Critiques of Diagnosis

Attenuated Psychosis Syndrome Was Not Actually Removed from DSM-5

What’s in a name? That which we call a diagnosis by any other name would be just as codable. Those following the DSM-5 controversies will remember the infamous “Psychosis Risk Syndrome,” considered to be the most controversial proposal for the new diagnostic manual. The idea behind the “disorder” category was to capture subthreshold psychotic symptoms...
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Contrarian Concepts

Where are the Social Workers?

One Social Worker’s Road to Active Opposition to the New DSM In November, 2011, the Society for Humanistic Psychology of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American Counseling Association (ACA) sent their infamous Open Letter to the DSM-5 Task Force (Locke, 2011). When I read it shortly after it was posted on the...
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Critiques of Diagnosis

Are “More” Categories Appropriate for Diagnostics?: Some Preliminary Concerns

Is “more” better? This question first sparked my interest as I watch a television commercial promoting a mobile phone service. The advertisement asked children “what is better having more or less”. In a series of non-sensible rambling, the child argued because people want more, more is better. Given this series of statements that both...
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Contrarian Concepts

What Do Antidepressants Prove?

One of the pieces of “evidence” used to support the current model of mental health labeling has to do with the supposed relationship between the presence of a “disease” and the availability of a “drug” that treats that disease. In a sense, drugs verify diseases. Consider antidepressants. It’s easy enough for both lay folks...
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Contrarian Concepts

Creating a Mental Disorder in Five Minutes Flat

First, let’s choose some common human experience that most people find unpleasant. How about boredom? Most people experience boredom as unpleasant—let’s get started and substitute the word “pathological” for unpleasant. Doesn’t that simple switch start to give it that ‘disease feel’ already? Pathological boredom! The next step is to name our disease. How about...
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Critiques of Diagnosis

The United States of the Biomedical Model: Five Anecdotes

It is difficult to overstate the ubiquity and influence of the biomedical model that provides the foundation for psychiatric diagnosis and treatment in the United States. As a clinical psychologist who has spent the past 15 years working in medical centers, inpatient psychiatric hospitals, outpatient mental health clinics, a residential substance abuse treatment center,...
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