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Monday 8 April 2013

Peter Kinderman who is a member of the International Response Committee to DSM-5 writes on DSM-5 for the BBC News website

blog: http://dsm5response.com/


Peter Kinderman writes on DSM-5 for the BBC News website

People diagnosed with a mental illness need help and understanding, not labels and medication. That is the message of an article published on the BBC News Health pages today by Professor Peter Kinderman from the University of Liverpool, a former chair of our Division of Clinical Psychology.
In his article Professor Kinderman argues that the language of illness implies that the roots of emotional distress lie in abnormalities in our brain and biology, and that this make us blind to the social and psychological causes of distress. So we tend to prescribe medical solutions - antidepressants and anti-psychotic medication - despite their side-effects and the limited evidence for their effectiveness.
He goes on to look at the debate over the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual and its creation of a range of new disorders. This is something over which the British Psychological Society expressed concern in June 2012.
Professor Kinderman then goes on to look at the stigmatising effect that receiving a psychiatric diagnosis can have and ends by calling for "humane and effective alternatives to traditional psychiatric diagnoses":
It is relatively straightforward to generate a simple list of problems that can be reliably and validly defined. There is no reason to assume that these phenomena cluster into diagnostic categories or are the consequences of underlying illnesses.
We can then use medical and psychological science to understand how problems might have originated, and recommend therapeutic solutions.
This approach would yield all the benefits of the current diagnosis-and-treatment approach without its many inadequacies and dangers.
Professor Kinderman's article is already leading to a lively debate in the comments section, to which any reader can contribute.

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