The dangers of labels (commentary on the DSM 5)

This is a small excerpt from an article at

The new additions to the DSM-V create even more opportunities to see our clients as “The Other” and less like fellow travelers on this journey of life. Noted existential psychologist Irvin Yalom states that “labels do violence to people,” and Kierkegaard said, “Once you label me, you negate me.” I, along with many others, fear the violence that will be done to those included in these new categories.

I believe the DSM-V changes can serve as a wake-up call, alerting each of us to the need for a life of celebrating our humanity … one where we learn to accept ourselves right where we are without judgment or criticism. Of course, that means we must take a stand against the dangers we are facing. (continue reading)

dsm5Because yes, we need to refuse to partake in this charade–this pathologizing of the human experience, troubled though it may sometimes be. Too many of us are already far too familiar with the violence of the DSM. It started a long time ago. The DSM5 is just the continuation of this evolution…or perhaps it should be referred to as devolution.

I am including another excerpt from the article Allen Frances wrote too. He was chair of the DSM-IV Task Force and is currently professor emeritus at Duke. It’s worth mentioning again that all the flaws Allen Frances mentions began their (de)volution a long time ago and were included in the DSM he himself oversaw. It would be nice to see him explicitly denounce his own work, but otherwise, yeah…take heed…these are valid concerns he speaks of…

In it he advises people ignore the changes. Lets instead toss the whole DSM out.

APA approval of DSM-5 is a sad day for psychiatry

This is the saddest moment in my 45 year career of studying, practicing, and teaching psychiatry. The Board of Trustees of the American Psychiatric Association has given its final approval to a deeply flawed DSM 5 containing many changes that seem clearly unsafe and scientifically unsound. My best advice to clinicians, to the press, and to the general public – be skeptical and don’t follow DSM 5 blindly down a road likely to lead to massive over-diagnosis and harmful over-medication. Just ignore the ten changes that make no sense. (continue reading)


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