about the status of depression as a disease: "Despite extensive efforts, attempts to document the metabolic changes in human subjects predicted by these [biological] hypotheses have not, on balance, provided consistent or compelling corroboration." This is a long-winded way of admitting that not even a scrap of evidence supports the idea that depression results from a "chemical imbalance." Yet patients are told every day - by their doctors, by the media, and by drug company advertising - that it is a proven scientific fact that depression has a known biochemical origin. It follows directly that millions of Americans are being lied to by their doctors; and people surely can't give informed consent for drug treatment when what they're being "informed" by is a fraud.... To sum up: there is no evidence whatsoever to support the view that "mental illness" is biochemical in origin; in other words, things like "Unipolar Disorder" and "Attention Deficit Disorder" simply do not exist."
Read the complete article, There Are No "Chemical Imbalances" by Eaton T. Fores, at the Eaton T. Fores Research Center:
#3 May 6, 2013
Without a test for chemical imbalance the mental health, the "psychiatric diagnosis" is limited in the ancillary tests of medicine like an EKG, EEG, blood work or other tests in the diagnoses of a patient. They aren't really needed in Psychiatry.
I think you can see, and probably know, as a student, that the psychiatric diagnosis is made on the basis of behavior or spoken words or the hearsay from a neighor, friend, estranged husband/wife who may very well be making a false allegation or creating a position in a court of law for their advantage. I am sure that Medicare or Disability and insurances play a large part in the diagnoses. Basically you are making a diagnoses on the physiological differences between the so called "mentally ill" and the "normal" without knowing what a proper and healthy chemical "balance" look like?" There is no test.
If we respect metabolic changes based on daily dietary habits, weight gain / loss , terms of the survival of the organisms as a person age along with physical conditioning, physical illness, electrolyte level, gender differences , body temperature, I don't see where the Mental Health and Counseling Industry could conform to any consistency in data with consideration to the above to state a person has a mental disease or illness based on chemical imbalance. Beside that, the mental health psychiatric diagnoses isn't even part of standard medical procedure known as the medical model in which all doctors are trained and is the only branch of medicine operating completely on political decisions.
So, on the basis of a 10 minute exchange between doctor & patient, a diagnosis of atypical schizophrenia (others) can be made and what is disturbing is that with the aid of a 2nd physician, the patient can be involuntarily hospitalized without any due process of law.. There is no other branch of medicine that permits this sort of thing.
If an orthopedic surgeon operated on a patient without the aid of an X-ray, he would be working at the car wash the next day.
#4 May 6, 2013
Psychiatric Diagnosis: Too Little Science, Too Many Conflicts of Interest [i]
Paula J. Caplan, Ph.D.
There is a lot of pain and suffering in the world, and it is tempting to believe that the mental health community knows how to help. It is widely believed, both by mental health professionals and the general population, that if only a person gets the right psychiatric diagnosis, the therapist will know what kind of measures will be the most helpful. Unfortunately, that is not usually the case, and getting a psychiatric diagnosis can often create more problems than it solves, including a lifetime of being labeled, difficulties with obtaining affordable (or any) health insurance (due to now having a pre-existing condition), loss of employment, loss of child custody, the overlooking of physical illnesses and injuries because of everything being attributed to psychological factors, and the loss of the right to make decisions about one’s medical and legal affairs. The creation and use of psychiatric diagnosis, unlike, for instance, psychiatric drugs, is not overseen by any regulatory body, and rarely does anyone raise the question of what role the assignment of a psychiatric label has played in creating problems for individuals.[ii]
The Problematic History
These serious limitations have not prevented the authors of the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), sometimes known as “the therapist’s Bible,” from making expansive claims about their knowledge and authority and wielding enormous power to decide who will and will not be called mentally ill and what the varieties of alleged mental illness will be. The DSM’s current edition is called DSM-IV-TR, and it was preceded by the original DSM (in 1952), then DSM-II (1968), DSM-III (1980), DSM-III-R (Third Edition Revised)(1987), DSM-IV (1994), and DSM-IV-TR (2000). The DSM-V is currently in preparation and slated for 2013 publication. Each time a new edition appears, the media ask whichever psychiatrist is the lead editor why a new edition was necessary, and like clockwork, each editor replies that it was because the previous edition really wasn’t scientific (Caplan, 1995). And each time a new edition appears, it contains many more categories than does the previous one. For instance, DSM-III-R contained 297 categories, and DSM-IV contained 374 (Caplan, 1995).
I served as an advisor to two of the DSM-IV committees, before resigning due to serious concerns after witnessing how fast and loose they play with the scientific research related to diagnosis (Caplan, 1995). The DSM is widely used, not only in the mental health system, but also in general medical practice, in schools, and in the courts. I have been involved since 1985 in trying to alert both therapists and the public to the manual’s unscientific nature and the dangers that believing in its objectivity poses. Since then, I have watched with interest a national trend toward gradually increasing openness to the idea that psychiatric diagnosis (A)is largely unscientific,(B)is highly subjective and political, and (C)can cause untold harm, ranging from the patients’ lowered self-confidence to loss of custody of children to loss of health insurance (because any psychiatric label can be considered evidence of a pre-existing condition) to loss of the right to make decisions about their medical and legal affairs.
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