The DSM: Psychiatry’s bible and your dubious diagnosis
So you’ve been diagnosed with depression. Or bipolar. Or ADHD. You believe your doctor when he tells you your disorder is a disease just like cancer or diabetes is a disease. After all, you trust your doctor and surely he is privy to all of the latest medical discoveries.
However, there’s just one question you should be asking: “Where’s the science?”
Or, in playground terms, “Prove it!”
You see, he can’t. If you’ve been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, there is not a single test your doctor — any doctor — can do to show you have a confirmable abnormality in your brain.
“Okay, well, maybe it’s not a large abnormality like a tumor,” you say, “but he said something about a chemical imbalance.”
And what test exactly did he give you to confirm that?
The truth is no one knows what a correct chemical balance looks like, so we don’t know what an imbalance looks like either. In fact, the chemical imbalance theory was disproven over 50 years ago. But still it continues to linger on as part of our social fabric, most likely because it is advantageous for the drug companies as they market their wares to an unsuspecting public (me and you).
“I am constantly amazed by how many patients who come to see me believe or want to believe that their difficulties are biologic and can be relieved by a pill. This is despite the fact that modern psychiatry has yet to convincingly prove the genetic/biologic cause of any single mental illness. ... Patients have been diagnoses with chemical imbalances despite the fact that no test exists to support such a claim.” —David Kaiser , M.D., psychiatrist
“In reality, science does not have the ability to measure the levels of any biochemical in the tiny spaces between the nerve cells (the synapses) in the brain of a human being. All the talk about chemical imbalances is sheer speculation aimed at promoting psychiatric drugs.” —Peter Breggin, M.D., psychiatrist
“Many physicians tell their patients that they are suffering from a chemical imbalance, despite the reality that there are no tests available for assessing the chemical status of a living person’s brain. ... The evidence does not support any of the biochemical theories of mental illness.” —Elliott Valenstein, Ph.D., neuropsychologist
“At the present time there is no proof that biology causes schizophrenia, bipolar mood disorder, or any other functional mental disorder.” —Colin A Ross, M.D., psychiatrist
“In recent decades we have had no shortage of alleged biochemical imbalances for psychiatric conditions. Diligent though these attempts have been, not one has been proven. Quite the contrary. In every instance where such an imbalance was thought to have been found, it was later proven to be false.” —Joseph Glenmullen, M.D., psychiatrist (all as quoted by Dr. Timothy Scott in America Fooled: The Truth About Antidepressants and Antipsychotics and How We’ve Been Deceived)
Since there is no blood test, no urine test, no brain scan, no objective test for any kind of psychiatric disorder, there is only one thing your doctor can use to diagnose you: your words. Your own words, if you’re above age. Or, if you’re a 1- or 2-year-old without the vocabulary to describe your “symptoms,” then the words of your parent or caretaker who is at a loss for why you are behaving the way you are.
In the absence of a scientific test, the only way a disorder can be diagnosed is by … guessing. Or, in kinder words, making it up as he goes along. You see, your doctor compares the words you used to describe yourself with the checklists provided in the DSM. The DSM is the Diagnostics and Statistics Manual — pscyhiatry’s bible, the go-to book used by psychiatrists and doctors when it’s time to label 25 out of every 100 people with a mental disorder.
“There are no statistics in this book, by the way. That just makes it sound more scientific.” —Dr. Margaret Hagan, Professor of Psychology at Boston University, DSM: Inventing Mental Illness
Whichever checklist your symptoms are most closely aligned with determines your “disorder.” As soon as your doctor diagnoses you (often in as little as 5 minutes), your psychotropic drug is prescribed. If you get the desired result (less discomfort, more energy, a more compliant child), you will say, “See? This must be a real disorder.”
The fact that you feel relief becomes “proof” that your “diagnoses” was accurate, even though there is no scientific validity to feelings.
Keep in mind that mind-altering drugs have their effect on everyone, whether you’re self-medicating by smoking pot because you tend to be high-strung or popping kiddie cocaine so you can concentrate better on the monotony of math.
The fact is that mind-altering drugs, legal or illegal, affect everyone’s moods and feelings, whether we consider ourselves mentally ill or well.
Or maybe after getting your prescription, you find your drug affects you negatively instead of in the way you had hoped. In that case, it’s back to the drawing board. If your medication doesn’t “work,” your doctor may change your diagnosis and try a new drug.
Or, most likely (since it’s human nature not to want to admit to making a mistake) you’ll be labeled with an additional disorder on top of the one you already have, then given additional medications to manage your new disorder (which is most likely a side effect of your original drug).
Far from being safe and effective, these psychotropic drugs have been proven to cause the very symptoms they are marketed to treat, as well as suicide, violence, and a host of side effects including heart failure and even death. Yet we continue to pump our children full of psychotropic drugs while their brains are still developing, without any clue what the long-term effects will be.
Not only are we putting into our bodies chemicals that haven’t been proven safe or effective (most of the time without informed consent), but we are allowing ourselves to be labeled and treated for diseases that also have not been proven to exist.
