allen frances – dsm
from huffington post:
Allen Frances MD is Professor Emeritus at Duke University and former Chair of its Department of Psychiatry. He was Chair of the DSM IV Task Force. He is the author of “Saving Normal” and “Essentials of Psychiatric Diagnosis.”
Allen Frances was the chairperson of the DSM-IV Task Force, a former chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Duke University School of Medicine, and is the author of two new books: Saving Normal and Essentials of Psychiatric Diagnosis.
Allen J. Frances, MD is an American psychiatrist best known for chairing the Task Force that produced the fourth revision of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual and for his critique of the current version, DSM-5.
find him on wikipedia
Allen J. Frances, MD (born 1942) is an American psychiatrist best known for chairing the Task Force that produced the fourth revision of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV) and for his critique of the current version, DSM-5. He warns that the expanding boundary of psychiatry is causing a diagnostic inflation that is swallowing up normality and that the over-treatment of the ‘worried well’ is distracting attention from the core mission of treating the more severely ill.
Peter caused quite a stir for us – with this post:
Bernd posted this in response to Peter’s post
It’s a winning strategy, because most Americans don’t have a clue about the way psychiatry actually works or its pose of being a science.
The public hears techno-speak and nods and surrenders.
And politicians are more than happy to mouth vagaries, and consign the problems of society to “mental-health professionals.”
It turns out that the phrase “mental health” was invented by psyops specialists, who needed to create an analogy to physical well-being.
THERE ARE NO DEFINITIVE LABORATORY TESTS FOR ANY SO-CALLED MENTAL DISORDER.
And along with that:
ALL SO-CALLED MENTAL DISORDERS ARE CONCOCTED, NAMED, LABELED, DESCRIBED, AND CATEGORIZED by a committee of psychiatrists, from menus of human behaviors.
Their findings are published in periodically updated editions of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), printed by the American Psychiatric Association.
For years, even psychiatrists have been blowing the whistle on this hazy crazy process of “research.”
Of course, pharmaceutical companies, who manufacture highly toxic drugs to treat every one of these “disorders,” are leading the charge to invent more and more mental-health categories, so they can sell more drugs and make more money.
But we have a mind-boggling twist.
Under the radar, one of the great psychiatric stars, who has been out in front inventing mental disorders, went public. He blew the whistle on himself and his colleagues. And for 2 years, almost no one noticed.
His name is Dr. Allen Frances, and he made VERY interesting statements to Gary Greenberg, author of a Wired article: “Inside the Battle to Define Mental Illness.” (Dec.27, 2010).
Major media never picked up on the interview in any serious way.
It never became a scandal.
Dr. Allen Frances is the man who, in 1994, headed up the project to write the latest edition of the psychiatric bible, the DSM-IV. This tome defines and labels and describes every official mental disorder. The DSM-IV eventually listed 297 of them.
In an April 19, 1994, New York Times piece, “Scientist At Work,” Daniel Goleman called Frances “Perhaps the most powerful psychiatrist in America at the moment…”
Well, sure. If you’re sculpting the entire canon of diagnosable mental disorders for your colleagues, for insurers, for the government, for Pharma (who will sell the drugs matched up to the 297 DSM-IV diagnoses), you’re right up there in the pantheon.
Long after the DSM-IV had been put into print, Dr. Frances talked to Wired’s Greenberg and said the following:
“There is no definition of a mental disorder.
It’s b.s. I mean, you just can’t define it.”
That’s on the order of the designer of the Hindenburg, looking at the burned rubble on the ground, remarking, “Well, I knew there would be a problem.”
After a suitable pause, Dr. Frances remarked to Greenberg, “These concepts [of distinct mental disorders] are virtually impossible to define precisely with bright lines at the borders.”
Frances might have been referring to the fact that his baby, the DSM-IV, had rearranged earlier definitions of ADHD and Bipolar to permit many MORE diagnoses, leading to a vast acceleration of drug-dosing with highly powerful and toxic compounds.
Finally, at the end of the Wired interview, Frances flew off into a bizarre fantasy:
“Diagnosis [as spelled out in the DSM-IV] is part of the magic…you know those medieval maps? In the places where they didn’t know what was going on, they wrote ‘Dragons live here’…we have a dragon’s world here. But you wouldn’t want to be without the map.”
Translation: Patients need hope for the healing of their troubles; so even if we psychiatrists are shooting blanks and pretending to know one kind of mental disorder from another, even if we’re inventing these mental-disorder definitions based on no biological or chemical diagnostic tests—it’s a good thing, because patients will then believe and have hope; they’ll believe it because psychiatrists place a name on their problems…
Needless to say, this has nothing to do with science.
If I were an editor at one of the big national newspapers, and one of my reporters walked in and told me, “The most powerful psychiatrist in America just said the DSM is sheer b.s. but it’s still important,” I think I’d make room on the front page.
If the reporter then added, “This shrink was in charge of creatingthe DSM-IV,” I’d clear more room above the fold.
If the reporter went on to explain that the whole profession of psychiatry would collapse overnight if the DSM was discredited, I’d call for a special section of the paper to be printed.
