freakoutcrazy

Blog des AK Psychiatriekritik der NFJ Berlin

Dr. Datta – Still Repackaging Psychiatry

On December 1, Mad in America published an article titled When Homosexuality Came Out (of the DSM).  The author is Vivek Datta, MD, MPH, a British physician.  The article was also published the same day on Dr. Datta’s blog site, Medicine and Society.

The article focuses on the removal of homosexuality from the DSM, which occurred in 1973.  Dr. Datta discusses this issue and various related themes, and he draws some conclusions that, in my opinion, are unwarranted and misleading.

Here are some quotes from Dr. Datta’s article, interspersed with my comments.

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Studies of Reared-Apart (Separated) Twins: Facts and Fallacies

Twin studies supply the most frequently cited evidence in favor of important genetic influences on human behavioral differences. Examples of human behavior include IQ, personality, socially disapproved behavior such as criminality, political behavior and ideology, and psychiatric disorders. Almost all twin studies are based on classical twin method comparisons between MZ (monozygotic, identical) and DZ (dizygotic, fraternal) twin pairs reared together in the same family home. MZ pairs are said to share 100% of their segregating genes, whereas (like ordinary siblings) DZ pairs are said to share only 50% on average.1

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The Chemical Imbalance Theory: Still Being Promoted

On November 28, Psychiatric Times published an article titled Psychiatric Diagnosis and Treatment of Somatizing Neuropsychiatric Disorders.  The authors are Daniel T. Williams, MD, and Alla Landa PhD, both from Columbia University Psychiatry Department.

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A Debate Between Allen Frances and Robert Whitaker

After Allen Frances and Robert Whitaker spoke recently at the Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry conference in Los Angeles, where they had a brief debate, Frances wrote to Whitaker suggesting that they should continue this debate in print. They do so here. Whitaker’s response follows Frances’ post.

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When Homosexuality Came Out (of the DSM)

41 years ago this month, homosexuality ceased to be a mental illness. Amid growing opposition from gay activists, and dissent within its own ranks, the American Psychiatric Association was begrudgingly forced to expunge homosexuality from the DSM-II. Paradigmatic of the social nature of psychiatric diagnosis, the purging of homosexuality from the psychiatric nomenclature highlights the instability of the psychiatric sign: once signifying disease and perversion, homosexuality came to be recognized by the establishment as a normal variant of human sexuality. The ‘coming out’ of homosexuality from the DSM-II allows us to reflect on the following: (1) change in the concept of mental disorder is slow; (2) diagnosis-making is a social act; (3) the construct of illness and disorder, ‘mental’ or otherwise is a social one; (4) the construct of illness has social consequences; and (5) shifts in the concept and nature of disorder reflect wider social, political and economic forces more than scientific advancement.

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