In fact, every mental illness listed in the DSM has been voted into existence by committee! That’s right. A group of psychiatrists meets for the purpose of updating the DSM, sits down to discuss the merits of each potential “illness,” then holds a vote to determine which ones make the cut before bestowing on them the scientific-sounding title of “disorder” and a coveted listing in psychiatry’s bible.
If you are hearing this information for the first time and are ready to type up a long letter telling me that your diagnosis is real, and that you have “done the research,” please bear with me for a few more paragraphs while I share some information about the DSM that most of the public does not know (and, I would venture, may not want to be told):
“A roomful of psychiatrists gets together, listens to talks about each potential entry, and then they vote on whether to include it. No science. No studies. No genuine research. Every entry gets into the DSM through a popularity contest.” —Heidi Stevenson, The Psychiatric Bible Is a Billing Scam
“There is no proof that even one ‘disorder’ is anything other than a list of symptoms. They are voted in by committee, so that if a majority vote that a particular list of symptoms ‘is’ a disorder, then it ‘is’ and everyone who has a majority of those symptoms ‘has’ that disorder.” —Doyle Mills, TeenScreen’s Pseudo-Scientific Basis
“Unlike medical diagnoses that convey a probable cause, appropriate treatment and likely prognosis, the disorders listed in DSM-IV are terms arrived at through peer consensus.” —Tana Dineen Ph.D., Canadian psychologist, Psychiatrists expose the fraud of Psychiatry
“There are no objective tests in psychiatry — no X-ray, laboratory, or exam finding that says definitively that someone does or does not have a mental disorder.” —Allen Frances, Former DSM-IV Task Force Chairman, Psychiatrists expose the fraud of Psychiatry
“In 1987, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was literally voted into existence by the American Psychiatric Association and inserted in the DSM-IV. Within one year, 500,000 children in the U.S. were diagnosed with the disorder.” —Death from Ritalin: The Truth Behind ADHD
“Psychiatry is not science; it’s observations of human behavior, without any scientific backup. For example, diagnosing someone with a ‘chemical imbalance’ is a fabricated diagnosis. They have no evidence whatsoever of any chemical imbalance. … Psychiatric evaluations aren’t based on science — period! They’re just made up, and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual is growing with more and more fabricated ‘mental illnesses.’” —Dr. Julian Whitaker, as quoted in Depression Screening: A Cruel Fraud
Truth cannot be determined by a show of hands, and science is based on confirmable, objective evidence, not subjective feelings or guesses. Yet there is not a single scientific piece of evidence or test that any of these disorders exist.
The DSM is a shifting political document, and its “disorders” come and go like fashion. For example, homosexuality was listed as a mental disorder until 1974, after the American Psychiatric Association (APA) held a legislative vote and changed its mind.
“If mental illness were really an illness in the same sense that physical illnesses are illnesses, the idea of deleting homosexuality or anything else from the categories of illness by having a vote would be as absurd as a group of physicians voting to delete cancer or measles from the concept of disease.” —Lawrence Stevens, former Assistant District Attorney in California, in a statement about the 1973 decision to remove certain disorders by a show of hands
Adding to psychiatry’s bible. In 2013, the DSM-5 will be released. There has been much publicity about this new volume, with even industry insiders calling the book exactly what is is: a sham and the highest form of fraud perpetuated on the American public.
The lead editor of the DSM-IV was Allen Frances, who has now come out of retirement to accuse his colleagues working on the DSM-5 of “bad science” and “making diseases out of everyday suffering.”
In fact, he now regrets the inclusion of various disorders in the DSM-IV and has decided to speak out: “We have made mistakes that had terrible consequences,” he said. Diagnoses of autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and bipolar disorder skyrocketed, and Frances thinks his manual inadvertently facilitated these epidemics. Mental disorders are “most certainly not diseases,” Frances says. Rather, they are “constructs” that may justify treating people against their will as a “last resort.”
Other groups are upset because, although the number of disorders will most certainly rise, their “pet” disorders are not going to make it into the DSM. Autism spectrum disorder, for example, is on its way out. Since the DSM is the way doctors get paid, thousands of families are up in arms about how they will afford treatment. No DSM code, no payment.
Loren Mosher, M.D., in his resignation letter from the American Psychiatric Association, wrote:
“Finally, why must the APA pretend to know more than it does? DSM-IV is the fabrication upon which psychiatry seeks acceptance by medicine in general. Insiders know it is more a political than scientific document. … DSM-IV has become a bible and a money making best seller — its major failings notwithstanding. … It is the way to get paid.”
Paula Caplan, Ph.D., Harvard University, who has been trying since 1985 to alert both professionals and the general public to the dangers of the DSM’s diagnostic system, puts it this way:
“I served as an advisor to two of the DSM-IV committees, before resigning due to serious concerns after witnessing how fast and loose they play with the scientific research related to diagnosis. … I have been involved since 1985 in trying to alert both therapists and the public to the manual’s unscientific nature and the dangers that believing in its objectivity poses.
“Since then, I have watched with interest a national trend toward gradually increasing openness to the idea that psychiatric diagnosis (A) is largely unscientific, (B) is highly subjective and political, and (C) can cause untold harm, ranging from the patients’ lowered self-confidence to loss of custody of children to loss of health insurance (because any psychiatric label can be considered evidence of a pre-existing condition) to loss of the right to make decisions about their medical and legal affairs.”
