Thursday, July 10, 2014

STIGMA vs. PSEUDO SCIENCE

People with a psychiatric label are facing stigma like never before in our society.  With all the media attention being given to the mass killings and them being linked to mental illness, the stigma of having a diagnosis has risen with each media story.  Stigma keeps people from even attempting to seek help, but there is a greater problem than stigma.  The problem of the pseudo science that much of the mental health care offered is based on is a bigger problem than the stigma is to those of us with a label.

You may believe that mental health care is based on solid science, but mental health care is not even about health it only focuses on a person’s disabilities as defined by observation and not any concrete medical testing.  The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition (DSM-5™) put out by the American Psychiatric Association does not claim to have any real science to base their diagnostic categories on. (Page 19)  That is why for almost every one of them they have something they call “other specified/unspecified.”

If you went to your family doctor and he/she just started treating you with no real proof of what illness you had or if you were even ill at all for that matter, do you think you could expect a good outcome?  That is precisely what we face each time we visit a mental health professional.  They are simply guessing.  You may claim they are making what is called an “educated” guess, but I am saying since almost all their information comes from what I tell them their guess is no better than the truth of my statements and what agenda I have when I am in their office.

All this would matter little if the government did not think it had the right to take this pseudo science and lock us away without us having committed a crime or keeping us locked up for years on minor charges saying we are not mentally fit to stand trial. The state then is endorsing and giving its stamp of approval to the DSM-5™ that has no basis in hard science or even soft science.

I will take stigma over pseudo science any day.


© Ed Cooper, July 10, 2014, Stoney Creek, Tennessee

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