Mental Health Care Consumer Alert: WebMD: Slanted Information About Dissociative Identity Disorder

Like any website that offers mental health consumer information, this one only offers information that supports the existence of dissociative identity disorder (DID) & multiple personalities. There is a lot more to this diagnosis and lifestyle than WebMD is willing to disclose. Is it because those writing and running this site are uneducated, politically motivated, and/or bias?

Again, consumers are faced with a professional looking name of the website “WebMD” so it leads us to believe, or think, it is run by professionals – and to some degree it is. It is a go-to resource for many people. After reading about how they handled the DID and multiple personality information, I will be suspicious of their reporting on health issues from this day forward.

This is what WebMD tells their readers:

About WebMD

 What We Do for Our Users

WebMD provides valuable health information, tools for managing your health, and support to those who seek information. You can trust that our content is timely and credible.
WebMD displays an icon to the right of the blog page called the “Honor Code”. This certification has stringent rules and regulations in place in order to post their logo on health information websites.
WebMD has breached several of the requirements to be certified with the Honor Code. On the Honor Code web page, it tells consumers to check to see if a website’s certification is current. WebMD’s certification was issued in November, 2009. I do not know if it requires a yearly update.
The HON Code of Conduct for medical and health Web sites (HONcode)

1. Authoritative
2. Complementarity
3. Privacy
4. Attribution
5. Justifiability
6. Transparency
7. Financial disclosure
8. Advertising policy Clearly distinguish advertising from editorial content

WebMD breached the following regarding the Honor Code of Ethics:

  1. Failed to inform readers about who is the author. What they printed is was reviewed by Amal Chakraburtty, MD on September 16, 2009 – 2 years ago. In this case, it appears that someone else wrote the article and Dr. Chakraburtty merely gave the OK, otherwise it would, or should, state that he is the author.
  2. Failed to have updated material available
  3. Failed to disclose the credentials of the author
  4. Failed to back up claims – no references on article
  5. Failed to offer balanced evidence of claims

This is what WebMd reported about Dr. Amal Chakraburtty, MD who is credited with “reviewing” the article:

Dr. Amal Chakraburtty, MD

 Amal Chakraburtty, MD, is a practicing psychiatrist in Oklahoma and is also licensed in Texas, Florida, and Wisconsin

He graduated from Calcutta University, in Calcutta, India, then completed his residency in internal medicine at N.R.S Medical College, in Calcutta.

Chakraburtty is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and is board eligible in internal medicine.

He is a physician reviewer for Physicians’ Review Network, Inc., an independent medical review organization.

~~~~~

It does not appear that Dr. Chakraburtty has experience with dissociative identity or multiple personalities or trauma. Most mental health professionals are all too ready to provide that information probably so it increases their credibility.

 WebMD covers many illnesses – regarding dissociative identity disorder and multiple personalities, you will Not find a balanced and full disclosure about it. It makes me question other information provided to consumers.

There is no information telling the public that this diagnosis Still has a lot of controversy surrounding it. For example it’s inclusion of the bible of psychiatrists, the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual (DSM V), received many arguments and protests from medical doctors and PhD level individuals & researchers who do not agree with DID being included in the next version slated to be released soon. Many do not think multiple personalities exist. WebMD would have you believe otherwise

WebMD has been sloppy and negligent in their reporting. They cannot continue to dispense information to the public with a slant in any one direction. They have a responsibility – especially where mental health issues are concerned, to report all issues about any particular illness, not just what suits their fancy.

On 7/20/11, I registered a complaint to the “Honor Code of Conduct” and will let you know their response if and when it is forthcoming.

Updated 7/25/11. 10:36pm. EST

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