By Published On: June 30th, 201310 Comments

Originally published in Focus, June 2013.

The international war raging between the titans of psychiatry and psychology may not seem like “local” news. However, tens of thousands of local Victoria citizens have been seriously injured and now desperately need caring attention.

The stage was set 20 years ago, with the fourth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the “bible” of mental illnesses. In recent years, Dr Allen Frances, who chaired that DSM-IV’s task force, has been writing publicly about his mistakes and regrets, and warning about the upcoming DSM-5. Frances has apologized profusely about how the DSM-IV led to diagnoses of ADHD, depression and bipolar spreading through the general population like flu bugs. And Frances recently lamented that DSM-5, finally released this May, is similarly “a reckless and poorly written document that will worsen diagnostic inflation” and “increase inappropriate treatment” as it defines normal, common levels of concern about physical health problems, grieving over a loss, and mild forgetfulness as mental illnesses requiring psychiatric drugs.

Frances’ credibility has lent weight to a broad movement against DSM-5. For example, a petition launched by the American Psychological Association and so far signed by thousands of heavyweights of mental health from around the world warns that the DSM has not been subject to independent scientific reviews and is “dangerous” to the public. Everyone, they argue, “should avoid use of DSM-5.”

Subsequent media coverage has been largely critical or even mocking of psychiatry’s seeming desire to diagnose, drug, and profit from every aspect of the human condition. In late April, mounting public embarrassment finally led even the US National Institute of Mental Health, the US government’s psychiatric funding and research arm, to distance itself. NIMH Director Dr Thomas Insel criticized the DSM-5’s “lack of validity,” and its diagnostic criteria based in backroom negotiations and “not any objective laboratory measure.” The government, Insel wrote, would henceforth be “orienting” its funding more towards genuine neuroscientific research.

The British Psychological Society then issued a call to throw out the whole notion that any mental-emotional distresses should be labelled as “diseases” or “illnesses” at all. The BPS argued we should be looking at and responding to all the social, economic, biographical, psychological, and biological stresses that influence people’s mental states.

Dr David Kupfer, chair of the APA’s DSM-5 task force, struck back and eventually the NIMH and APA issued a joint press release declaring themselves collaborators and not enemies in the proud marching forth of psychiatric science. However, along the way Kupfer was forced to concede, “In the future, we hope to be able to identify disorders using biological and genetic markers that provide precise diagnoses…Yet this promise…remains disappointingly distant. We’ve been telling patients for several decades that we are waiting for biomarkers. We’re still waiting.”

Kupfer’s confession, of course, was still one-half lie. What most psychiatrists have actually been telling the media and public for years is that there’s abundant evidence that depression, schizophrenia, bipolar and ADHD are biologically-based diseases which require primarily chemical treatments.

How many people are consequently taking psychiatric drugs here at home? When reading UBC’s 2008 RxAtlas examining drug use in BC, I was struck by some high numbers. I submitted requests for more data to the BC Health Ministry and discovered that between 18-25 percent of BC citizens are taking one or more psychiatric drugs. I was stunned. I didn’t write about these findings because I needed more data to be certain—data I was blocked from accessing. But recently, studies elsewhere in North America have found similar levels of psychiatric drug use in the general population, suggesting BC’s numbers are likely not far off.

So that means a staggering 65,000 to 90,000 people in the capital region are apparently taking one or more psychiatric drugs that used to be reserved for a tiny percentage of the population. Most of these drugs are known to cause dangerous side effects and long term damages, from diabetes, suicidal-homicidal ideation, cognitive decline, memory loss, emotional numbing, and kidney failure to permanent motor dysfunction and comas. Yet how many of these tens of thousands of people—likely persuaded during intimate meetings with their physicians that their most inner personal challenges were “diseases” requiring life-long treatment with daily psychoactive chemicals—will now be told all of that was just a lie?

Talk to your doctor.


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  1. LW October 5, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    In my opinion, the psychiatric industry is totally bogus. I have personal experience of being “diagnosed” and consequently prescribed dangerous medications which have no positive effect whatsoever. The side effects include diabetes, tardive dyskinesia, heart problems, etc. If you study the history of psychiatry, you will find a list of horrors perpetrated on its victims — lobotomies, shock treatments (ECT), bloodletting, teeth and organ removal, etc. Modern day medications are nothing more than lobotomies in pill form. The doctors and drug companies get rich while they leave a trail of human suffering behind them. Nurses and staff members at psychiatric facilities blindly accept the verdicts of their all-knowing bosses, the god-like psychiatrists who blindly accept the DSM and the biased opinions (and lies) of the drug manufacturers. The whole system is outrageously incompetent, foolish and totally unscientific. Thanks for trying to expose the insanity of the “mental health” industry/business. It’s a horrible racket. (If you’ve never taken any of these type of drugs, DON’T START. And if you’re on them, try to get off them ASAP. Try exercise, good nutrition and meditation or chanting. Anything but their horrific drugs and so-called “treatments.”)

  2. LW October 5, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    P.S. Ron, I read your excellent article, “The Case for Electroshocking Mia,” on Focus. Thank you very much. The Mental Health Act of B.C. is unbelievably repressive and unfair. You correctly state: “… there are still no objective ways to identify hypothetical brain diseases or biochemical imbalances…” What gives the mental health profession so much power that they can arbitralily force medications and barbaric electro-convulsive “therapy” (ECT) on unsuspecting patients simply on the basis of a wildly subjective opinion? It’s inhuman and tantamount to torture. Please continue exposing this absolute nonsense and horror in the name of science.

  3. Rob Wipond October 24, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Thank you for your encouragement! And I agree with your recommendations. I’m personally a big fan of yoga, healthy food, and getting outdoors every day. And the scientific evidence in support of these is a lot more robust than for any psychiatric drugs.

  4. ML December 3, 2013 at 4:08 am

    Iam one of the victim, these drugs cause alot more harm to the body than healing, there are alot of natrual cures and healing that i cant explain in full detail here depending on what problem needed tobe solved and how to soothe ur mind once in a while

  5. anonomous August 9, 2014 at 4:34 am

    Your story: has surveillance affected you personally been torn down?

  6. Rob Wipond August 9, 2014 at 5:05 am

    I put it up a while back, along with a similar facebook post, to see if I could gather some information for an article. But not many people were responding so I took it down.

  7. anonomous August 20, 2014 at 1:31 am

    Hey o.k….well, the next thing you know, after I went to my public library and got a print out of the page, a day later at home, I try to access your site, it’s gone. But then, yesterday I try to access my email service, fine, I use my password and answer secret question, a pop up alert says that I can continue to use my email for x number days after which I am to use a code sent to a cell# that is no longer active. I am able to look at my account nothing unusual looking but I am not able to send new emails or forward from existing emails. Same today, what do you ascribe this to?

  8. anonomous August 20, 2014 at 1:40 am

    Wont comment here again

  9. Rob Wipond August 20, 2014 at 1:43 am

    Sorry, I don’t know, I’m not a technical expert. But it sounds like you might have gotten some sort of virus in your computer, or your email service provider did, or your email account got hacked.

  10. Lilli September 3, 2015 at 5:16 am

    I feel bad for the people on this site with serious issues. I do suffer from depression and now PTSD. Reason? Take a look at my website: This has to do with surveillance and monitoring the ‘mentally ill’ also those the police ‘think’ are ‘mentally ill’ and therefore a ‘danger’ to society. I live in U S and no agency will help me, it’s a police state

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