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Friday 31 August 2012

DSM-5 is "unscientific" and "dangerous"- "It's not humane, it's not scientific, and it won't help decide what help a person needs." COURTESY OF THE PSYCHMINDED WEBSITE

DSM-5 is "unscientific" and "dangerous"

February 10, 2012
by Angela Hussain

The new planned Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is “unscientific” and risks increasing the medicalisation of normal behaviour, including that of children, mental health professionals claimed yesterday.
The manual, published by the American Psychiatric Association, is the diagnostic "bible" for psychiatry around the world. It lists symptoms and other criteria for diagnosing mental disorders, and is widely used in the UK.
However, new categories of mental illness proposed for the fifth edition (DSM-5) of the manual, due to be published next year, are at best "silly" and at worst "worrying and dangerous", said mental health professionals in a briefing in London.
More than 11,000 health professionals, mainly from the US, have already signed a petition calling for the development of the fifth edition to be halted and re-thought.
In June last year, the British Psychological Society outlined its concerns about the DSM-5 to the American Psychiatry Association which argues the new manual will be the result of extensive scientific literature reviews, and consultation with mental health clinicians. For the first time, the manual's development has been open to public scrutiny.
Nevertheless, some diagnoses - for conditions like "oppositional defiant disorder" and "apathy syndrome" - risk devaluing the seriousness of mental illness and medicalising behaviours most people would consider normal or just eccentric, say critics.
"Many people who are shy, bereaved, eccentric, or have unconventional romantic lives will suddenly find themselves labelled as mentally ill," claimed clinical psychologist Prof Peter Kinderman, also head of Liverpool University's Institute of Psychology.

"It's not humane, it's not scientific, and it won't help decide what help a person needs."

The 1840 Census of the United States included just one category for mental disorder. By 1917 the American Psychiatric Association was recognising 59.

That rose to 128 in 1959, to 227 in 1980, and to around 350 disorders in the revisions of DSM in 1994 and 2000.

David Pilgrim of the University of Central Lancashire said it was "hard to avoid the conclusion that DSM-5 will help the interests of the drug companies".

"Madness and misery exist but they come in many shapes and sizes," he said.

"We risk treating the experience and conduct of people as if they are botanical specimens waiting to be identified and categorised in rigid boxes.

"That would itself be a form of collective madness for all those complicit in the continuing pseudo-scientific exercise."

Other examples of diagnoses cited as problematic included "gambling disorder", "internet addiction disorder" and "oppositional defiant disorder" - a condition in which a child "actively refuses to comply with majority's requests" and "performs deliberate actions to annoy others".

"That basically means children who say 'no' to their parents more than a certain number of times," Prof Kinderman said

"On that criteria, many of us would have to say our children are mentally ill."

Monday 27 August 2012

DSM-5 - ALL SO-CALLED MENTAL DISORDERS ARE ARBITRARILY INVENTED, NAMED, LABELED, DESCRIBED, AND CATEGORIZED - OR as Professor Allen Frances has said,“There is no definition of a mental disorder. It’s bullshit. I mean, you just can’t define it.”


by a committee of psychiatrists, called a Task group, from menus of human behaviours.

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 fictional 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. One of the great psychiatric honchos, who has been out in front inventing mental disorders, has gone public. He’s blown the whistle on himself and his colleagues.

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).
I know. That’s a year and a half ago. But guess what? Major media never picked up on it in any serious way. It never became a scandal. It managed to fly below the radar.
Editors and reporters at major media outlets have an uncommon nose for avoiding the sort of trouble Greenberg’s piece would have created, were it to be unleashed on the population—and although they like to call themselves journalists, that’s a myth even they don’t really believe anymore. They’re mutts on short leashes.

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 to me defines and labels and describes every official mental disorder in the known universe. 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 bullshit. I mean, you just can’t define it.”

More Here: http://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/the-liars-liar/

DSM-4 and 5 - DOROTHY ROWE -" YOU AND I ARE ALL IN THERE!" - "Textbooks of mental health disorders makes it far too easy for doctors to label patients – and disregard the roots of suffering." See page 673 - Personality Disorder Not Otherwise Specified". That's you and me!! - Courtesy of Guardian online..

  Dorothy Rowe - Mental health diagnoses mask the real problems

A textbook of mental health disorders makes it far too easy for doctors to label patients – and disregard the roots of suffering.

