Grief and Depression: When Science and Terminology Get Confused

Published by the American Psychiatric Associat...

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Psychiatric Times.

On DSM-5

By James Phillips, MD | September 15, 2010

In his ongoing critique of the DSM-5 process, Dr Allen Frances started a brushfire recently in challenging the DSM-5 Mood Disorders Work Group proposal to remove the bereavement exclusion
from the diagnostic criteria for a major depressive episode. Here’s a summary of the debate.
Dr Frances led off with a New York Times op-ed piece arguing that the DSM-5 Work Group proposal to
eliminate the bereavement exclusion for the diagnosis of major depressive disorder (MDD) would lead
to the overdiagnosing and medicalizing of normal grief.” …

Retrieved 7/26/11.  Full Story

Allen Frances, MD, was the chair of the DSM-IV Task Force at Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC. He is currently professor emeritus at Duke.

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  1. Therapy Abuse Victim

     /  09/14/2011

    WARNING to any person suffering and considering “psychotherapy.”
    THIS WARNING IS MY OPINION, based on years of professional and personal experience as a scientifically trained professional who has evaluated the existing literature and propaganda about “psychotherapy” AND MOTIVATED BY MY CARING THAT VULNERABLE PEOPLE IN CRISIS DO NOT BECOME VICTIMS OF HARMFUL individuals making money as “psychotherapists.”

    I do not intend to convey that all “therapists” are poorly educated, lack quality thinking skills, or do harm. There are even a few brave souls willing to work very hard to bring about imporvements in the current illness of the unhealthy “therapy” industry. HOWEVER, there are MANY unethical, undereducated, egomaniacal, authoritarian and even cultish “therapists” who ARE PRACTICING, ARE NOT HELD TO ANY ETHICAL PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS of conduct, and who are very WILLING TO DO YOU HARM.
    The DSM (an overused and abused terribly BIASED and UNSCIENTIFIC, often misleading cookbook of “diagnostic criteria” for labeling anyone who turns for help to ANY sort of “psychotherapist”) exemplifies the destructive, SICK STATE of what is, in fact, the lucrative mental health-DESTROYING INDUSTRY, an unregulated industry allowed to perpetuate itself free of ANY meaningful and enforced laws or advocacy for consumer protection. Within its ranks there are many sects and factions, even cultish followers of sociopathic and scientifically ignorant egomaniacs. There is far too little consistency among its many factions of “practitionerrs,” almost no enforcement of ethical standards, or redress for its many victims. Such divisiveness exists among those factions that there now exists a split-off American Psychological SOCIETY, supposedly directed at safe, scientifically-based practice with empirically-supported approaches so that, in theory, its members conduct themselves in a professional manner likely to DO NO HARM. This Society arose in opposition to the miserable state of affairs within the APA (both the Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association). And these comments don’t even BEGIN to address the COMPLETELY UNREGULATED NASW–when social workers (2-year degree with no possibility of rigorous scientific training or development of high standards of critical thinking skills–or of ethics) currently constitute a HUGE MAJORITY of practicing “psychotherapists.”
    Please, educate yourselves about the dire situation (for its potential victims) within this currently very sick “psychotherapy” industry. I urge you to read as much as you can stomach from this blog. Find out about the horror of the (org for trauma & dissociation** (which does not have ANY interest in addressing ethical, professional misconduct of its particularly cult-like members), xxxxx**, xxxxx, and their cultish clan of followers who present themselves as committed to HELPING traumatized people, when their ACTUAL commitment is to their increasing their own membership and affluence and to DESTROYING LIVES by CREATING HYSTERIA AND MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES that never existed in their victim clients before their heinously destructive “therapeutic interventions.”

    Please don’t enter naively into a “therapeutic relationship” with a therapist who belongs to EMDRIA (which is another organization horrifically lacking interest in the actual conduct of its member “therapists”–who aren’t really “EXPERTS” on ANYTHING–they simply PAID the association to take a few trainings so they could call themselves “EMDR certified” and “trauma therapists”).

