Professor Allen Frances, who was Chair of the DSM IV Task Force and is the author of Saving Normal. He is also Professor Emeritus at Duke University where previously he was Chair.
Summary of Presentation in House of Commons, Committee Room 12 on 11th June 2013.
He will explain that psychiatric diagnosis has gotten out of control in the US and with it excessive use of medication.
Twenty five percent of Americans qualify for a diagnosis in any given year, fifty percent lifetime, and we have more deaths from prescription drugs than street drugs. DSM 5 will turn the current diagnostic inflation into hyper inflation and will exacerbate the needless use of medication in the 'worried well'. Grief becomes Major Depressive Disorder; worrying about being sick is Somatic Symptom Disorder; the forgetting of old age is Mild Neurocognitive Disorder; temper tantrums are Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder; gluttony is Binge eating Disorder; and soon almost everyone will have Attention Deficit Disorder. Meanwhile, we are not doing nearly a good enough job of caring for those with real psychiatric disorders who desperately do need our help.
New diagnoses are potentially more dangerous than new drugs and need a much more careful vetting than they have received. And psychiatric diagnosis has become too important to be left in the hands of parochial psychiatric researchers who lack a public health perspective. Other suggestions are to end all drug company marketing and to reduce the close coupling of psychiatric diagnosis to decisions beyond its proper competence re school services, disability, and forensics. Great Britain has a much superior system of decision making and is protected from many but not all of the DSM 5 follies. Hopefully, GB and ICD 11 will not to follow America's reckless lead into a massive misallocation of mental health resources.
IF YOU MISSED HIS ERUDITE TALK YESTERDAY IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS SEE HIM AT OLD TRAFFORD ON JUNE 28th.