Once you have read article please sign the petition  to N.I.C.E. using the hyperlink below:


The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, whose updated fifth edition will include a range of new diagnoses, is a mythology, not a scientific text. It is created by American psychiatrists who meet in groups to consider whether or not a certain diagnosis should be included in the DSM. These groups meet a number of times so that they can say that their agreement about a certain diagnosis is reliable. Thus they could reliably agree that there is a mental disorder called Guardian Readers' Personality Disorder with the symptoms of a need to read this paper regularly, an overvaluation of the Guardian, and so on. Who knows, it might already be in the most recent version of the DSM.
In their book, Making Us Crazy: DSM – The Psychiatric Bible and the Creation of Mental Disorders – which won the Mind Book of the Year Award in 1999 – Herb Kutchins and Stuart A Kirk wrote: "DSM is a book of tentatively assembled agreements. Agreements don't always make sense, nor do they always reflect reality. You can have agreements among experts without validity. Even if you could find four people who agreed that the earth is flat, that the moon is made of green cheese, that smoking cigarettes poses no health risks, or that politicians are never corrupt, such agreements do not establish truth."
For any statement to be valid there has to be evidence for that statement outside of the statement itself. Thus any textbook of physical disorders will list not just the symptoms of each illness but evidence that exists separate from those symptoms and that is derived from a wide variety of tests. Apart from the disorders listed in the DSM as the result of brain trauma, there are no physical tests for any of the disorders listed in the DSM. No physical cause has been found for any of these mental disorders. The diagnosis you receive from a psychiatrist is no more than the psychiatrist's opinion of what you have told him. Go to another psychiatrist and you're likely to get a different diagnosis.
Why do psychiatrists accept such an unscientific document as the DSM? In her book, The Users and Abusers of Psychiatry, my colleague Lucy Johnstone wrote, "To admit the central role of value judgments and cultural norms [in the creation of the DSM] is to give the whole game away. The DSM has to be seen as reliable and valid, or the whole enterprise of medial psychiatry collapses."
Legal cases and medical insurance require any doctor or psychologist filling in the necessary forms to state a diagnosis. In the UK many psychiatrists, GPs and psychologists now see applying a DSM diagnosis to a patient as a pointless exercise, but feel that it is not in their patient's interest to refuse to fill in this part of the form. However, there are still far too many doctors and psychologists who are too intellectually lazy to think about patients as individuals, or too fond of the many freebies that the drug companies provide for them. These are the ones who spring to the defence of the DSM.
The people who come to the attention of psychiatrists and psychologists are feeling intense, often severe mental distress. Each of us has our own way of expressing anxiety and distress, but when under intense mental distress our typical ways become exaggerated. We become self-absorbed and behave in ways that the people around us find disturbing. Believing that when we're anxious it's best to keep busy can mean that our intense mental distress drives us into manic activity. A tendency to blame yourself and feel guilty can transmute into depression. A desire to keep things under control can become obsessions and compulsions. We need someone to help us to make sense of the terror that can come over us and assure us that we can survive what we are experiencing. When we keep making a mess of our life we need someone to help us face the truths about which we've been lying to ourselves. But when we are given a diagnosis we disappear behind that diagnosis, and the diagnosis is all the unthinking people see.

All of us are already are in the fourth edition of the DSM. According to my copy, on page 673, it states, "301.9 Personality Disorder Not Otherwise Specified". 

Sunday 26 August 2012

DSM-5 - "Diagnosing the D.S.M."- LET'S PUT IT UNDER THE MICROSCOPE - by Professor Allen Frances - Courtesy of The New York Times



Diagnosing the D.S.M.- which is 'sick!'

Let's put it under the microscope.

AT its annual meeting this week, the American Psychiatric Association did two wonderful things: it rejected one reckless proposal that would have exposed nonpsychotic children to unnecessary and dangerous antipsychotic medication and another that would have turned the existential worries and sadness of everyday life into an alleged mental disorder. 
Shannon May

