Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Headline of the Duh

Psychiatry's New Guide Is Out Of Touch With Science:

Just weeks before the long-awaited publication of a new edition of the so-called bible of mental disorders, the federal government’s most prominent psychiatric expert has said the book suffers from a scientific “lack of validity.”

The expert, Dr. Thomas R. Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, said in an interview Monday that his goal was to reshape the direction of psychiatric research to focus on biology, genetics and neuroscience so that scientists can define disorders by their causes, rather than their symptoms.
Well, he's half right. The DSM is completely lacking in scientific validity and has been so since the first edition came out in the 1960's. We should not, however, be focusing more on the "biology, genetics or neuroscience" of behavioral disorders, but instead on labeling and social control.
“As long as the research community takes the D.S.M. to be a bible, we’ll never make progress,” Dr. Insel said, adding, “People think that everything has to match D.S.M. criteria, but you know what? Biology never read that book.”
Neither did sociology, because most Labeling theorists would tell you that mental illness is a subjective label applied to behaviors that violate social norms. You can dig for all the biological or genetic "causes" you want: at the end of the day, it's the behavior that is being labeled as "mentally ill."

But don't expect the psychiatric-industrial complex to  roll over in the face of criticism.
Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, the chairman of the psychiatry department at Columbia and president-elect of the American Psychiatric Association, which publishes the D.S.M., said that the new edition’s refinements were “based on research in the last 20 years that will improve the utility of this guide for practitioners, and improve, however incrementally, the care patients receive.”
He added: “The last thing we want to do is be defensive or apologetic about the state of our field."
LOL. They should be down on their hands and knees, begging for absolution and forgiveness from the millions of lives and minds ruined by unscientific diagnoses and chemical lobotomies.
But what do a bunch of sociologists know?

Cross posted to: The Cranky Sociologists

No comments: