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The DSM - Psychiatry's Deadliest Scam! Please read and respond!

Felicity Lee
Felicity Lee

The DSM - Psychiatry's Deadliest Scam! Please read and respond!

Post by felicity on 7/5/2017, 9:34 am

Taking in the entirety of this video - is a hard pill for us to swallow - please take the time to watch it. It is well worth your time.

Some thoughts on it:

The information and history of the DSM is true, but I don't not agree that it needs to be 'thrown out'. I do agree that it needs some regulations - as do psychiatrists who dx and prescribe at will - which ALL do not.

Some realities:

There is no such thing as a 'chemical imbalance' - no evidence at all for this idea.

What goes into the DSM is fueled by politics. For instance, the DID dx has been fought over time and time again to keep it in the DSM. Why? So that insurance will cover this dx and because, medication is shown to have no positive effect. Therefore, it is not financially beneficial to pharmaceutical companies. (but, they will try to state that symptoms of DID can be medicated - untrue, but...)

This IS a huge industry and, society's belief that meds can 'cure' anything fuels the problem.

This industry is OUT of CONTROL and also, totally in control of people's lives as they dx everybody for anything that suits their needs. If you try to fight for your rights, you can easily be hit with the 'Non-compliance' dx given to folks who refuse to take and/or give to their children meds prescribed by pdocs. You can also be held 'against your will' in mental hospitals - or 'forced' to comply.

These truths are difficult to accept - yes - but, it is up to each of us to realize what is going on here. Dx's ARE 'created' in order to force insurance companies, state and federal agencies to pay for services and meds. In some cases, these are needed. Which are 'real' conditions needing meds and which are not? Which meds are killing us and which are helpful? And, how do we stay out of being controlled by this system - if we can't even protect our right of taking or not taking medication prescribed?

Reality - once in the mental health system, we may never get out - mis-dx'd and taking meds for decades - meds that really are killing ppl.

We say that our mental health dx does not define us; it is not a 'label'. This statement is untrue. Mental health dx's do define and label us within the system and follow each of us in our records.

pdocs, in many hospital settings, spend less than 10 minutes to dx and prescribe. Commonsense dictates that this is not possible for anyone to do.

We don't like the dx of 'false memory syndrome', because it has never been 'proved' to be a valid dx, but really neither has many other dx that we do accept. Could it become a dx that replaces DID? It could if the FMSF can persuade the public to accept it. Politics dictate what goes in and what gets thrown out of the DSM. That is why many of us fight so hard to keep this garbage out of the DSM.

The answer - education, education, education. Learn everything you can. Advocate for yourself/your family/your children and everyone's well-being. Use commonsense. If a med isn't helping - STOP TAKING IT. If your symptoms have not caused you to become completely dysfunctional in your life, do not accept or medicate. In fact, don't even go in for treatment.

It is impossible for any pdoc to predict what might happen in the future.

Stay completely away from seeking out psychiatric care for children.

If you believe that you are suicidal, take a look at the meds you are taking.

Always look to therapy before agreeing to medication. Know that meds actually impede you life and ability to benefit from talk-therapy.

I advocate for moving forward despite having such dx as DID/PTSD through talk-therapy, support, and education. I do not agree that the dx defines or should label folks. I do not agree that meds 'cure' anything, but rather that they numb and addict people causing more problems - including suicidal ideation.

I have been caught in this mess for decades and am now free of it all. I have never done better and hope that everyone can see 'clearly' what is going on and benefit from the 'good' programs, therapists, and pdocs available. Commonsense tells us that we are not all mentally ill - billions of ppl? No, of course not.

What do all think. If you don't agree with me, please write your thoughts for everyone to consider. Thank you for reading this - and, do watch the video. It is worth your time and thoughts.


Here is another link to read more, if you are interested:

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Re: The DSM - Psychiatry's Deadliest Scam! Please read and respond!

Post by nanabanana on 7/5/2017, 4:24 pm

For some who read this post & view this video, I can imagine it must be daunting to consider that there are members here at IG who support a revolution to achieve the changes in mental health we believe necessary.