For Op-Ed, follow @nytopinion and to hear from the editorial page editor, Andrew Rosenthal, follow @andyrNYT.
But the association is still proceeding with other suggestions that could potentially expand the boundaries of psychiatry to define as mentally ill tens of millions of people now considered normal. The proposals are part of a major undertaking: revisions to what is often called the “bible of psychiatry” — the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or D.S.M. The fifth edition of the manual is scheduled for publication next May.
I was heavily involved in the third and fourth editions of the manual but have reluctantly concluded that the association should lose its nearly century-old monopoly on defining mental illness. Times have changed, the role of psychiatric diagnosis has changed, and the association has changed. It is no longer capable of being sole fiduciary of a task that has become so consequential to public health and public policy.
Psychiatric diagnosis was a professional embarrassment and cultural backwater until D.S.M.-3 was published in 1980. Before that, it was heavily influenced by psychoanalysis, psychiatrists could rarely agree on diagnoses and nobody much cared anyway.
D.S.M.-3 stirred great professional and public excitement by providing specific criteria for each disorder. Having everyone work from the same playbook facilitated treatment planning and revolutionized research in psychiatry and neuroscience.
Surprisingly, D.S.M.-3 also caught on with the general public and became a runaway best seller, with more than a million copies sold, many more than were needed for professional use. Psychiatric diagnosis crossed over from the consulting room to the cocktail party. People who previously chatted about the meaning of their latest dreams began to ponder where they best fit among D.S.M.’s intriguing categories.
The fourth edition of the manual, released in 1994, tried to contain the diagnostic inflation that followed earlier editions. It succeeded on the adult side, but failed to anticipate or control the faddish over-diagnosis of autism, attention deficit disorders and bipolar disorder in children that has since occurred.
Indeed, the D.S.M. is the victim of its own success and is accorded the authority of a bible in areas well beyond its competence. It has become the arbiter of who is ill and who is not — and often the primary determinant of treatment decisions, insurance eligibility, disability payments and who gets special school services. D.S.M. drives the direction of research and the approval of new drugs. It is widely used (and misused) in the courts.
Until now, the American Psychiatric Association seemed the entity best equipped to monitor the diagnostic system. Unfortunately, this is no longer true. D.S.M.-5 promises to be a disaster — even after the changes approved this week, it will introduce many new and unproven diagnoses that will medicalize normality and result in a glut of unnecessary and harmful drug prescription. The association has been largely deaf to the widespread criticism of D.S.M.-5, stubbornly refusing to subject the proposals to independent scientific review.
Many critics assume unfairly that D.S.M.-5 is shilling for drug companies. This is not true. The mistakes are rather the result of an intellectual conflict of interest; experts always overvalue their pet area and want to expand its purview, until the point that everyday problems come to be mislabeled as mental disorders. Arrogance, secretiveness, passive governance and administrative disorganization have also played a role.
New diagnoses in psychiatry can be far more dangerous than new drugs. We need some equivalent of the Food and Drug Administration to mind the store and control diagnostic exuberance. No existing organization is ready to replace the American Psychiatric Association. The most obvious candidate, the National Institute of Mental Health, is too research-oriented and insensitive to the vicissitudes of clinical practice. A new structure will be needed, probably best placed under the auspices of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Institute of Medicine or the World Health Organization.
All mental-health disciplines need representation — not just psychiatrists but also psychologists, counselors, social workers and nurses. The broader consequences of changes should be vetted by epidemiologists, health economists and public-policy and forensic experts. Primary care doctors prescribe the majority of psychotropic medication, often carelessly, and need to contribute to the diagnostic system if they are to use it correctly. Consumers should play an important role in the review process, and field testing should occur in real life settings, not just academic centers.
Psychiatric diagnosis is simply too important to be left exclusively in the hands of psychiatrists. They will always be an essential part of the mix but should no longer be permitted to call all the shots.
Allen Frances, a former chairman of the psychiatry department at Duke University School of Medicine, led the task force that produced D.S.M.-4.

Monday 20 August 2012

Raising the Ritalin Generation- "Why is accelerated the new normal?" and "Why are we 'juicing' our kids for school?" - A PARENT'S PERSPECTIVE - Courtesy of the New York Times Review - 18-08-12 + SIGN THE DSM-5 PETITION

Raising the Ritalin Generation






Published: August 18, 2012

I REMEMBER the moment my son’s teacher told us, “Just a little medication could really turn things around for Will.” We stared at her as if she were speaking Greek.

“Are you talking about Ritalin?” my husband asked.

Will was in third grade, and his school wanted him to settle down in order to focus on math worksheets and geography lessons and social studies. The children were expected to line up quietly and “transition” between classes without goofing around. This posed a challenge — hence the medication.

“We’ve seen it work wonders,” his teacher said. “Will’s teachers are reprimanding him. If his behavior improves, his teachers will start to praise him. He’ll feel better about himself and about school as a whole.”

Will did not bounce off walls. He wasn’t particularly antsy. He didn’t exhibit any behaviors I’d associated with attention deficit or hyperactivity. He was an 8-year-old boy with normal 8-year-old boy energy — at least that’s what I’d deduced from scrutinizing his friends.

“He doesn’t have attention deficit,” I said. “We’re not going to medicate him.”

The teacher looked horrified. “We would never suggest you do that,” she said, despite doing just that in her previous breath. “We aren’t even allowed by law to suggest that. Just get him evaluated.”

And so it began.

Like the teachers, we didn’t want Will to “fall through the cracks.” But what I’ve found is that once you start looking for a problem, someone’s going to find one, and attention deficit has become the go-to diagnosis, increasing by an average of 5.5 percent a year between 2003 and 2007, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of 2010, according to the National Health Interview Survey, 8.4 percent, or 5.2 million children, between the ages of 3 and 17 had been given diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

What I didn’t know at the time is that there’s no clinical test for it: doctors make diagnoses based on subjective impressions from a series of interviews and questionnaires. Now, in retrospect, I understand why the statistics are so high.

We made an appointment with a psychiatrist on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. After we filled out an extensive questionnaire, she did the interviews and had Will’s teachers fill out short behavior questionnaires, called Conners rating scales, which assess things like “squirminess” on a scale of one to five. In many cases, I discovered, diagnoses hinge on the teachers’ responses.

A few weeks later we heard back. Will had been given a diagnosis of inattentive-type A.D.H.D. It was explained to us this way: Some children who are otherwise focused (Will had been engaged during his interview), have a hard time focusing in “distracting situations” — in Will’s case, school. The doctor prescribed methylphenidate, a generic form of Ritalin. It was not to be taken at home, or on weekends, or vacations. He didn’t need to be medicated for regular life.

