By Nick McDermott – Daily Mail – May 13, 2013
Treating mental health problems such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in the same way as illnesses is unhelpful, leading psychologists claim. Even labelling the conditions is counterproductive they say, adding there is no evidence that a ‘breakdown’ or ‘severe emotional distress’ is the same as an illness with genetic or biological causes.
Instead, they feel the focus needs to be shifted towards dealing with the cause of the mental distress, in order to offer individuals ‘the right kind of help to recover’. The calls for a different approach to mental health has been rejected by many psychiatrists, who believe medication is the best way of tackling such issues.
It comes shortly before the release of the latest edition of American Psychiatry Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It classifies many emotional and behavioural problems – including temper tantrums and excess worrying about personal health – as illnesses, suggesting they are treatable by doctors using drugs.
But in a statement set to be released today the British Psychological Society’s division of clinical psychology has called for a change. Dr Lucy Johnstone, a consultant clinical psychologist who helped draw up the statement, argues there is no scientific basis for treating ‘emotional distress’ as a physical sickness. She said: ‘No one is denying that people suffer very extreme forms of distress. What we are saying, and in fact what some of the world’s most senior psychiatrists are saying, is that there is no evidence that this kind of breakdown is best understood as an illness, with genetic or biochemical causes. Continue reading
British Psychological Society to launch attack on rival profession, casting doubt on biomedical model of mental illness
By Jamie Doward – The Observer – Sunday 12 May 2013
There is no scientific evidence that psychiatric diagnoses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are valid or useful, according to the leading body representing Britain’s clinical psychologists.
In a groundbreaking move that has already prompted a fierce backlash from psychiatrists, the British Psychological Society’s division of clinical psychology (DCP) will on Monday issue a statement declaring that, given the lack of evidence, it is time for a “paradigm shift” in how the issues of mental health are understood. The statement effectively casts doubt on psychiatry’s predominantly biomedical model of mental distress – the idea that people are suffering from illnesses that are treatable by doctors using drugs. The DCP said its decision to speak out “reflects fundamental concerns about the development, personal impact and core assumptions of the (diagnosis) systems”, used by psychiatry. Continue reading
From depression to anxiety and ADHD, more of us now suffer from mental health problems and need pills to treat them — or so we’re told. But in this shocking indictment of modern psychiatry, JAMES DAVIES suggests that this rise in mental illness is down to the greed of drug companies and the pursuit of medical status. The author is a psychological therapist who has worked for the NHS and the mental health charity Mind.
Daily Mail – May 7, 2013
When I meet Sarah Jones, a mother of two and a care worker in West London, her love for her family and work clearly shine through. But when we talk about her seven-year-old son Dominic, she seems overcome with anxiety. ‘Dominic is a lovely boy, but last year he started getting agitated and aggressive. He was doing badly at school and then he got into a fight,’ she says.
The school psychologist wanted Dominic to have a doctor’s assessment. After seeing the boy for 25 minutes, the doctor said he was suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. ‘Dominic is on pills,’ says Sarah. ‘He seems less distracted sometimes, but he also doesn’t seem himself either. It feels as if a part of his spirit has gone.’ Sarah’s distress is palpable.
Year on year, increasing numbers of children like Dominic are having mental disorders such as ADHD diagnosed. In the past ten years, ADHD diagnoses have risen so sharply that around 5 per cent of children in Europe are thought to have it. This vaulting rise in ADHD is consistent with a growth in childhood psychiatric disorders. It’s estimated up to 15 per cent of children fall under the criteria of a diagnosable mental disorder in any year. Continue reading