I have only to look at my own daughter's experience with her teenage son two years past, to know the confusion and angst parents go through in order to get needed help when teenage behaviors go beyond disruption to family life and become a concern for self-harm, or involvement with the legal system.  In turning to the mental health system in our country, they are confounded with diagnostic measures that result in medicalizing and labeling.

But there is no escaping that the DSM is a flawed conceptualization.  I agree that we should all endeavor to read as much as we can and be aware of the flaws that we may not become grist for a process that guides treatment, assigns labels, and invokes protocols without considering causal factors.

Here is one article that helps to layout the big picture:

Professionals Push Back on Psychiatric Diagnostic Manual, Propose Alternatives - Criticisms of the DSM-5 spark alternative proposals and calls to reform diagnostic systems in the mental health field.

Published March 31, 2017 at https://www.madinamerica.com/2017/03/professionals-push-back-psychiatric-diagnostic-manual-propose-alternatives/

Here are some excerpts to pique your interest:

“As a response to shortcomings of the current mental health diagnostic system, professionals are developing alternative classification systems as well as uniting toward systemic reform.”

“…clinical researchers have identified limitations to the existing DSM taxonomy, criticizing the weak validity and the untested hypotheses that lay the foundation for the current diagnostic categories…consider all mental disorders to be categories, whereas the evidence to date suggests that psychopathology exists on a continuum with normal-range functioning"  “…not grounded in structural research or an understanding of the etiologic architecture of mental disorders.”

“The shortcomings of DSM categories extend beyond the diagnostic cutoffs and appear within the categories themselves. Built-in assumptions of homogeneity within diagnoses, purported to occur as a singular, one-size-fits-all process, leave no room for the heterogeneous reality of mental health experiences, or the realistic prevalence of comorbidity within mental health experiences.”

Prior to the publication of the current DSM-V in 2013, the British Psychological Society (BPS) unabashedly criticized its proposal for lacking scientific validity and medicalizing normative experiences and behaviors, becoming a catalyst for other psychological organizations to follow suit and openly express grievances.

“…the history of this reform, beginning with the creation of the “Open Letter,” a public critique of the DSM-5 to the American Psychiatric Association, which received astounding support and recognition from over 15,000 mental health professionals who provided their signature, over 50 mental health organizations who endorsed the petition, and news agencies across the globe who covered the story. The attention this received gave rise to the counter-narrative that has since resonated with many in the field who have united to push back on traditional diagnostic classifications.”

Since the original open letter, the Global Summit on Diagnostic Alternatives (GSDA) was established around 2013 as an internet-based platform to openly discuss the future of mental health-related classification systems. “Our ultimate goal was to generate transdisciplinary, international, egalitarian conversation about the possibility, feasibility, and potential implications of new means for conceptualizing mental distress,...”

“…teams of researchers have formed a consortium to propose one example of an alternative classification system known as the Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP).  This alternative system aims to operationalize the dimensional quality of diagnoses to be consistent with evidence suggesting that psychopathology is experienced along a spectrum rather than categorically."

"The objective has been to test and develop a multi-level, hierarchical approach to identifying psychopathology through quantitative methodologies. This alternative system incorporates comorbidity and allows for flexible adaptation to individual client needs."

I'm very pleased to be discussing this very important topic.  I would add that it is a topic that is well served by proposing questions, and including many voices!  It is from discourse that our horizons are broadened; that we are able to make more informed decisions about care for ourselves, and ask more pertinent questions of those who provide support to our journey (like T's).

Thx to Felicity for opening this dialogue!
Felicity Lee
Felicity Lee

Re: The DSM - Psychiatry's Deadliest Scam! Please read and respond!

Post by felicity on 7/6/2017, 11:32 am

Aww, you are so welcome.

I completed my studies in psychology (which many t's do not complete) - and then my master's (MSW and teaching license) - several years ago - when the DSM3 was still out and before therapists could dx. I think this was a better setup - when therapists needed to be supervised by a PhD. I have watched the DSM add more and more dx's and as this happened, more ppl were being dx'd with little attention as to their ability to function. Like, my friends were dx'd with depression, bpd, bipolar disorder, etc. as well as being put on meds - despite that their 'complaints' were vague.