It struck us as strange, wrong, to dose our son for school. All the literature insisted that Ritalin and drugs like it had been proved “safe.” Later, I learned that the formidable list of possible side effects included difficulty sleeping, dizziness, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, headache, numbness, irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing, fever, hives, seizures, agitation, motor or verbal tics and depression. It can slow a child’s growth or weight gain. Most disturbing, it can cause sudden death, especially in children with heart defects or serious heart problems.

I consulted our longtime pediatrician, who told me that if Will had A.D.H.D., medication was the only way to give him real relief. I also read through hundreds of online posts, though I stopped after a diatribe about a nation poisoning children’s developing brains.

Meanwhile, Will was sitting out of music class on a regular basis. In addition to hating the recorder, he’d discovered he could get a cute girl to laugh by making funny faces. We decided to trust the doctors and the school. If Will really had A.D.H.D., we should treat it.

Starting in fourth grade, he took his medicine every morning, and he went to the school nurse after lunch for another pill. The doctor raised the dosage until the teachers saw results.

One afternoon, Will told me that during reading period he forgot to talk to his friends. “Everything got really quiet,” he explained. “It was like I was inside the book.” It was what his teachers had wanted. What we’d wanted. For the medication to focus him.

I should have been elated that the problem was so simple to fix. But I wasn’t. I couldn’t help wondering why forgetting to talk to his friends was a good thing and why we were drugging him to become a good student.

At home, he didn’t seem different, just hungry, since he now ate almost nothing at school. When I did some research, I learned that methylphenidate is also prescribed as an appetite suppressant.

The next year, in fifth grade, the pills stopped working. The doctor upped the dosage a few more times, then switched medications twice, but nothing. I thought back to Will’s fourth grade teacher, who had liked him. Then I thought about his current teacher; some of the other parents had complained that she didn’t seem to know what to do with boys at all. Maybe Will’s successful fourth grade year had had less to do with the medication than we’d all believed.


• Times Topic: Ritalin (Drug)

Sometime toward the middle of fifth grade, he simply refused to take the pills. He’d seen a television show about a girl whose parents kicked her out of the house for crushing and snorting her Adderall, and that convinced him that his medication was too dangerous.

THAT was five years ago. Will is about to start his sophomore year of high school. He’s 6 feet 3 inches tall, he’s on the honor roll and he loves school. For him, it was a matter of growing up, settling down and learning how to get organized. Kids learn to speak, lose baby teeth and hit puberty at a variety of ages. We might remind ourselves that the ability to settle into being a focused student is simply a developmental milestone; there’s no magical age at which this happens.

Which brings me to the idea of “normal.” The Merriam-Webster definition, which reads in part “of, relating to, or characterized by average intelligence or development,” includes a newly dirty word in educational circles. If normal means “average,” then schools want no part of it. Exceptional and extraordinary, which are actually antonyms of normal, are what many schools expect from a typical student.

If “accelerated” has become the new normal, there’s no choice but to diagnose the kids developing at a normal rate with a disorder. Instead of leveling the playing field for kids who really do suffer from a deficit, we’re ratcheting up the level of competition with performance-enhancing drugs. We’re juicing our kids for school.

We’re also ensuring that down the road, when faced with other challenges that high school, college and adult life are sure to bring, our children will use the coping skills we’ve taught them. They’ll reach for a pill.


Bronwen Hruska is the author of the forthcoming novel “Accelerated.”


Sunday 19 August 2012


THE LANCET :  Volume 379, 
Issue 9816, Page 589,
 18 February 2012

Living with grief

When should grief be classified as a mental illness? More often than is current practice, proposes the American Psychiatric Association in its forthcoming fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Previous DSM editions have highlighted the need to consider, and usually exclude, bereavement before diagnosis of a major depressive disorder. In the draft version of DSM-5, however, there is no such exclusion for bereavement, which means that feelings of deep sadness, loss, sleeplessness, crying, inability to concentrate, tiredness, and no appetite, which continue for more than 2 weeks after the death of a loved one, could be diagnosed as depression, rather than as a normal grief reaction.
The death of a loved one can lead to a profound, and long-lasting, grieving process, which is movingly described in an essay by Arthur Kleinman in this week's Art of Medicine section. After his wife died, it took 6 months before Kleinman's feelings of grief became “less acute” in his own words, and almost a year on, he feels “sadness at times” and harbours “the sense that a part of me is gone forever…I am still caring for our memories. Is there anything wrong (or pathological) with that?”

Most people's experiences of grief would align with Kleinman's. It is often not until 6 months, or the first anniversary of the death, that grieving can move into a less intense phase. Grief is an individual response to bereavement, which is shaped by the strength of relationship with the person who has died, being male or female, religious belief, societal expectation, and cultural context, among other factors. Malcolm Potts, in an essay in this journal in 1994, after the death of his wife, said: “Grief is an astonishing emotion. It is the tally half of love and it has to be….Anguish, body-shaking weeping, grief: a biological behaviour that had been latent and unused in my brain…I would not and could not forgo it. Grief has to be.” 18 years after his stillborn daughter was born, Steven Guy said: “I have moved on; I can talk about the day she died and not cry, sometimes…She has changed me from the shy insecure person I was then to the openly emotional, caring, supportive, and strong man I am now.”