I’d tell the reporter to get ready to pound on this story day after day for months. I’d tell him to track down all the implications of Dr. Frances’ statements.
I’d open a bottle of champagne to toast the soon-to-be-soaring sales of my newspaper.
And then, of course, the next day I’d be fired.
Because there are powerful multi-billion-dollar interests at stake, and those people don’t like their deepest secrets exposed in the press.
And as I walked out of my job, I’d see a bevy of blank-eyed pharmaceutical executives marching into the office of the paper’s publisher, ready to read the riot act to him.
Dr. Frances’ work on the DSM-IV allowed for MORE toxic drugs to be prescribed, because the definition of Bipolar was expanded to include more people.
Adverse effects of Valproate (given for a Bipolar diagnosis) include:
and then the post goes on and on listing all the ways/labels – you can have a reason for a prescribed drug
Dr. Frances’ label-juggling act also permitted the definition of ADHD to expand, thereby opening the door for greater and greater use of toxic Ritalin (and other similar compounds) as the treatment of choice.
So what about Ritalin?
In 1986, The International Journal of the Addictions published a most important literature review by Richard Scarnati. It was called “An Outline of Hazardous Side Effects of Ritalin (Methylphenidate)” [v.21(7), pp. 837-841].
Scarnati listed a large number of adverse affects of Ritalin and cited published journal articles which reported each of these symptoms.
For every one of the following (selected and quoted verbatim) Ritalin effects, there is at least one confirming source in the medical literature:
Hypomanic and manic symptoms, amphetamine-like psychosis
Activation of psychotic symptoms
Can surpass LSD in producing bizarre experiences
Effects pathological thought processes
Since Ritalin is considered an amphetamine-type drug, expect amphetamine-like effects
High-abuse potential DEA Schedule II Drug
Decreased REM sleep
When used with antidepressants one may see dangerous reactions including hypertension, seizures and hypothermia
Brain damage may be seen with amphetamine abuse.
A recent survey revealed that a high percentage of children diagnosed with bipolar had first received a diagnosis of ADHD. This is informative, because Ritalin and other speed-type drugs are given to kids who are slapped with the ADHD label. Speed, sooner or later, produces a crash. This is easy to call “clinical depression.”
Then comes Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft. These drugs can produce temporary highs, followed by more crashes. The psychiatrist notices the up and down pattern—and then produces a new diagnosis of Bipolar (manic-depression) and other drugs, including Valproate and Lithium.
In the US alone, there are at least 300,000 cases of motor brain damage incurred by people who have been prescribed so-called anti-psychotic drugs (aka “major tranquilizers”). Risperdal (mentioned above as a drug given to people diagnosed with Bipolar) is one of those major tranquilizers. (source: Toxic Psychiatry, Dr. Peter Breggin, St. Martin’s Press, 1991)
This psychiatric drug plague is accelerating across the land.
Where are the mainstream reporters and editors and newspapers and TV anchors who should be breaking this story and mercilessly hammering on it week after week? They are in harness.
And Dr. Frances is somehow let off the hook. He’s admitted in print that the whole basis of his profession is throwing darts at labels on a wall, and implies the “effort” is rather heroic—when, in fact, the effort leads to more and more poisonous drugs being dispensed to adults and children, to say nothing of the effect of being diagnosed with “a mental disorder.”
I’m not talking about “the mental-disease stigma,” the removal of which is one of Hillary Clinton’s missions in life. No, I’m talking about MOVING A HUMAN INTO THE SYSTEM, the medical apparatus, where the essence of the game is trapping that person to harvest his money, his time, his energy, and of course his health—as one new diagnosis follows on another, and one new toxic treatment after another is undertaken, from cradle to grave.
The result is a severely debilitated human being (if he survives), whose major claim to fame is his list of diseases and disorders.
Thank you, Dr. Frances.
Here is a smoking-gun statement made by another prominent psychiatrist, on an episode of PBS’ Frontline series. The episode was: “Does ADHD Exist?”
PBS FRONTLINE INTERVIEWER: Skeptics say that there’s no biological marker—that it [ADHD] is the one condition out there where there is no blood test, and that no one knows what causes it.
BARKLEY (Dr. Russell Barkley, professor of psychiatry and neurology at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center): That’s tremendously naïve, and it shows a great deal of illiteracy about science and about the mental health professions. A disorder doesn’t have to have a blood test to be valid. If that were the case, all mental disorders would be invalid…There is no lab test for any mental disorder right now in our science. That doesn’t make them invalid. [Emphasis added]
Without intending to, Dr. Barkley blows the whistle on his own profession.
Close to 50 years ago, psychiatry was dying out as a profession. Fewer and fewer people wanted to see a psychiatrist for help, for talk therapy. All sorts of new therapies were popping up. The competition was leaving medical psychiatry in the dust.
As Dr. Peter Breggin describes it in his landmark book, Toxic Psychiatry, a deal was struck. Drug companies would bankroll psychiatry and rescue it. These companies would pour money into professional conferences, journals, research. In return, they wanted “science” that would promote mental disease as a biological fact, a gateway into the drugs. Everyone would win—except the patient.
