May 4, 2013
me+ME:  More about VERY good news about the DSM-5
1.  More about VERY good news about the DSM-5
2.  And more about VERY good news about the DSM-5
About ME/CFS


I am still paying back my walk of over a week ago, but am doing a little better. Meanwhile, I am going to write about the DSM-5.

1. More about VERY good news about the DSM-5

Yesterday I ended with - what I regard as - some VERY good news about the DSM-5. This was and is that the NIMH-director Thomas Insel has decided to reject it - and here is a partial repeat:
Transforming Diagnosis

In a few weeks, the American Psychiatric Association will release its new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
While DSM has been described as a “Bible” for the field, it is, at best, a dictionary, creating a set of labels and defining each. The strength of each of the editions of DSM has been “reliability” – each edition has ensured that clinicians use the same terms in the same ways. The weakness is its lack of validity.
That is why NIMH will be re-orienting its research away from DSM categories. Going forward, we will be supporting research projects that look across current categories – or sub-divide current categories – to begin to develop a better system.
If you want to read more about it, as usual the best place to do so is Suzy Chapman's site Dx Revision Watch.

However, here is one warning, not so much about Ms Chapman, as about some others, who claim either that this is "irrelevant", as "is the NIMH" (dr Carroll); or that "
Dr. Insel’s blog is not big news, in any dimension" (dr Nardo).

I beg to differ, quite seriously also.

Both dr Nardo and dr Carroll belong to - a quite small group of - medical people who for quite a while wrote as opponents of the DSM-5.

In that sense, they and I agree, in principle at least.

But the whole point was and is not to convince a few.

The whole point of the opposition to the DSM-5 was and is to change it, to stop it, or to divert it, and for that you need some leading members of a major institution to agree with you.

This has not happened for years [1], until now dr. Thomas Insel, who is the head of the National Institute of Mental Health of the USA, quite completely also, and for good reasons, said: No, thiis is not valid, we need "to begin to develop a better system".

For me, speaking as a patient, albeit a patient with degrees in psychology and philosophy, I think this is quite relevant and quite good news.

Happily, most others who wrote about this change agree with me, as you can see from most of the articles listed on Ms. Chapman's site.

And no... I am not saying the battle has been won, and I am still far from being in any way optimistic about psychiatry.

But the NIMH has been the major official source of support for the American Psychiatric Association and its - totally private, and in my eyes quite bonkers - DSMs for 33 years now, until April 29, 2013.

So I am still quite glad and quite relieved.

2. And more about VERY good news about the DSM-5

And I'll explain myself as well.

I think the main difference between myself - who wrote at least 122 times  against the DSM (gathered under this last link) since 2010, something I would all have very gladly completely avoided, if only because nobody answered any of it [2] - is that I write from the perspective of a patient, and not and never as one who is a healthy Dr of MD who makes money from psychiatry and who has nothing to fear from it.

It is true that I have little to fear from practical psychiatry, but it also is not true that I have nothing to fear from it.

And in fact, for the 35th year now, I am officially not ill; I have had no support whatsoever; and the only reasons my own position is not much worse than it could have been are (1) that I can write and argue better than any of the medics who have been sent to me by the bureaucrats and (2) that meanwhile I am nearly pensionable.

But apart from that I must be the person - apart, perhaps, from those who spend decades in jail - with the least income in Holland: Never have I received in one year more than the most minimal income that is legally allowed for persons of 21 and older in Holland.

For 42 years in a row now.

And all of this in spite of the fact that I have a B.A. in philosophy and an M.A. in psychology with only straight As, both taken while I was ill.

So I do know what psychiatry is like, during the time of my life, for in the end it are psychiatrists who are mostly responsible for this very offensive treatment.

And therefore from my point of view I again say that I am quite relieved and quite glad.

As a patient. And not as someone making money from psychiatry or psychology.
[1] Drs. Spitzer and Frances are not exceptions: Both opposed the DSM-5 only when pensioned, and while their opposition to the DSM-5 is something I do appreciate, neither was a leading member of an existing institution.
[2] With the exception of Suzy Chapman, to be sure.

About ME/CFS (that I prefer to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search machines) which is a disease I have since 1.1.1979:
1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS(pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why  (currently not available)

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2003)
5. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2011)
6. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

7. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)

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