Medicalising grief, so that treatment is legitimised routinely with antidepressants, for example, is not only dangerously simplistic, but also flawed. The evidence base for treating recently bereaved people with standard antidepressant regimens is absent. In many people, grief may be a necessary response to bereavement that should not be suppressed or eliminated. For some, though, whose grief becomes pathological (sometimes known as complicated or prolonged), or who develop depression, treatment with drugs or, sometimes more effective psychological interventions such as guided mourning, may be needed. WHO's International Classification of Diseases, currently under revision as ICD-11, is debating a proposal to include “prolonged grief disorder”, but it will be another 18 months before that definition will be clear. Bereavement is associated with adverse health outcomes, both physical and mental, but interventions are best targeted at those at highest risk of developing a disorder or those who develop complicated grief or depression, rather than for all.

Building a life without the loved person who died cannot be expected to be quick, easy, or straightforward. Life cannot, nor should not, continue as normal. In a sense, a new life has to be created, and lived with. After the loss of someone with whom life has been lived and loved, nothing can be the same again. In her memoir to her husband, Nothing was the same, Kay Redfield Jamison, comments: “There is a sanity to grief” in contrast to her own experience of bipolar disorder.

In Kleinman's words, “My grief, like that of millions of others, signalled the loss of something truly vital in my life. This pain was part of the remembering and maybe also the remaking. It punctuated the end of a time and a form of living, and marked the transition to a new time and a different way of living.”
Grief is not an illness; it is more usefully thought of as part of being human and a normal response to death of a loved one. Putting a timeframe on grief is inappropriate—DSM-5 and ICD-11 please take note. Occasionally, prolonged grief disorder or depression develops, which may need treatment, but most people who experience the death of someone they love do not need treatment by a psychiatrist or indeed by any doctor. For those who are grieving, doctors would do better to offer time, compassion, remembrance, and empathy, than pills.


"Grief is not an illness", say the journal's editors in an impassioned editorial, which argues that "medicalising" such a normal human emotion is "not only dangerously simplistic, but also flawed".
Doctors tempted to prescribe pills "would do better to offer time, compassion, remembrance and empathy", they write.
The editors are worried by moves which appear to categorise extreme emotions as problems that need fixing.
Their fears have been prompted by the publication of a new draft version of the psychiatrists' 'bible', the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, known as DSM-5.
Although this is not used by NHS psychiatrists, it is still regarded as influential here.
The editors are also concerned about changes proposed by the World Health Organisation, to include a category of "prolonged grief disorder" in its International Classification of Disease (ICD-11). It is used by NHS psychiatrists.
They note the DSM-5 draft contains "no exclusion for bereavement" before diagnosing a "major depressive disorder".
They write that this "means that feelings of deep sadness, loss, sleeplessness, crying, inability to concentrate, tiredness, and no appetite, which continue for more than two weeks after the death of a loved one, could be diagnosed as depression, rather than as a normal grief reaction".
The editorial continues: "Medicalising grief, so that treatment is legitimised routinely with antidepressants, for example, is not only dangerously simplistic, but also flawed.
"The evidence base for treating recently bereaved people with standard antidepressant regimens is absent."
It concludes: "Grief is not an illness; it is more usefully thought of as part of being human and a normal response to death of a loved one.
"For those who are grieving, doctors would do better to offer time, compassion, remembrance, and empathy, than pills."
Dr Astrid James, deputy editor of The Lancet, said it seemed "far too early" to classify someone as mentally ill two weeks after the death of a loved one.
She added: "We need to be careful not to overmedicalise experiences that are part of normal living, and to make sure we allow people to grieve rather than try and suppress it or treat it."
Professor Sue Bailey, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: "The publication of DSM-V will not directly affect diagnosis of mental illness in our health service."

Friday 17 August 2012

DSM-5 - Community Pharmacist Speaks Out! - You Don't Need a Prescription for Normal Behaviour + a new proposed illness – 'prolonged grief disorder' + attempts to redefine children's mental health is the stuff of very profitable dreams for Big Pharma - Courtesy of the Guardian on Line 15-08-12 + SIGN PETITION ASKING N.I.C.E. TO ISSUE URGENT GUIDANCE

Kids lining up their 'drug cocktails' in the morning, not what pharmacists, psychologists and parents should want.




Grief is good news for pharmaceutical companies

The proposal by the American Psychiatric Association to create a new illness – 'prolonged grief disorder' – and to redefine children's mental health is the stuff of dreams for Big Pharma

Symptoms of grief lasting for more than two weeks may be diagnosed as depression. 