    Also RUN from anyone who describes his/her clinical orientation as “eclectic” or utilizing the “Family Systems Approach” or “Ego States.” The latter are incorporated by way too many IGNORANT and HARMFUL “therapists” who, without providing you with a clear understanding of what they are doing (and that is LEGAL FAILURE OF INFORMED CONSENT) will very likely slowly and insidiously insist you have MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER (now more slyly called, “DISSOCIATIVE IDENTITY DISORDER,” after seeming to claim innocently and compassionately that we ALL have aspects/parts of ourselves. Such cultish “therapists” can be very convincing that they “care about you” and desire to “help you.” Eventually they will break your spirit, your sense of self, render you helpless, and may DESTROY your life!! Yes, there ARE MANY VICTIMS of such treatment.

    Once you find you have begun to trust a “therapist” who starts talking to you about your early memories of neglect/abuse (especially if they encourage you to “remember” early abuse/neglect) and about your parts/ego states/alters—you are in worse danger than if you were being attacked by a paranoid schizophrenic with a gun! You will SUFFER and DETERIORATE if you do not RUN from such therapists. Moreover, if you fall victim to one of them: social worker, psychologist, or psychiatrist–it is almost guaranteed that you will have NOWHERE to turn for ADVOCACY or LEGAL support.

    BE AFRAID and read this blog and ask questions here–educate yourselves! DANGEROUS DESTRUCTIVE key words to WARN YOU TO RUN: xxxxx, xxxxx, United States of TARA, DID, MPD, EGO STATE THERAPY, ISSTD (a front claiming to “study” trauma and ethically “treat” victims of trauma, while, in fact, perpetuating the division of victims’ sense of self into THERAPY-CREATED parts), EMDR (fully investigate any therapist who paid for this “traning” and belongs to EMDRIA and claims “expertise” with this method or that it is scientifically proven to be of any special benefit to anyone except themselves and their incomes).

    EMDR is a current fad technique which is actually nothing special. Read a lot about it–not just the “pro-EMDR” propaganda, but the well-written arguments against it. It can be made to sound special, but it is really nothing new at all–(just exposure therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and hypnotic techniques with some–relatively FEW “trainings” and “bells and whistles” for which therapists can pay). In the hands of an ethical therapist, it may be a useful tool. However, it is truly nothing special, nothing requiring extensive rigorous scientific training or a high degree of professional expertise. In the hands of BAD therapists, including DID cultists and PARTS “therapists,” EMDR is only a RUSE which will likely result in victimizing you, perhaps to the point that you will never find healing from abusive, fraudulent “parts therapy.”

    **Names removed by blogger.


    • TAV, Your passion will hopefully be useful to people seeking information. I apologize for having to xxxx out names of people and the organization you mentioned in a disparaging manner. People are all to happy to file legal suits against people like me who allow unedited opinions.

      Thank you for mentioning the American Psychological Society. I have mentioned them on this blog in the past and having a reminder of their existence and ethical approach to dispensing mental health care need to be posted more often.

      I wish you were wrong about the numbers of vulnerable and hurting people who will fall victim to unregulated psychotherapy practices – but you are absolutely right. Think about it. when any of us in in crisis or physical pain, the last thing we do is think rationally. We often go to a doctor believing they have our best interest at heart, that they are properly educated, credentialed, and will care for us in the best manner science has too offer. Who would think that going for medical care (psychotherapy in this case) is a crap shoot, that often therapists are poorly educated, unregulated, are legally free to dispense any therapeutics they believe in, can get credentials in one weekend (hypnosis), that there is often No science behind their treatment, and that the harm that can befall us is enormous?

      The psychology industry would collapse quickly if those facts were widely known.


  2. V

     /  08/10/2011

    The DSM is a total mess. The problem is that all behavior patterns and emotions are not illnesses. There are real mental illnesses but they get lost in the shuffle of a million bizarre categories.

    This is like the “dissociative experiences scale” which measures flakiness, spaciness and vagueness. Some of those spacey people are just spacey (I am one of them for sure), some are probably having alcoholic blackouts, some may have brain injuries, none of them have “dissociative identity disorder” which is BS. Yes, some people are spacey but there is way more to the story than just categorizing and “treating” them!

    And it’s totally possible that some grief goes on too long or is interfering with life in an abnormal way, but it is also true that people have had grief for millennia and that it serves a purpose. I would say even that grief is one of the things that make us human and without it we are lessened. Do we really want to not feel sad when something is sad? What is the end goal of all these “treatments” anyway?

    What a mess. I think that this is what happens when doctors throw their credibility into the garbage while chasing fad diagnoses and Oprah interviews for decades.


    • I keep hammering the “resilience” side of trauma. Many people get through trauma without thinking they have a created illness.



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