Alternatives to DSM & ICD

On Not Responding to DSM Apologists

One of the interesting features of our species is that smart folks who do not want to tell the truth, perhaps because they have a financial interest in not telling the truth, can argue smartly against whatever a truth-teller is saying and embroil the truth-teller in a time-consuming, pointless game where the truth-teller feels...
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Current Status of Dx

The Red Herring of Reliability

The issue of reliability regularly features in the DSM debate. Advocates of the DSM system report favorable reliability statistics in one or other of the various revisions (, Brown, Di Nardo, Lehman, & Campbell, 2001), while critics paint a different picture (, Timimi, 2011). Kirk and Kutchins (, 1992, 1997) have written extensively on...
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Current Status of Dx

When Language Goes on Holiday

Philosophical problems arise when language goes on holiday. –Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, section 38 In his provocative essay, Prof. Peter Kinderman comments as follows: Many of us have highlighted the poor reliability, validity, utility, epistemology and humanity of psychiatric diagnoses. Psychiatric diagnoses fail to map onto any entity discernible in the real world, fail...
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Proposing Alternatives

The Classification and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Concerns: An Alternative to the DSM that is Practical and Consistent with the Principles of Science

I have been enjoying reading the various posts at the International Diagnostic Summit ().  There, readers can examine well-articulated descriptions of the numerous faults of the DSM.  At the same time, there is an understanding that criticism is far more useful when, in addition to pointing out the faults of something, it is combined...
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Alternatives to DSM & ICD

After the DSM-5, Then What? The Future of Diagnosis in Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology

Part I. The Context: Overwhelmingly Negative Reactions to Publication of DSM-5 This week, the American Psychiatric Association is holding its annual convention in San Francisco, and this is not your ordinary gathering of psychiatrists. This convention inaugurates the launching of the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or the...
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Current Status of Dx

Problems, Explanations, and Solutions

Politicians and the powerful often want you to think that “there is no alternative”. And one of the curious things about psychiatric diagnosis is that people seem to have great difficulty in contemplating an alternative way of doing things … despite the fact that alternatives are ubiquitous and straightforward. As I set out to...
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Pressing Issues

Why Psychiatric Diagnosis Must Avoid Scientism (Part 3)

  In part II of my series on diagnosis, I argued that–if there are no clear boundaries separating “normal” from “abnormal”–then the claim, “Psychiatry is medicalizing normality” cannot be sustained: the argument is essentially devoured by its own premise. That is: if “normality” has no precise boundary in the realm of disease—including psychiatric disease—then...
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