Endorse the call for Congressional hearings about psychiatric diagnosis
Please endorse the call by the PLAN T (Psychiatric Labeling Action Network for Truth) Alliance to hold Congressional Hearings about psychiatric diagnosis in an attempt to explore the nature and extent of harm that many Americans and increasingly, people in other countries, have suffered solely because of being given a psychiatric label. The aim of the hearings would be to find ways to prevent this harm, beginning with a clear-sighted examination of the totally unregulated nature of psychiatric diagnosis. Many people have the mistaken impression that the Food and Drug Administration oversees psychiatric diagnosis, but nothing could be further from the truth. In 2002 and 2003, two Congressional Briefings were held on this subject, co-sponsored by a dozen groups concerned with health matters and by New York Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. The Need This call is an attempt to draw attention to this minimally-investigated enterprise of psychiatric diagnosis and to find ways to protect people from the harm that can result. The kinds of harm have included loss of the right to make decisions about one’s legal and medical affairs, loss of health insurance or sky-high premiums, loss of child custody, and plummeting of self-confidence. This issue affects people across the spectrum, regardless of social class, education, sex, race, and age. The Problem Few laypeople or even therapists realize that psychiatric diagnosis is not a scientific endeavor, although some of the most powerful people and organizations in the mental health field assert that it is. As a result, millions of people who seek help because they are suffering have no idea that they are not being diagnosed in scientific ways and thus that their treatment largely lacks a scientific basis; nor do they know that in important ways their treatment may be experimental because they are given labels that may not stand for anything that has been proven to exist. Furthermore, although drugs can be helpful for some people, it is important for the public and their therapists to know that they are often prescribed to treat diagnostic “entities” that may not even exist. Patients have a right to try anything that might help them, including medication, but it is essential that they do so after being fully informed of the limitations of the diagnostic labels that are usually the basis for therapists’ treatment recommendations. The absence of science creates a vacuum, and biases and distortions rush in. This happens in three ways: 1. Such biases as racism, sexism, ageism, classism, and homophobia powerfully affect psychiatric diagnosis, becoming partial determinants of who gets a psychiatric label and of the seriousness of the label that is chosen. 2. Serious problems such as despondency are overlooked as people are diagnosed with unproven “mental illnesses” such as Compulsive Shopping Disorder or Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. 3. Many people who are suffering because they have been at war or because of social problems like poverty or because they are victims of hate speech or violence are wrongly treated as though the problems come from within them. Why Congressional Hearings? First and foremost, the purpose of a Call for Congressional Hearings is to put psychiatric diagnosis, with its problems and possible solutions, on the national, public agenda. There are many reasons for choosing the Congressional Hearings route, related to numerous ways this is a federal issue. IMPORTANT: The PLAN T Alliance is not connected in any way with Scientology or its CCHR.
Boycott the DSM: A Human Rights Issue!
From the PLAN T Alliance PLAN T stands for Psychiatric Labeling Action Network for Truth. A video of the November 14, 2013, event called "Human Rights Implications of Psychiatric Diagnosis" gives information in addition to what is here below. It is available at http://media.wcl.american.edu/Mediasite/Play/f5ed8e8e4b294e71964f8a98a2b7b7831d It is increasingly clear that the editors of the major psychiatric manual, which reaps huge profits for the American Psychiatric Association that publishes it, are ignoring the massive evidence of harm done by the labels of previous editions of the manual and of likely harm from what they plan to put in the edition they are now preparing. Previous editors ignored the need for both reform of their work and concern for those it harmed, despite letters and petitions representing more than six million people, an effort that we began at an Association for Women in Psychology conference when the manual's third revised edition was being prepared for its 1987 publication. The pledge we request here is one of the major kinds of action we recommend. It is a boycott. If you, like us, are deeply concerned about the lack of science behind the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the absence of evidence that it helps in identifying effective treatments, the absence of evidence that helps with outcome, and the abundance of evidence of people being seriously harmed by receiving a psychiatric label, as well as because the editors of the previous, current, and in-preparation editions of the DSM have been largely unresponsive to concerns expressed about these problems, please sign this petition as a statement that you take the pledge here below. We are working to find out more information about the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which the World Health Organization publishes and which has a psychiatry section that is purposely designed to be extremely similar to the DSM. So we urge people also not to buy the ICD if it is to use the psychiatry section (there are sections for actual injuries and diseases, such as a broken bone or cancer). We target the DSM first because its publisher, the American Psychiatric Association, is a lobby group that has not used any of the $100 million of profits it earned from the DSM-IV to redress the harm it has done or to prevent future harm from psychiatric diagnosis. Pledge: "I will not purchase any form of any edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)." ______ *Note added: The PLAN T Alliance also posted a second petition at http://www.change.org/petitions/everyone-who-cares-about-the-harm-done-by-psychiatric-diagnosis-endorse-the-call-for-congressional-hearings-about-psychiatric-diagnosis. That petition is about a call for Congressional hearings about psychiatric diagnosis, regardless of which manual is involved. We hope that people signing this petition will also sign that one. Congressional hearings would on a grand scale reveal the lack of science and the harm from any psychiatric label, so please consider signing both petitions and urging others to do so. The second petition can be signed by anyone at all, not just professionals. IMPORTANT: The PLAN T Alliance is not connected in any way with Scientology or its CCHR.