She was a tearful, older woman holding a bulging bin liner. Community pharmacies are collection points for society's redundant medicines, and the bin liner – her late husband's medical legacy and stark testament to over-prescribing – was dispatched for disposal. I listened as she reflected on how empty, her life had suddenly become. She needed help sleeping. I gave her maximum bedtime doses of an antihistamine known to cause drowsiness.
The funeral was a month since, and her continued grieving would seem normal and necessary. But, in fact, a major reappraisal is under way.

The revised Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), scheduled for publication in May 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), proposes that grief reactions of more than two weeks may be diagnosed as depression. And where DSM leads, the rest follow. The World Health Organisation's international classification of diseases group is debating the creation of a new illness – prolonged grief disorder.

Crucially, once a behaviour has been labelled as an illness, it becomes a legitimate target for treatment by Big Pharma. The transformation of bereavement into a mental disorder will create a new global market for antidepressant therapy. And a recent critical Lancet editorial describing such transformation as diagnostically simplistic and therapeutically flawed, will present little obstacle.

Grief can affect us all; depressive illness only those who are cursed with it. So while grief must be allowed to run its course, any associated major depression must not be normalised. Superficially, symptoms may be similar, and diagnoses can slip and slide. It is in boundary issues such as this where medicalisation preys on normality, and DSM-5 has many such planning applications.

They include the proposal that the term dementia be dropped, adding a new disease entitled neurocognitive disorder, and that Alzheimer's disease be reclassified into biochemical sub-groups. By transforming facets of ageing, such as confusion and memory loss, into apparently treatable biological disorders, not only does an ever-increasing number of older people become legitimate targets for drug treatment but the entire issue of the ageing population is reframed in a medicobiological context. Needless to say, the financial reward for the medicalisation of old age is the stuff of dreams for giant pharmaceutical companies.

Also under scrutiny by DSM-5 is children's mental health. The boundaries defining attention deficit hyperactive disorder are to be redrawn, and a new disorder – disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, characterised by disproportional recurrent temper tantrums – is to be created. When the boundaries of illness classification are redrawn they are inevitably broadened. So more children will be labelled as mentally ill, with the lifelong harm that can do to child and family, and the market for drug treatment – amphetamines and methylphenidate – will expand accordingly.

The continued association of increased drug company sales with DSM-5 revisions has inevitably led to accusations of undue corporate influence within APA. According to a study by Lisa Cosgrove and colleagues from the ethics centre at Harvard University, 69% of the DSM-5 taskforce members have financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry, and the panels with members on them that have the most conflicts of interest are those for which drug treatment is the first-line intervention, to the extent that 11 of the 12 panel members for psychotic disorders, and all of the panel for restless legs syndrome, have ties to the drug companies that manufacture the respective treatments.

The promotion of drugs in relation to normal human behaviour has been innovatively investigated highlighted in the satirical work of Justine Cooper, on a spoof website that markets the drug, Avafynetyme.

The opening statement of Ivan Illich's 1975 publication Medical Nemesis was: "The medical establishment has become a major threat to health." Today, medicalisation of normal behaviour is a globally important contributor to over-prescribing and iatrogenic harm. But to gauge its local impact, you need only ask your pharmacist how many bin liners they've accepted this week.
• Peter Dawson is a locum pharmacist in West Yorkshire

POVERTY OF IDEAS AND CREATIVE THINKING - "Ideas and what we do about them are the true measure of the value sysytem that underpins a society and its success in the eyes of the world or future generations." DT 2012


Unequal distribution of  MONEY, resources and food  V  equal distribution - as there is PLENTY ENOUGH OF EACH FOR ALL TO SHARE.

Fighting WAR for profit (THE 'SHOCK DOCTRINE' OF DISASTER CAPITALISM)    V     the natural and healthy struggle for A LIVING BALANCE OF PEACE AND HARMONY.

In short SELLING THE 'KILL RATE' OF WEAPONS  V  PROMOTING THE 'HELP RATE,'of products and "supportive" interventions.

Prescribing drugs for children  to gain SOCIAL CONTROL and profit   V   Talking + Listening  to children and spending 'QUALITY TIME' with them to achieve a family and a


and remember -

"There is nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has arrived."
                                 Steve Biko




quote from Martin Luther King's daughter. 

Thursday 16 August 2012

Meditation really is good for the brain as study reveals it switches off areas linked to ADHD - Courtesy of Mail online

Meditation really is good for the brain as study reveals it switches off areas linked to ADHD and Alzheimer’s

  • Meditation decreased activity in area in the brain implicated in a range of neurological disorders
  • Yale University scientists suggest it could even slow down the onset of dementia
By Sadie Whitelocks

Meditation could help temper the symptoms of ADHD and Alzheimer's scientists say.
A groundbreaking study has revealed that the ancient relaxation technique can switch off areas of the brain associated with a range of psychiatric disorders.
It is now hoped that the findings will shed light on how neurological diseases work and prompt the development of effective treatment.
Meditation could help temper the symptoms of ADHD and Alzhemeimer's according to scientists from Yale University
Meditation could help temper the symptoms of ADHD and Alzhemeimer's according to scientists from Yale University
Past research has shown meditation, which has become increasingly popular over recent years, has helped people quit smoking, cope with cancer, and even prevent psoriasis.