So the studies were rolled out, and the list of mental disorders expanded. The FDA was in on the deal as well, as evidenced by their drug “safety” approvals, in the face of the obvious damage these drugs were doing.
and that’s how we found allen frances… although Lucas probably ran into him way back when he wrote this:
Peter Moskowitz et al
from Jon Ronson‘s the psychopath test:
p. 252 – In 1980, after six years inside Columbia, Spitzer felt ready to publish. But first he wanted to road test his new checklists. And there were a lot. DSM-I had been a sixty-five-page booklet. DSM-II was a little longer—134 pages. But DSM-III, Spitzer’s DSM, was coming in at 494 pages. He turned the checklists into interview questionnaires
more copies sold than psychiatrists.. people began using checklist to diagnose self.. finally suffering had a name..
253 – “The pharmaceuticals were delighted with DSM,” Spitzer told me, and this in turn delighted him: “I love to hear examples of parents who say, ‘It was impossible to live with him until we gave him medication and then it was night and day.’ That’s good news for a DSM person.
p. 255 – usa overdiagnoses many things and childhood bipolar is the latest but perhaps the most worrying given the implications… very unlikely you’ll find it in children under seven years of age.. ian goodyer – cambridge
p. 256 – when robert spitzer stepped down as editor of dsm 3 his position was taken by a psychiatrist name allen frances…. dsm 4 came in at 886 pages.. dr frances tole me… they’d made some terrible mistakes.. it’s very easy to set off a false epidemic in psychiatry.. he said… and we inadvertently contributed to three that are ongoing now…. autism, attention deficit,a dn childhood bipolar… the rates of diagnosis of autistic disorder in children went from less than one in 2000 to more than one in 100….. but this chaos (people off vaccines and some dying from measles) allen frances said, pales next to childhood bipolar.
p. 257 – “Psychiatric diagnoses are getting closer and closer to the boundary of normal,” said Allen Frances. “That boundary is very populous. The most crowded boundary is the boundary with normal.” “Why?” I asked. “There’s a societal push for conformity in all ways,” he said. “There’s less tolerance of difference. And so maybe for some people having a label is better. It can confer a sense of hope and direction. ‘Previously I was laughed at, I was picked on, no one liked me, but now I can talk to fellow bipolar sufferers on the Internet and no longer feel alone.’”
p. 263 – He fulfilled the bipolar checklist. See? And so they gave him some pretty heavy-duty medication. It slowed him way down, to a drooling fat kid. And they declared the meds a success.”
it eventually became clear that the boy wasn’t bipolar, byrna said. he was moody and had sexualized behavior because he had been sexually abused. but they were in thrall to the checklist.
p. 264 – robert spitzer -But I don’t like the idea of speculating how many of the DSM-III categories are describing normal behavior.” “Why don’t you like speculating on that?” I asked. “Because then I’d be speculating on how much of it is a mistake,” he said. There was another long silence. “Some of it may be,” he said.
p. 267 – Or was he Rebecca Riley or Colin Stagg, wrongly judged insane because they just weren’t what the people around them wanted them to be? They were just too difficult, just not normal enough (rebecca – 4 yr old overdose – when not bipolar)
p. 285 – I had dismissed him as just eccentric and obsessive. I had reduced him in that manner. But now I could see that it was his eccentricities and his obsessions that had led him to produce and distribute Being or Nothingness in the most intriguing ways. There is no evidence that we’ve been placed on this planet to be especially happy or especially normal. And in fact our unhappiness and our strangeness, our anxieties and compulsions, those least fashionable aspects of our personalities, are quite often what lead us to do rather interesting things.
also in neurotribes – esp p 375-384 ish
SAVING NORMAL and ESSENTIALS OF PSYCHIATRIC DIAGNOSIS. Chairperson of DSM-IV Task Force. Prof emeritus & former chair of Dept of Psychiatry at Duke U.
Saving Normal: An Insider’s Revolt Against Out-of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life
In Saving Normal, Allen Frances, one of the world’s most influential psychiatrists, warns that mislabeling everyday problems as mental illness has shocking implications for individuals and society: stigmatizing a healthy person as mentally ill leads to unnecessary, harmful medications, the narrowing of horizons, misallocation of medical resources, and draining of the budgets of families and the nation. We also shift responsibility for our mental well-being away from our own naturally resilient and self-healing brains, which have kept us sane for hundreds of thousands of years, and into the hands of “Big Pharma,” who are reaping multi-billion-dollar profits.
all of these newly invented conditions will worsen the cruel paradox of the mental health industry: those who desperately need psychiatric help are left shamefully neglected, while the “worried well” are given the bulk of the treatment, often at their own detriment.
Masterfully charting the history of psychiatric fads throughout history, Frances argues that whenever we arbitrarily label another aspect of the human condition a “disease,” we further chip away at our human adaptability and diversity, dulling the full palette of what is normal and losing something fundamental of ourselves in the process. Saving Normal is a call to all of us to reclaim the full measure of our humanity.