So, things have changed a lot. Not to mention that the street drugs are now prescription drugs. Where are these 'dealers' getting all these drugs?

On another note:

The 'open letter' for the DSMV lasted short period of time, a couple weeks or so. I decided to get in the opinion of folks about the DID dx - hoping to insure that it would remain in the DSM. This was quite a hot topic then, and I think the dx could have been removed - not sure on that. I set up a form that the APA would accept, asked for opinions and put it out on the net. I was able to collect about 1200 opinions and signatures from professionals, survivors, and supporters. I emailed, and snail mailed it all to the APA on time. They did consider all of the information.

Just adding that, because I do believe that every survivor, professionals, and supporter needs to 'know' what is happening and get involved.

Advocating for folks who have DID and/or childhood trauma is not the most popular place to be, but we need to be heard also. And, we need to know what we can do - besides just making folks aware - important also, but not 'doing much' to make real change.

When politics get involved, one has to wonder what is going on. The 'open letter' allowed for the controversy to nearly eliminate the DID dx (as it is written now). Luckily, the FMSF folks didn't expect that so many would contact them in favor. They submitted many opinions also (as usual not well-worded or valid). I feared that folks with trauma and having dissociative disorders would be unable to receive treatment - if not in the DSM. And professionals worried also. This is one population who needs mental health care more than nearly every other dx.

So, that was the big fear that was happening then. The book 'Sybil Exposed' and other similar books were released then to try and sway public opinion - in an effort to remove DID from the DSM.

Even through the DSM has problems, it remains the 'bible' for reimbursement from insurance companies, state and federal agencies. I wonder if anyone realizes that when drs say they do not support the DID dx as valid, it is not personal, but based on their political beliefs. If it is not in the DSM, the dx simply no longer exists.

I have noticed that professionals, whom treat trauma and dissociation, do seem to know the controversy and are fighting to help us get good treatment. But, it seems that many try to protect us from 'knowing' how close we come to losing good mental health care all together. There are 50 million survivors of sexual abuse in America (http://www.naasca.org/2016-Articles/103116-FactSheet-StatisticsOfChildSexualAbuse.htm) and, even more professionals. If everyone pushed for better mental health care ..........

This subject has so many topics - all relevant to trauma treatment and survivors.

Reality - for now, we are stuck with this system - but, we can sway it to help meet our needs. - right? We can advocate for what we know is best for us - either together or separately - THIS IS SUPPORT! jmho

I would love to hear questions, opinions, ideas. Great discussion!!

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Re: The DSM - Psychiatry's Deadliest Scam! Please read and respond!

Post by nanabanana on 7/6/2017, 1:29 pm

It is never sufficient to merely put forth criticisms regarding any topic where change is required.  If we believe that something could be better, then we should be able to provide examples for how improvement could be accomplished.

Keeping this in mind, I thought about my first encounter with the system for which the DSM is linchpin, and what could have helped versus what actually happened.  How could a different approach have changed the outcome?

I don't support 'would have, should have, could have' laments; that's not what I'm after in proposing these questions.  I simply want to substitute an approach different from the approach dictated by the DSM paradigm, and note the impact of such divergence.

My first involvement with the mental health system here in the U.S. came about as a result of an involuntary inpatient psychiatric hospitalization.  The portal, if you will, for such is akin to arriving at a regular hospital by ambulance and being taken straight to the ER.  That is the protocol for EMS when they transport someone to a hospital.  From that portal certain actions are dictated according to hospital protocols.  Very well then, I understand that because of initial determinations of my condition by EMS personnel, I was routed to a psychiatric hospital.

Here are some basic facts that were considered (had to be considered, by law) by the state psychiatric facility that admitted me:  I was unresponsive with no sign of physical injury, and vital signs within normal limits. They had no prior record of any admittance for me; no history.  Blood pressure, pulse, breathing and appearance of pupils were all normal, but I was not communicating.

