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For what it's worth

Editorials by Ed Note

"We can choose to use our growing knowledge to enslave people in ways never dreamed of before, depersonalizing them, controlling them by means so carefully selected that they will perhaps never be aware of their loss of personhood."

Carl R. Rogers, former president of the American Psychiatric Association in 1979

The Intoxicating Power of the DSM

Illusion of Authority

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders referred to by therapists and most laypersons, as the DSM is a book, which is not based on reason, scientific research, or concern about any devastating effects the damaging diagnostic labels have on millions of patients. It is rather a source of great power, control, and financial gain.  The effects on society are profound.

The DSM affords psychiatrists and psychologists the illusion of being an authority in fields of human behavioral diagnosis.  This is an illusion and nothing more. Laypersons have been proven to predict treatment needs as accurately according to L.N. Robins and J. E. Helzer, in Diagnosis and Clinical Assessment: The Current State of Psychiatric Diagnosis. A quote from R. F. Schopp and M. R. Qualtrocchi's, Tarasoff, the Doctrine of Special Relationships and the Psychotherapist's Duty to Warn states, "Not only have psychologists and psychiatrists been unable to predict dangerousness to a degree of accuracy which would justify infringing on a client's rights they have been unable to predict any more accurately than nonprofessionals." Nevertheless, therapists rely on this illusion, bestowed upon them by the DSM, to infringe upon patient's rights for pecuniary gain and power and control.

Imagine having the power to decide, based strictly on your word, of course justified by diagnostic classification found in the DSM, who or what is normal. The therapists ignore that the DSM is not founded on scientific research and overlook documented evidence of the emotional, psychological, and physical harm that is done to people by the labeling of abnormalities found within it.

The outcome of this misuse is that nearly half of the population of the world is controlled by the few that use this tome of classification of what is or is not normal. Society has come to believe what therapists have made them believe, they just may not be normal.

Deliberate Indifference

There are some in the field of psychology who recognize that many people are suffering and that their work can be helpful. However, they are often overwhelmed by the feeling that patients believe therapists know more about them then they do. These therapists turn to articles and papers written by professionals, usually members of the American Psychiatric Association (APA).  Let us not lose sight of the fact that it was members of the APA who authored the DSM.  With this in mind, we have a circular source of diagnostic classification.  Diagnoses found in the DSM verified by articles and papers written by those who use the DSM. 


In, The Myth of the Reliability of DSM, The Journal of the Mind.  (Vol. 15, No. 1&2) professors Herb Kutchins and Stuart A. Kirk found in their study, “There is ample reason to conclude that the latest versions of the DSM as a clinical tool are unreliable and therefore of questionable validity as a classification system.”


Even given such conclusions the mere power and control alone that this impressive-looking tome bestows upon mental health professionals creates a deliberate indifference and blatant unconcern of any harmful consequences of its labeling system.  It is fair to say that many of the authors of the DSM never had to personally undergo therapy or experience the damaging consequences of being labeled with some form of mental abnormality.  Had they personally experienced this or had any empathy for those who have suffered they would acknowledge how far reaching the effects of being so labeled are.  Merely being labeled with a mental abnormality, disorder or illness effects the very way people feel about themselves.  Some people become so emotionally and psychologically devastated that actual physical symptoms manifest.

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