What's Wrong With Psychiatry in Plain English?
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (5th ed.; DSM-5) Task Force's recommendation to reduce the limit of normal bereavement to 2 weeks has provoked a wave of negative public and professional reaction not seen since the 1960s and 1970s. I argue that the Task Force is correct to insist that excuses have no place in medicine, which is how psychiatry promotes itself, and therefore for the sake of consistency, bereavement should not count as the only exception to what would otherwise be diagnosed as a mental disorder. But the reclassification of bereavement as mental disorder should focus attention on psychiatry's overall inability to clearly say what they are talking about when they refer to mental disorder and to provide objective evidentiary grounds for detecting "its" presence. Detecting something is illusory (think of witches) if there is no way to distinguish between true-positive detection and false-positive detection.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: April 1, 2013
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