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Psychology Today: Patients Harmed by Diagnosis Find Their Voices

Victims of psychiatric labeling file ethics complaints.
Published on April 28, 2012 by Paula J. Caplan, Ph.D. in Science Isn’t Golden

I have been working intensively for many months with people who have had their lives damaged — some forever — because they were given labels from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a product whose latest edition has brought $100 million in profit for its publisher, the American Psychiatric Association, but that is not scientifically grounded, helps little, and leads to a devastating array of kinds of harm.

Yesterday and today, in what appears not to have been done before, a number of them are filingethics complaints with the APA. Very early this morning, I filed my own complaint as an “interested party” who has for more than a quarter of a century seen from the inside the way the DSM people play fast and loose with the science yet have somehow managed to convince many professionals and much of the public that their manual is scientifically grounded, and during that time I have heard from many hundreds of people who have been seriously harmed — and not helped — in a stunning array of ways because of getting one or more DSM labels. I had personally in conversations and then in many of my writings made the powers-that-be aware of these problems, and I have been deeply troubled by both their failure to publicize the unscientific nature of their manual and their failure to take steps to gather systematically any evidence of harm and to redress past harm and prevent future harm.

Part of the story is in this article, which went up yesterday on theWashington Post online under the headline “Psychiatry’s Bible, the DSM, is doing more harm than good,” and is to appear in print on Sunday.

Read the rest of the article here.

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