Sunday, October 25, 2015

Psych Field Diagnostic Inflation

In the early 1980s, about a third of Americans qualified for a lifetime diagnosis of mental disorder.  Now [2013] about half do.  And Europe is catching up fast at well over 40 percent.  Some people think these are underestimates--more carefully done prospective studies actually double the lifetime prevalence.  If you believe the results, our population is almost totally saturated with mental disorders.  One study found that by age thirty-two, 50 percent of the general population had already qualified for an anxiety disorder; more than 40 percent for mood disorder; and more than 30 percent for substance dependence.  Another study moved even closer to the proposition of almost ubiquitous sickness--by the tender age of twenty-one, more than 80 percent of young adults had already met criteria for a mental disorder.  The trumpeting of inflated rates has fueled drug company claims that we are underdiagnosed and undertreated--keeping the vicious cycle spinning.

Evidence of diagnostic inflation is everywhere.  There have been four explosive epidemics of mental disorder in the past fifteen years.  Childhood bipolar disorder increased by a miraculous fortyfold; autism by a whopping twentyfold; attention deficit/hyperactivity has tripled; and adult bipolar disorder doubled.  Whenever rates skyrocket, some portion of the rise represents previously missed true cases--people who really need the diagnosis and the treatment that follows from it.  But more accurate diagnosis can't explain why so many people, especially kids, suddenly seem to be getting sick.

Allen Frances, M.D, "Saving Normal," pg.103-104

This is a perfect example as to the problem with the psych field and their collusion with the drug industry.  FALSE DIAGNOSIS!

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