The year was 1976.  I was a healthy twenty-six year old female when admitted.  I was put on an antipsychotic medication (Thorazine) and kept on it for three weeks.  When they withdrew the drug, it would be very accurate to say that I was tractable.  I had to be told how much time had elapsed; I had no recall whatsoever.  When I asked what had "happened", I was told that I had exhibited symptoms of a psychotic break.  After two additional weeks (being monitored without medication), I was released.  The attending psychiatrist spoke with my male parent and I before I left.  (I assume the inclusion of another adult fell to my parent in the absence of my husband - who I was legally separated from.)  I was given a prescription for a mild tranquilizer and sent on my way.  This entire episode was directed by the protocols of the psychiatric hospital and based on the diagnosis of psychotic break, the protocols for which stemmed from the DSM.

What if, after being admitted to the psychiatric hospital that night, I was simply put under observation?  A place where I could not harm myself or others until it could be ascertained exactly what had occurred before I arrived at the hospital.  And what if, instead of immediately administering antipsychotic drugs, I had been allowed to sleep and awaken on my own?  And once awake, what if a psychiatrist had simply sat down with me, and asked me some basic questions about my current life.  Questions that would elicit basic background information/facts like: I had no medical condition requiring any prescription, was holding down a full-time job in sole support of my twins, aged 3, and had never taken illegal drugs or used alcohol, nor had any reason to consider myself in need of mental health treatment.

And what if, based on answers to those kinds of background questions, the doctor had given me his opinion of my behavior when I was admitted, and helped me to understand what had happened?  What if he had recommended that I meet with a psychologist, therapist, or even a social worker while hospitalized in order to further my understanding of what, exactly, a psychotic break is?  

What if, after speaking with such trained individuals, there had been an after-care recommendation for outpatient visits with a psychologist or therapist in order to monitor how I was faring?  Would it have been plausible to think along the lines of, 'single, working mother' and conclude that normal-range stressors were causing an overload situation, of sorts?  Was it necessary to take me out of my life, cost me my job, create further stress related to supporting myself and my children, and basically scare the wits out of me?

And if the latter had been the course of action, would I have had the opportunity to explore any concerns I may have had, and begin to develop an understanding for what disruptions could occur to sleep or appetite?  Would insights such as these have brought me to a place where, when and if I began to feel overload in the future, I would have a context for such feelings and an idea of how to address them?

It is impossible to know some things; like the long-term effects of Thorazine.  But it IS possible to posit an alternative treatment that takes into account the actual situation and see which would have afforded the better outcome with the least interference.

Because the treatment I was given had no previous history to use for comparison, they basically went forward with a course of treatment with NO OUTCOME in mind but stabilizing me while I was under their consideration for liability.

This is what can and does happen when a system guided by a taxonomy is used.  A scheme of classification that is characterized by weak validity and weak hypotheses.

There is support for change, for dispatching the current system for understanding human behaviors.  "The objective has been to test and develop a multi-level, hierarchical approach to identifying psychopathology through quantitative methodologies. This alternative system incorporates comorbidity and allows for flexible adaptation to individual client needs." (from: Professionals Push Back on Psychiatric Diagnostic Manual, Propose Alternatives, published at https://www.madinamerica.com/2017/03/professionals-push-back-psychiatric-diagnostic-manual-propose-alternatives/

I hope many more will join this worthy discussion.  We who have lived experience should make our voice heard.
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Re: The DSM - Psychiatry's Deadliest Scam! Please read and respond!

Post by nanabanana on 7/6/2017, 2:27 pm

I just want to add a quick note here...I was writing my recent post (above) when Felicity posted her second comment, and so hadn't the chance to read it before I posted:-)

Am looking forward to digesting Felicity's thoughts as they are quite informed.

I do hope this discussion continues. There are subtexts to be explored that are similar to what Americans are currently witnessing having to do with repealing and replacing the ACA. Do we realize how interconnected the DSM and insurance reimbursements are? Would a different system, a hierarchical approach, point the way to better diagnostics, and thus earlier intervention for dissociative disorders?

I agree with Felicity's statement that points out the risks if DID is not maintained as a valid diagnosis for symptoms pointing to childhood trauma. I believe it is also possible that a hierarchical approach could lead to a clearer understanding of underlying causal factors and thus shift the focus to the effects of domestic violence, child abuse, and human trafficking. And would that rob FMSF folks of their talking points that center around the validity of recovered memory? A viable question.