Because this article does not allow me the room to list all of the quotes about the fraudulent and unscientific nature of the DSM by industry experts, I’ve started a page on my blog, which will most likely get longer the closer we get to rollout of the DSM-5. Keep in mind that this is only a partial listing of criticisms against the DSM.
Before you send me a letter telling me the things I am exposing here could not be true because “drugs worked for me,” please consider that what I am writing here is not my opinion but the opinion of experts in the field, who have stepped outside of their prescribed roles, often at great loss financially and to their reputations, in order to speak out about the fraud and false science of psychiatry. I would ask you to research the placebo effect and also read my article about what we mean when we say psychiatric drugs “work.”
Also, please note that much of the “research” you’ll come across in a standard Internet search is provided by pharmaceutical company front groups like CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder) and NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Health). These groups pass themselves off as patient advocates and sources of non-biased third-party information, but in reality they are funded by pharmaceutical companies, which have the most to gain by keeping alive the illusion that these disorders are scientifically proven to exist.
Please don’t get me wrong. I am not telling you that you are not feeling depressed or anxious. I don’t doubt that many of our children have difficulty focusing on their schoolwork (even those who can sit for hours playing Angry Birds). :) I do not even disregard the fact that someone can be mad or insane — after all, even the Bible talks about madness.
What I disagree with is the notion that 20% of Americans are mentally ill as psychiatrist and pharmaceutical companies define mental illness. When the DSM-5 comes out, there won’t be any of us who could not feasibly be diagnosed with a disorder! Pharmaceutical companies have turned normal human emotions into diseases because they sell more drugs.
But this is called life! God created us with these emotions to serve as warning signs, to draw us into relationship with others, and to draw us closer to Him as our provider, comforter, and lover of our souls. Who are psychiatrists to say these human emotions are abnormal? In fact, given the state of our society and how far we’ve drifted from God, serving gods of our own choosing or no god at all, it almost goes without saying that we should be feeling this way!
The real problem is that we’re buying psychiatry’s lie that our emotions and behaviors are scientifically proven diseases and then drugging them away with brain-damaging drugs.
In fact, I would contend that the real problem with our society is that we are not mentally ill at all but spiritually bankrupt.
Our focus is on idols of this world: comfort and convenience, entertainment and pleasure. We have become lovers of our selves, and on our path to seeking to know and love our selves, we’ve neglected to know and love God (2 Timothy 3:1-5). Instead of looking to the Bible, God’s Word, as our foundation, we’ve idolized the bible of psychiatry, the DSM, for diagnosing what ails our souls. As a result, we are reaping the fruit of what we have sown.
“For the wisdom of the world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He takes the wise in their own craftiness.” —1 Corinthians 3:19
“For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent…. Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” —1 Corinthians 1:20
The “help” we seek from the state-approved religion of psychology will eventually betray us. We are already seeing the fruits of it now as many children are dying from their medications, or as the result of violence perpetrated by those “treated” with mind-altering substances. We try to cover the symptoms of our spiritual bankruptcy with a balm that cannot heal, handing over even our children so pharmaceutical companies can profit even while they lose their souls.
“We have moved into a world in which, in the absence of visible pathology, we have no way of being certain whether it is the individual or society that is sick.” —David Healy, Mania
We pretend we are so scientifically advanced, but our language is nothing but vain and idle babblings, “science falsely so called,” leading us further astray from the truth of our situation.
“O Timothy, keep that which is committed to your trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: which some professing have erred concerning the faith….” —1 Timothy 6:20-21
Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible says these vain and profane babblings might also be called “new words, which ought not to be introduced, for they often bring in new doctrines: the form of sounds words,… the words of our Lord Jesus Christ … should be held fast; and especially all new words should be avoided, which are contrary to them, or in the least weaken them or detract from them.”
Indeed, psychiatry has given us an entirely new language to describe our sin: we have disorders, dysfunctions, addictions — all with an implied biological cause that relieves us of personal responsibility. And yet, if we don’t call sin what it is, we will never repent — and never be saved!
We are nothing but modern day shamans, sorcerers and witch doctors attempting to change socially unacceptable behaviors with potions and drugs — but these behaviors are the result of neglecting the Fountain of living waters and hewing for ourselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.
“For My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me the Fountain of living waters, and hewed themselves out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” —Jeremiah 2:13
Which Bible/bible are we going to use to diagnose and cure what ails us — the powerful and living Word of God, or psychiatry’s bible, the DSM?
Isn’t it time to renounce the broken cisterns of our own construct and turn to the one true God with all our hearts? To trust in the true and living Word of God rather than the new words? To repent of our sin and be reconciled to God?
For the sake of the lives of our children, and for our very souls, I pray this message will pierce our hearts, and we will turn wholeheartedly to the One who can deliver and heal us.
. . . . .
Michele Blake is a marketing consultant, writer, photographer and homeschool mom. Archives of her articles can be found on her website, rebelforchrist.com.
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