But scientists at Yale University now believe it can help people to stay focused and boost happiness, slowing down the onset of dementia.
Lead researcher Judson Brewer said: 'Meditation's ability to help people stay in the moment has been part of philosophical and contemplative practices for thousands of years. 
'Conversely, the hallmarks of many forms of mental illness is a preoccupation with one's own thoughts, a condition meditation seems to affect.
Brain scans revealed that meditators had decreased activity in an area of the brain implicated in a range of neurological disorders
Brain scans revealed that meditators had decreased activity in an area of the brain implicated in a range of neurological disorders
'This gives us some nice cues as to the neural mechanisms of how it might be working clinically.'
During the study, detailed in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, both experienced and novice meditators were monitored as they practiced three different meditation techniques.
Brain scans revealed that experienced meditators had decreased activity in area called the default mode network.
This region of the brain has been implicated in lapses of attention and disorders such as anxiety, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, and even the build-up of beta amyloid plaques in Alzheimer's disease.
Reduced activity was shown regardless of the type meditation and also during rest, suggesting that experienced meditators are less susceptible diseases such as autism, schizophrenia.
In a similar vein the University of Wisconsin is planning a study early next year to investigate the neurological effects of meditation and yoga with veterans.
It is thought mindfulness meditation holds promise for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which provokes intrusive thoughts, emotional numbness and hypervigilance.
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), which combines meditation with orthodox 'thought training', is already recommended for depression in Britain and is available on the NHS.
A report published by a mental health charity last year argued that if more GPs could offer the therapy it would cut the financial burden of depression, which costs the UK £7.5 billion a year.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2064260/Meditation-really-good-brain-study-reveals-switches-areas-linked-ADHD-Alzheimer-s.html#ixzz23jSkxjIM


Some of the many faces and displays of Usain Bolt's Energy, Vitality and Restless charm.
Usain Bolt was born in Jamaica in 1986.As a child,
he loved sport. He played cricket and football.
He started running and winning races in primary
There are reports that the creative energy, restlessness and the need to be outside on the track pursuing his excellent goals was also a feature of how he behaved at school. The characteristic hand movements, the showmanship, the joi de vie could all in the wrong hands have been perceived as a problem to teachers.


Just imagine what a loss that would have been to the world, to have potentially suppressed the genius that is Usain Bolt with diagoses and consequent medications. Instead his energies were channelled approriately as many children need the opportunity to do.

Sadly though there are other "bright stars, full of life, fast lane, and ebullient" children as reported by headteachers who do not manage to avoid the attentions of the 'checklist diagnosticians.' Many child psychologists know of cases where such children became "a shadow of their former selves" in the words of their teachers and displayed a range of unacceptable Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) or side -effects such as tremors, depression, becoming 'zombies,' poor sleep, weight loss, increased anxiety, heart irregularities including, in thankfully rare cases, sudden death.



Study: Nearly 1 in 10 U.S. kids diagnosed with ADHD - COURTESY OF THE HealthDay Website

Study: Nearly 1 in 10 U.S. kids diagnosed with ADHD

Over the last decade, an increasing number of American children have been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a new government survey reveals.

