Psychiatrists do not have objective tests to confirm their diagnoses. They are often imposing Upper Middle Class values on their patients and then calling it “scientific” diagnosis.
The National Institutes of Health in May of 2013 declared the methods of American Psychiatry as “lacking in validity” and that “patients deserve better”. Their key criticism was they have no objective test showing that their diagnoses are right. The National Institutes of Health supplies 90% of the funding for medical research in the United States. It is a Federal Government Institution located in Bethesda Maryland and the place where the AIDS virus was discovered and the cure for many cancers developed. It has never criticized any other branch of American Medicine as “lacking in validity.”
The following article is well worth reading: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/side-effects/201305/the-nimh-withdraws-support-dsm-5
Psychiatry used to declare anyone who was gay or lesbian was mentally ill. Alan Turing, the man who invented the electronic computer and then used it to break the Nazi German Military Code, was put in the hands of British psychiatrists because he was gay and forced to undergo hormone shots. He committed suicide because of this at the age 41. The British made a very good movie about him called “Breaking the Code”. He broke two of them.
A lot of people, primarily lower class and children living in lower class or poor households, now get funneled into the psychiatric system in the United States, get labeled according to what are called the DSM criteria –the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual – and then started on medications. There is now an Academic Industrial Complex accelerating this trend. Academicians looking for prestige invent new categories based on clusters of symptoms and then find a drug that will alter this behavior. Pharmaceutical companies are glad to oblige because their profits go up.
The way this Diagnostic Manual works is you make up a list of symptoms and behavior, make up a questionnaire, and if someone answers enough of the questions on the questionnaire as “yes,” you declare them mentally ill. And it is “scientific” because you used a questionnaire and anyone looking at the questionnaire would agree with the “diagnosis”. You can easily see how this made it easy to declare being gay as mentally ill in the early versions of this manual. This was not an illness. This was a value judgment by the upper middle class people of those decades; and psychiatrists were used to impose those values.
Once people are then labeled they change their view of themselves. They are no longer “normal”. They have “intermittent explosive disorder” or some other “diagnosis” and are placed on medication. Often the real problem is they are living in a fairly toxic home environment and anyone would react with that much anger or depression. But now they are the one with the “mental health problem”. Many of these people are children living in homes with multiple problems: drug addicted parents, violence between spouses, poverty, etc. Now 20% of these kids are labeled as “mentally ill” according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control.
The sad thing is there are people with real mental health problems. They are profoundly depressed. They need real help. They are unable to function or get out of bed in the morning. But now so much money and energy is being diverted to bogus diagnoses that the people who really need help often aren’t getting it. It has even become trendy to have a minor “mental health disorder” and have a therapist for the upper class “worried well”.
If someone has a true severe mental health problem by all means look for help. But be very skeptical of any diagnostic label and anyone who tells you they are “sure they are right” because you fit the criteria. If you think you or your child are being mislabeled find another therapist and never let them control your self esteem or opinion of yourself. They don’t really know what they are taking about. It is not “scientific” even though they claim it is.