Politics are most certainly involved. Just like physical health, the insurance and pharmaceutical industries have vested interest in the current classification system for mental diagnoses. And what of the valid points raised in the video posted above, concerning psychiatry's lack of research involved in proclaiming various human behaviors as 'disorders' - and in need of psychotropic medications?

There are certainly valid outcomes to be had from certain prescribed medications. There is most certainly a need to explain treatment courses for their desired outcomes - which invariably leads to applying terminology for human behaviors.

It is, indeed, a complex subject to discuss. All the more reason for as much back and forth as we can muster. The knee bone is connected to the thigh bone, etc. How psychiatry endeavors to include more scientific research and eliminate bias when reporting what studies may reveal; how hospitals and other treatment centers structure their protocols and approaches; how insurance companies and even government agencies determine and interpret - are interconnected and even interdependent. The reality of our needs must remain the reason for all of the above in the first place. And optimal outcomes have to guide the entire process.

Right now, we are living with the adverse effects of being misdiagnosed and dis-believed while being routed to an eventual understanding of causal factors. We are given drugs that muddy the waters for determining their effects, and treated to a healthy dose of "I don't want you in my practice" by many who call themselves therapists. We often have to choose between our right to gainful employment and disability income - without acknowledgement for personal gains in functioning to offset the stigma of "mental disorder". We labor under stigma caused by the abdominal behaviors of others and have to fight to have our voices heard.

With this as our current status, I think it most important to add our voices to those who are actively working to expose a broken system based on questionable ethics.
Felicity Lee
Felicity Lee

Re: The DSM - Psychiatry's Deadliest Scam! Please read and respond!

Post by felicity on 7/6/2017, 4:52 pm

Oh, I think the 'right' way, the 'honest' way is the best way (not agenda). So to say that educating and creating awareness about trauma and disscociation - how early childhood trauma affects people - basically that DID is a very 'real' and valid disorder will never create a situation where 'less' people would understand and accept the dx - right?

In other words - we have NOTHING TO LOSE and EVERYTHING TO GAIN by speaking out and relaying experiences (negative and positive) in reference to the current state of mental health in the U.S. People don't understand, because they only 'hear' negative propaganda from those with a financial agenda (protecting child abusers).

Great topic - I do hope other join in. In this forum anyone can post anonymously.


Re: The DSM - Psychiatry's Deadliest Scam! Please read and respond!

Post by krathyn on 7/6/2017, 9:20 pm

reading Nanabanana's post i was surprised at how similar mine was. I was taken to a mental hospital, not by ambulance but by friends i was staying with, who did not know what to do with me when i was 20 and having flashbacks --i know this now but i did not then, and the medical people i encountered were inclined to say i had a "psychotic break" and they gave me Navane (related chemically to Thorazine)
I was hospitalized for seven weeks and had to start all over, get a place to live and a new job, both of which i had before my hospitalization.
The pdoc i had seemed to have some intelligence-he said to the rest of the staff that they were not to call me by any nicknames because i might dissociate, and that was the first i ever heard THAT word. This was 1977.
Eventually, i went to college and very slowly went off the Navane ...took three years.
unfortunately, i had two other hospitalizations with the characteristic mental hospital and each was a set back.
It is only now that I am thinking in terms of going off all psychiatric drugs, although the ones i am on are considered small dosages.

wishing you well-
Krathyn, Sebastian, Strawberry, (Kathie 3-9), kathrynmarie
Krathyn of We5:    we accept all intentions of support--

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Re: The DSM - Psychiatry's Deadliest Scam! Please read and respond!

Post by nanabanana on 7/7/2017, 2:20 pm

I know many of us have had similar incidents, Krathyn, but it still makes my blood boil!  7 weeks of hospitalization, put on a serious antipsychotic, loose a job & place to live - all at the age of 20!

Then, to have to go through getting off the drug - I can't imagine taking something so powerful for that length of time.  I know that this wasn't uncommon, but that doesn't change the damage done...and the missed opportunity for other treatment that could have illuminated the cause for the flashbacks...and helped you understand what you were experiencing.

