A message from a Grassroots Group to End Harm from Psychiatric Diagnosis

I’m passing on this email I received. Feel free to do the same:

If you or someone you love or care about has been harmed because of getting a psychiatric diagnosis, or if you are a therapist, member of the clergy, attorney, nurse, orderly, aide, teacher, or anyone else who works in the mental health system or has observed it and has been upset because of seeing people harmed because of getting psychiatric diagnoses, or even if you are “just” a neighbor or concerned citizen, please read this.

Recently, in a history-making action, nine people filed complaints about being harmed by being given psychiatric diagnoses. They filed the complaints with the Ethics Department of the American Psychiatric Association, which publishes and earns the profits from the widely used psychiatric handbook called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).  Seven of those filing complaints were people who had been harmed because of receiving one or more DSM diagnoses. The eighth had seen a loved one seriously harmed because of being diagnosed. The ninth was psychologist Paula J. Caplan, who filed a complaint as an “interested party,” because in her work in the mental health system, she for decades had seen the harm done by psychiatric diagnoses.

If you are interested in exploring the possibility of filing your own complaint, please send an email with this in the subject line: “Filing a Complaint about Harm from Psychiatric Diagnosis” through the Contact Form at www.psychdiagnosis.weebly.com   

The original complainants — sometimes known colloquially as “The DSM-9” — put a great deal of work into preparing their complaints, which were filed against a great many people who could have prevented or reduced the harm, redressed past harm, and/or made known to professionals and the public that psychiatric diagnoses are not scientifically grounded, rarely lead the way to alleviation of suffering any more than could be done without the labels, and often cause harm.

As a result of this work, it is now much easier for others to file their own complaints, and materials have been prepared for this purpose.

This particular complaint would not be against the practitioner(s) who assigned particular labels to you or someone else. Rather, it would be against those responsible for creating the manual and failing to warn about its limitations and dangers. Filing this complaint would not prevent you from also filing a complaint against a particular practitioner, but this is an all-volunteer group that is not set up to help with the latter at this time.

Most of the work you will have to do will consist simply of writing a very brief version of your story in a very structured way that we will suggest. Many of those who filed the complaints said that although it was of course painful to think back through what happened to them, the act of preparing their complaints, of writing their truth and simply at last making some attempt to hold accountable some of those responsible for the harm (regardless of whether the APA chooses to take appropriate and adequate actions), was empowering and healing for them.

Sending an initial inquiry commits you to absolutely nothing, and we will never disclose your name to anyone. You can proceed with learning about this process and starting to prepare your complaint, but there will be nothing to stop you from ending the process at any time before filing it with the APA’s Ethics Department.

If you know others who might be interested, please let them know.

You might also wish to join the Facebook page called Stop Psychiatric Diagnosis Harm in order to see what others are writing about this subject or even perhaps to tell your own story (anonymously or otherwise). For further information about the history of this matter and a variety of actions that have been proposed, as well as some suggested reading materials, you might want to look at psychdiagnosis.net. If you would like to sign action petitions aimed to reduce the harm, go to change.org and see the petition called Boycott the DSM and the petition called Call for Congressional Hearings about Psychiatric Diagnosis.

From time to time, reports will be posted at psychdiagnosis.weebly.com about how what, if anything, the APA’s Ethics Department is doing about the complaints that have been filed.

Just one more thing: Given the technological problems that can occur at your end or ours, if you send a message about filing a complaint at the URL listed above, and you do not receive a reply from us within ten days, please be sure to resend your message, to make sure it reached us. Thank you.

Best wishes,
Grassroots Group to End Harm from Psychiatric Diagnosis

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