Editorials by Ed Note
The Intoxicating Power of the DSM
Continued Page 3
For what it's worth
Sick or Just Quirky
"Some critics wonder if the multiplication of mental disorders has gone too far, with the realm of the abnormal encroaching on areas that were once the province of individual choice, habit, eccentricity, or lifestyle: - Erica Goode, Sick or Just Quirky?
Although no comprehensive and scientifically verified study of what troubles people or how to help them exists in reality, the APA claims they have a system that does, the DSM. With this book the APA actually created its own marked and consumer base. Imagine how powerful it would be to create a book outlining various abnormalities otherwise unknown to anyone else, then using the book to convince people they have one of these abnormalities and are in need of something that only you can provide. The cost of your services and how long you keep people paying you for those services are also strictly governed by you, often for years. That's right, the APA also created the treatments and lengths of time to undergo the treatments necessary to become more ‘normal’ after being declared 'abnormal' by criteria they created in the DSM.
There's psychodynamic, supportive, cognitive, and interpersonal therapy. as well as behavioral treatment. Each of which has its purpose yet none of which alone prove sufficient for any one patient. This creates the need for a patient to undergo two or more therapy processes and of course this takes more time and time is money. It is clear that therapists not only can prescribe various treatments for an individual they can also justify them by classifying the individual with a variety of abnormalities because these abnormalities are all interchangeable. Again Matthew Dumont's statement about DSM classifications, while this manual provides a classification of mental disorders... no definition adequately specifies precise boundaries of the concept... there is no assumption that each mental disorder is a discrete entity with sharp boundaries between it and other mental disorders or between it and no mental disorder."
It has been observed that many therapists take little care even to ensure a patient actually fits certain labeling criteria or if the prescribed treatment actually helps. Many therapists do this knowing and not caring that DSM diagnostic categories have little if any scientific bases. The DSM which claims to be a proven sound classification system also claims to be scientific, when in fact it couldn't be further from being so.
A Debate on the DSM Ill, by George Vaillant states, "DSM Ill represents a bold series of choices based on guess, taste, prejudice, and hope ...few are based on fact or truth." The DSM may give an appearance of being grounded in science with continual revision and a "Fact Sheet" claiming, "...DSM is based on decades of research and input of thousands of psychiatric experts more than any other nomenclature of mental disorders, DSM IV is grounded in empirical evidence." Just another piece of slick advertising designed to sell a product - and it works.
The DSM is greatly accepted, but it is a work of fiction. Fiction, Webster's dictionary informs us is, "anything made up or imagined." As with other collaborations of good works of fiction, the authors of the DSM collaborated to perpetrate the myth of mental disorders by cataloging them and elaborating on each so profoundly it is honestly questionable if members of the APA believe anyone is "normal" - at least anyone outside of their secret society.
Since its beginning, when psychology meant the study of the soul, psych (soul)ology (study of) it has continuously been morphed by powerful men with personal agendas. In 1879 Wilhelm Wundt, a German educator, began educating the first of a new generation of psychologists into the realm of a scientific posture. Although psychiatry was first coined to mean ‘doctoring the soul’ these new doctors nor any since, ever professed to concern themselves with matters of the soul, but with matters of the brain. Not surprisingly, Wundtis students actually decried the origin of psychology with proclamations that the new psychology was a science without a soul. The creation of the DSM advanced this evolution of psychology by classifying abnormalities that took man's responsibility for his actions away from him and replaced it with causes beyond his control. Truly a work of fiction!
The DSM is divided into categories, subcategories, and sub-subcategories, numbered in the multi-digit with a point and even more numbers. Each category has certain criteria that must be met to satisfy whether someone actually fits that disorder. For example, to be regarded as having Major Depressive Episode a person must meet five or more of the nine criterions listed under that label. If someone meets four of less, they don't qualify. However, critically impressive this seems, in the introduction of the DSM IV, for instance, there is indication that is quite contrary. This introduction states that a therapist should use clinical judgment about the number of criteria the patient needs to meet to satisfy any particular diagnosis. Obviously when judgment comes in So do personal beliefs, bias, and motives, while science leaves.