That's part of the "acting on us" mentality, and I can always find the rage for that, right beneath the surface.

My mother had many instances (I call them, Touch & Go, because they never became part of any permanent record) when she was given antipsychotics.  I'm not sure about hospitalizations beyond what her sister was able to tell me.  She would have been about 31 when I was born; 33 when she was sexually assaulted.  I tried to find out as much as I could when I realized how germane her background was to my current state - that was in 1993 when I was dx'd.  She passed away in 1986 so I had only her sister to fill in the blanks of some troubling history for her.  I do know that her husband destroyed her medical records (as he did mine); he was USAF/OSI (military intelligence).  There's an oxymoron for sure!  

Anyway, the 70's and back are some scary times for certain.  Those drugs - like Chlorpromazine (thorazine) part of a group of drugs called phenothiazines (FEEN-oh-THYE-a-zeens) worked by changing the actions of chemicals in the brain.  CHANGE how?  I can only imagine how much prescribers didn't care "what kind of change" - they didn't have to live with the results!  Disgusting.

These realities...for SO many...are what prevents me from ever being an effective advocate.  In my heart of hearts, I just want to throw the entire system out.  That's not an effective attitude for an advocate, eh?  But there it is.  

I know we are strong, and we survived, and that's what matters.  But pardon me if I harbor a special place where the Ship of S**tty Sy-kia-tree goes up in flames.  Yikes.  (hope I don't get booted for that:-)

Re: The DSM - Psychiatry's Deadliest Scam! Please read and respond!

Post by krathyn on 7/7/2017, 3:15 pm

this is an open forum. there are few if any things you will be ever be booted for.
when on the phenothiazine i was misled to believe it was good for me.
it took me a long time to learn how wrong that was.
I was later convinced that my episode was a Bipolar episode and manic. I was "high" and overactive and did not have much control over what i did.
Eight years later i had a suicidal depression and was hospitalized in the psych ward of a general hospital.
This hospitalization was three weeks only and i was able to go back to work when i left.. I was given Merital which was taken off the market in the UK and two other drugs which were also removed from the market, then prescribed Lithium.
Again, i believed the prescription was in my best interest.
I actually did feel less depressed.
I was hospitalized 20 years later and the reason given was that i was no longer on Lithium.
My actions were considered manic again. The hospital was a holding tank for a state hospital and i had 4 guardians, they were all close to me.
I was hospitalized five months and i lost much of that time. My guardians had kept my job and housing and taken care of my cat for me. I was finally released.
This time i had been aware of the DID, had been working with a T for DID and went back to work with her when i left.
That was 12 years ago and i have not been hospitalized again. I have discovered i have kidney damage, likely to be from lithium. '
I was never on ECT, i have gotten back to my activities every time.
But as far as general care is concerned, I am considered bipolar and "have" to be on lithium.
This is as difficult as the problem with psych history as far as being trusted by one's medics.

wishing you well-
Krathyn, Sebastian, Strawberry, (Kathie 3-9), kathrynmarie
Krathyn of We5:    we accept all intentions of support--

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Re: The DSM - Psychiatry's Deadliest Scam! Please read and respond!

Post by nanabanana on 7/8/2017, 3:56 pm

Getting back to the DSM - or at least the basis for accepted thought that has gone into various incarnations of it -

I was reading today about some work done in the area of treating trauma by Bessel van der Kolk, MD (in his book: The Body Keeps Score) and was struck by a reference he makes concerning the prevalence of incest in America as stated in the standard textbook of psychiatry of the time (1982).  It stated that incest was "extremely rare", occurring about "once in every million women."

This young doctor who was just beginning his career mused that because there were about one hundred million women living in the US at the time, and he had 47 female patients reporting childhood sexual abuse - he was seeing about half of the 'reported' total!

He went on to write that the textbook further stated, "There is little agreement about the role of father-daughter incest as a source of serious subsequent psychopathology."

It doesn't surprise me now - to learn that a standard textbook used to teach new psychiatrists - being used in 1982 - was that ignorant.  But taking this in context with what we are discussing in this thread, it is nonetheless distressing to realize how far this misconception endured.

Just a thought...

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