Thursday, April 14, 2016

Allen J. Frances on the overdiagnosis of mental illness Kaminetsky-Greenblatt Hetter

Published on May 11, 2012
Psychiatrist and author, Allen J. Frances, believes that mental illnesses are being over-diagnosed. In his lecture, Diagnostic Inflation: Does Everyone Have a Mental Illness?, Dr. Frances outlines why he thinks the DSM-V will lead to millions of people being mislabeled with mental disorders. His lecture was part of Mental Health Matters, an initiative of TVO in association with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.


  1. He's as much to blame as anyone, considering that he headed DSM IV.

  2. wow! Lots to discuss. To agree and disagree on. Thank you for posting.

  3. DSM-V certainly raises this concern which is why a few mental health professional I know won't open it. Much mental illness is real and needs treatment but much more seems to be caused by affluenza.

  4. He does an "Al Chait", and came out of retirement to do penitence. Rather than remind a Ba'al Tshuva of his past, let us work together with him and prevent an even worse future. His predictions might be labeled as "paranoia" were they espoused by someone with lesser credentials.

  5. Overdiagnosis??? Did he speak to the party of interest? This scenario was a bogus request for a fixed outcome report to swindle a rabbinical forged Heter against Halacha. There was no Diagnosis! These swindlers should have their license revoked, and lock them up for good. Words can kill, if used inappropiately, they should bear the consequences.

  6. According to the video, there is a trend in civilized societies towards diagnosing everyone. Thus, no need to meet the client. One can assume he has a mental condition. Furthermore, so does the psychiatrist doing the diagnosing. And so do we the third-party observers. Since many diagnoses in the DSM involve cognitive inpairment, it is safe to say no one is capable of thinking straight and thus we can't be sure of anything. Under those circumstances, human existence itself and all our experiences become questionable and a Mekach Ta'us.

  7. I haven't watched this presentation, but I've read and watched him in the past on the subject. As I recall, his ire was directed primarily at DSM V. In fact, the problems associated with overdiagnosis and medicalization of normative emotional responses began with DSM I, and continued through IV and now through V. The whole corrupt enterprise needs to be junked and reimagined.

  8. In that case, those successful escaping the radar need to be locked up in a safe house to protect them from all of us. :->
    It seems that this voodoo medicine is intended for controlling the masses. If you should think any time that you are smart they will rofl give you a non-favorable diagnosis and you are chopped liver.

  9. He is completely Modeh.

    His point, if I understood him correctly, is that his work was hijacked.

    If someone builds a road to the sea for vacationing families, and marauding motorcycle gangs follow, should we put all the blame on the builders?

    According to Dr. Frances, psychiatry was on the verge of being a joke when DSM III codified mental illness. The downside was that "context" was shunted aside, something that has been discussed on this blog, in particular by Ploni.

    Dr. Frances tried to rein in the madness by designing DSM IV in a way that would have predictable consequences within certain statistical boundaries. Instead, he found he had created a monster.

    We don't have to junk the system. Psychiatry on its own seems to reimagine itself every 25 or 30 years.

    In fact, Dr. Frances offers some practical ways to fix things. For example, he would like to outlaw drug companies advertising psychiatric drugs directly to the public.

  10. Yeah? Chopped liver? It seems the diagnoses in the DSM are lists of symptoms that amount to little more than recipes for disaster in many cases according to Dr. Frances. His logic in this regard is shocking: he speaks of a world where doctors use intervention to prevent mental illness -- yet there is no known measure that can predict mental illness will even occur!

    I don't think I could handle being labeled Chopped Liver, though, or even as being someone who is Borderline Delicatessen. I kind of think I'm a little crunchier. You know, Organic Granola.

  11. The problems go so much deeper. Read Robert Whitaker's "Anatomy of an Epidemic" and James Davie's "Cracked." And read a book or two on the false diagnosis of ADHD (assuming it exists), and epidemic of dosing fidgety children. This guy is proposing a band-aid for a sucking chest wound.


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