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Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that between 2007 and 2009, an average of 9 percent of children between the ages of 5 and 17 were diagnosed with the disorder. This compared with just under 7 percent between 1998 and 2000.
The survey also indicated that previously notable racial differences in ADHD incidence rates have narrowed considerably since the turn of the millennium, with prevalence now comparable among whites, blacks and some Hispanic groups.
"We don't have the data to say for certain what explains these patterns, but I would caution against concluding that what we have here is a real increase in the occurrence of this condition," stressed study author Dr. Lara J. Akinbami, a medical officer with the National Center for Health Statistics. The findings appear in an Aug. 18 report from the agency.
"In fact, it would be hard for me to argue that what we see here is a true change in prevalence," Akinbami added. "Instead, I would say that most probably what we found has a lot to do with better access to health care among a broader group of children, and doctors who have become more and more familiar with this condition and now have better tools to screen for it. So, this is probably about better screening, rather than a real increase, and that means we may continue to see this pattern unfold."
According to the National Institutes of Health, ADHD is the most common behavioral disorder among children.
Children with ADHD are apt to have problems staying focused, and often suffer learning and behavioral problems as a result of a tendency to engage in hyperactive and/or impulsive behaviors.
The new survey was conducted by interviewers from the U.S. Census Bureau through face-to-face and telephone interviews involving a nationally representative group of parents. Basic family demographic information was collected, along with the ADHD status of each household's children.
Although rates rose among both boys and girls, a greater percentage of boys were diagnosed with ADHD overall, rising from roughly 10 percent in 1998-2000 to more than 12 percent between 2007 and 2009. Across the same time frame, the prevalence rate among girls rose from just below 4 percent to between 5 percent and 6 percent.
One group, however, appeared to buck the trend: Mexican children. This group consistently registered the lowest ADHD prevalence rate, both in 1998-2000 as well as a decade later in 2007-2009. Akinbami said the reason for this remains unclear, although she suggested that less access to health care and/or particular cultural proclivities might contribute to fewer diagnoses overall.
In addition to the principal findings, the authors were also able to track both financial and geographical trends.
For example, ADHD prevalence hit above-average levels among two groups: households where the family income was below the poverty line (10 percent) and households where income fell somewhere between the poverty line and double the poverty line (11 percent).
Location also seemed to play a role, as the current prevalence rate among those living in both the Midwest and the southern part of the country shared an above-average prevalence rate of 10 percent. This was a shift from 10 years earlier, when the South had a higher prevalence rate than all other regions.
"Even if we're not exactly clear on what accounts for the rise in ADHD, on a population level the increase of this condition really signals a challenge for the education system and the health care system," said Akinbami.
"Children of ADHD," she noted, "use a lot more health care dollars than their peers, because the condition itself requires a lot of monitoring. And they are also much more likely to have other chronic health care conditions, such as asthma or learning disabilities or conduct diagnoses like conduct disorder, which makes managing them for schools and physicians and parents much more difficult. So, it's clearly something for public policy experts to be concerned about."
Dr. Tanya Froehlich, a developmental and behavioral pediatric specialist at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, said discerning what is driving the higher numbers will be difficult.
"There's no way to tell just based on this data," she said. "But we know that there has been a great emphasis over the last 10 years on raising doctor awareness of ADHD and giving them better tools to diagnose."
"For instance," Froehlich noted, "in 2001 the American Academy of Pediatrics put out clinical practice guidelines on the assessment and treatment of children with ADHD. And a tool kit was also put out giving physicians actual measures to use to assess ADHD. All of this has really empowered physicians and parents. So given that, I would not really be surprised if that's why more and more kids have been diagnosed."

Wednesday 15 August 2012

Drugs companies putting profit ahead of medical discoveries, warn scientists - Courtesy of the Independent website

Drugs companies putting profit ahead of medical discoveries, warn scientists

Researchers say companies spend vastly more on marketing than on new treatments
Wednesday 08 August 2012

The multi-billion pound pharmaceutical industry has spent the last decade developing new drugs which have produced little benefit and caused considerable harm, experts say today.
Click HERE to view graphic
The claim that there is an "innovation crisis" in pharmaceuticals because of the difficulty and expense of discovering new drugs is a myth fostered by an industry whose chief focus is on marketing, they add.
Counter to drug industry claims that the pipeline of new drugs is running dry, the number of new drugs being licensed each year has remained at between 15 and 25. But most involve minor tweaks to existing drugs, designed to grab a slice of an existing market rather than offering genuine therapeutic innovation.
Independent reviews suggest that 85 to 90 per cent provide little benefit over existing treatments with some, such as Vioxx the painkiller and Avandia, the diabetes drug, causing serious side effects which led to their withdrawal, the latter's in Europe.
Writing in the British Medical Journal, Professor Donald Light from the University of Medicine of New Jersey and Joel Lexchin from York University in Toronto say the situation has remained the same for 50 years. The incentives for drug development are wrong and have skewed the behaviour of the industry.
"This is the real innovation crisis: pharmaceutical research and development turns out mostly minor variations on existing drugs and most new drugs are not superior on clinical measures. [They] have also produced an epidemic of serious adverse reactions that have added to national healthcare costs," they say.
More is spent on marketing (25 per cent of revenues) than on discovering new molecules (1.3 per cent). Drug industry claims that the cost of bringing a new drug to market is £1bn and is unsustainable are exaggerated, they claim. Research and development costs did rise substantially between 1995 and 2010 by $34.2bn (£21.9bn), they concluded, but revenues increased six times faster – by $200.4bn.
Companies avoid mentioning this "extraordinary revenue return", they said, adding that up to 80 per cent of drug spending is used by the industry on promotion. The authors call for licensing authorities around the world to stop approving new drugs of little therapeutic value. They suggest large cash prizes should be awarded for genuinely new therapeutic agents in lieu of patent protection.
The European Medicines Agency, which licenses drugs in the UK and Europe, keeps certain data about their safety and efficacy secret. Yet 29 per cent of new biological agents approved by the EMA received safety warnings within the first 10 years.
In a second paper, researchers from the London School of Economics in the UK argue that drug manufacturers should be made to demonstrate that their products are superior to existing treatments before being granted a licence, rather than, as now, superior only to a placebo.
"Changing the nature of regulation could encourage manufacturers to concentrate on the development of new drugs in therapeutic areas with few alternatives," they say. "Supplementing regulation with scientific advice and guidance can steer manufacturer's interest and efforts into key research priorities."
Stephen Whitehead, chief executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, said: "We strongly disagree with the claims made in these papers. Medical research has always rested on iterative and gradual innovation rather than breakthrough advances which are very rare. If it were not for the incremental improvements made in the treatment of HIV, the disease would still be terminal rather than a manageable condition."