A Tool to Manipulate the Masses
The marketing by the authors of the DSM amazingly claims that each new issue presented is different than its predecessor, the newest being truly grounded in science. The authors of the DSM Ill-R for example claimed their edition would be a "vast improvement over the unscientific DSM IlI" Robert Spitzer [emphasis added].
Then Allen Frances claimed in a 1991 article, "The major difference between the preparation of the DSM IV and that of the DSM Ill-R is its emphasis on explicit review and documentation of the available data." To ice this farcical cake, Jerrold Maxmen, in The New Psychiatrist stated, "On July 1, 1980, the ascendance of scientific psychiatry became official. For on this day the APA published a radically different system for psychiatric diagnosis called ...DSM Ill." Sealing it with the statement that American psychiatrists had adopted this, "scientifically based DSM Ill as its official system of diagnosis" and that "scientific psychiatry bases truth on scientific experimentation ... the old psychiatry derives from theory, the new... from fact." [Emphasis added]
Peter Breggin in Toxic Psychiatry makes the most profound observation however, "in the world of modern psychiatry, claims can become truth, hopes cam become achievements, and propaganda is taken as science." Quoting Ed Note What is Double Jeopardy we find that science knowledge of the material world arranged systematically as it is gathered in a 4-step process. These four steps are Step 1, Observation of a phenomenon. Step 2, Collection of data. Step 3, Creation of a hypothesis or theory by intuitive reasoning, and Step 4, testing of the hypothesis by repeated observations and controlled experiments, and it should be workable and invariably right for the body of knowledge in which it lies, This certainly doesn't sound like voting in or out an illness."
Truly the APA created the most powerful tool to manipulate the masses. The DSM is that tool and the people have bought into this ruse that has been fed them. They are dooped. People have been blindsided and blinded by the APA. The media fails to inform the public how the authors of the DSM twist and hide the truth. Quite possibly, reporters and journalists act in good faith and print what is presented to them as truth - after all they wouldn't want to be labeled paranoid should they print that the powerful APA is manipulating the public. Or of course, it could actually be that it doesn't occur to them that there is evidence contrary to what psychiatrists claim.
For over 200 years from the early 1800s to the early 2000s, psychiatrists/psychologists have manipulated people into believing all kinds of things about themselves to be true so what therapists say in support of the DSM must be true likewise. A form of brainwashing based on conditional response.
Remember Pavlov's Dogs?
It is not surprising to learn that Pavlov, the developer of the conditional response theory, studied under Wundt. People have been conditioned into believing they just may not be "normal" although no one has actually explained anywhere other than the DSM or its related materials just what behaviors are normal or rather abnormal.
Yet the DSM continues to lie about what is abnormal or a mental disorder. The authors even lie to their own constituents other APA members. One example would be in 1974 after a history of labeling homosexuality as a mental disorder, 5,854 APA members voted against 3,810 members' support of leaving it in the DSM Ill as a mental disorder. Because of the vote, homosexuality, the authors assured, would be removed as a disorder from the DSM Ill. This claim was a lie. The DSM Ill included a new disorder known as "Ego Dystonic Homosexuality" which basically means being homosexual and not feeling comfortable about it. This would include most gays and lesbians in today's society.
They basically labeled a lifestyle that is in conflict with society as a mental disorder, against their own vote that one should not diagnose a mental disorder primarily because the individual's lifestyle is in conflict with society. Obviously a very good practice that many therapists and certainly the authors of the DSM fail to follow.
In CONCLUSION What is Normal?
We have not nor will we resolve the question of what exactly is the definition of ‘normal.' But we have uncovered that it is neither useful nor proper to divide the world into the normal and the abnormal. Also, we've seen that whenever someone attempts to do so, for whatever reason, be it honorable or dishonorable, there is no proven benefit from the real-life consequences of "abnormal" or "mental illness" being part of some labeling system used with such great unchecked power by a few over the many.
In closing; I quote Carl R. Rogers, former president of the American Psychiatric Association in 1979, "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."
Well the APA has so chosen, and the people are not aware of their loss. All are intoxicated, the therapists by the power and control of the DSM and the people by the depersonalizing labels of mental abnormalities.