Today we remember an American Psychiatric Association diagnosis from the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) that was dropped from the DSM-5. Created during the early 1990s heyday of televangelist Robert Tilton (Pastor Gas) and the Christian Coalition movement, diagnostic code 306.66 Spiritual-Type Use Disorder was never used due to political pressure.
NIMH director Thomas Insel, MD, describes a major drawback of the DSM, lack of validity: "The goal of this new manual, as with all previous editions, is to provide a common language for describing psychopathology.
While DSM has been described as a “Bible” for the field, it is, at best, a dictionary, creating a set of labels and defining each. The strength of each of the editions of DSM has been “reliability” – each edition has ensured that clinicians use the same terms in the same ways. The weakness is its lack of validity. Unlike our definitions of ischemic heart disease, lymphoma, or AIDS, the DSM diagnoses are based on a consensus about clusters of clinical symptoms, not any objective laboratory measure. In the rest of medicine, this would be equivalent to creating diagnostic systems based on the nature of chest pain or the quality of fever. Indeed, symptom-based diagnosis, once common in other areas of medicine, has been largely replaced in the past half century as we have understood that symptoms alone rarely indicate the best choice of treatment. Patients with mental disorders deserve better."
Careful! DSM zealots who interpret their Bible literally will be very quick to label you with the "scarlet letter" of anosognosia (lack of insight) if you try to defend or justify the behavior they deem "outside the norm."
In an attempt to legitimize their craft, psychiatrists feel that it is necessary to have 265 diagnoses despite there only being 4 main classes of mental health medications. Antidepressants shouldn't even be called antidepressants; they treat various other mental illnesses just as unpredictably.
"Anytime there is a big increase in mental disorders, it has nothing to do with human nature changing. It's always a difference in labeling. And the DSM is making it too easy for the system to be abused in the direction of overdiagnosis, then overtreatment.
Diagnosisgate: Conflict of Interest at the Top of the Psychiatric Apparatus
Ego is Strong in this One: Dr. Allen Frances rejected 'Delusional Dominating Personality Disorder' (DDPD) for DSM-IV.
20% of the U.S. population is on a psychiatric medicine. 6% are addicted to a psychiatric medicine, and at least 2/3 of this is probably unnecessary treatment. As we get into the population of people who are in the boundary of normal to abnormal, we have switched that boundary far in the direction of reducing normality and increasing illness." -Allen Frances, MD, psychiatrist and professor emeritus at Duke University who chaired the task force for DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).
Ever experienced the emotions below?
Behave yourself, wild thing! You're well on your way to being slapped with a bipolar disorder diagnosis. Get your free screening here.
Are you a goal directed student? Pull the occasional all-nighter before tests? High self-esteem? Talkative at times? A DSM zealot may try to tag you with a bipolar label.
Want to justify the behavior or dispute the labeling process? Would you simply like them to listen to your concerns? You'll probably then be labeled with lack of insight, a blanket term that mental health professionals use when patients reject the application of labels.
Harvard Business Review: What to Do When You're Worried About a Colleague's Mental Health
Holland wrote in the Dallas Morning News: "The pharmaceutical industry spends billions in advertising and billions more paying researchers and prescribers directly. Women are inundated with messages that it’s pathological to feel sad or scared, with a barrage of ads that advance the question from, “Should I take an antidepressant?” to “Which one?”
Give women soothing, not medication
Medicating Women’s Feelings
VICE: Amphetamine of the Year Treats Binge-Eating Disorder
A picture of a sad, lonely woman surrounded by junk food sits underneath text introducing me to the diagnosis, encouraging me to ask my female patients if they sometimes regret how much they eat, because they may be ashamed to talk about it.
These ads were paid for by Shire Pharmaceuticals, the same company that makes the amphetamine Adderall. But Adderall has lost its patent, hence Vyvanse, a new, ultra, long-acting amphetamine.
Shire’s newer ADHD ads also target women, recommending Vyvanse for 12-hour control of symptoms “throughout her day.”
Street drugs, speed and heroin, have come in, out of the cold, and are now Adderall or Vyvanse, OxyContin or Zohydro as Big Pharma expands into the recreational market. More women are becoming addicted to opiates and dying of overdoses, and more women are taking antidepressants and sleeping pills than ever before.
With soaring drug prices and insurance premiums, it is no wonder a revolution is slowly brewing, with more Americans taking their health care into their own hands.
They are rediscovering an herbal model of health care, using remedies with names like Phoenix Tears and Charlotte’s Web. The medicinal cannabis community is growing, educating and supporting one another. There is no patenting a flower."
National Cancer Institute, Opioid Overdose Hasten Prohibition's Last Dance with Mary Jane
Key Anti-Pot Argument Torched? Teen Use Flat as Risk Perception Plunges
IN STATES WITH MEDICAL MARIJUANA, PAINKILLER DEATHS DROP BY 25%
Dr. Sue Sisley: Cannabis Medical Research is Being Kept in the Dark as Thousands Die Each Year
CDC: Overdose Deaths in Women
"The use of things that would lift us out of the egocentric situation could therefore be considered medicine for a social disorder. But again, I would say that substances used in that way should be used as medicine in the sense that they should not become diet.
In this matter, everybody speaks for himself, but I have discovered that this is not the sort of thing you take very often, as you might go to church. It is something that you can take several times in gradually diminishing quantity. Beyond that, it is up to you to integrate your vision with everyday life.
However, there are other people who seem to think that the great thing to start out with a little and then keep on going, making it bigger and bigger, as if they were looking for something that should lie at the end of the line. But then it becomes a diet, and that is getting hooked on medicine.
Very rightly doctors don't like to hook you on medicine because the goal of a good doctor is to get rid of you as a chronic patient.
He doesn't want people hanging on to him and always coming for help.
Overprescribing the Appalachians & Anatolians ft. Stephen Loyd, M.D.
Alan Watts describes the disorder:
He wants to set you back on your feet, and that is an excellent principle.
So the doctor has something to say to the priest because the priests tend, by and large, to want to keep you coming to church so that you will pay your dues and the Church will prosper. So the more people they can get hooked on religion, the better.
Now priests ought to learn from doctors and try to get rid of people by telling them their gospel, or whatever it is they have to say, and then saying, "Now you've had it, go away."
The Roots of the R-word and the Key to its Renewal: Religion's Simplest Form
Message for American Mental Health
Fix the labeling system. It only serves to increase stigma and is an injustice to those who oppose man-made labels for normal moods or unique personalities. People need help now, and it needs to be affordable, there must be more treatments, and treatments must be improved.
"Obviously, there are situations where psychiatric medications are called for. The problem is too many genuinely ill people remain untreated, mostly because of socioeconomic factors." –Julie Holland, MD
The American mental health system is trying to do things right by conducting rigorous research on non-drug therapies. However, if thought leaders in the United States do not focus heavily on therapies that are affordable, decent mental health care will never be available to most Americans. Insurance companies simply will not want to pay for inefficient and unpredictable therapies.
Reality: Mental Health Care is Simply is Not Available to Rural and Low Income Americans, a Population that Needs it the Most
How do you improve substance dependence problems in the United States without providing adequate behavioral health, economic, and social support systems?
Failure to Fund Research of New Therapies Because of Politics, Not Science, Not Public Health: FDA-Approved Drug Therapies and Classic Hallucinogens to Treat Alcoholism: Barriers, Background, and the Latest Research. More found here.
Politicians, get off your moral high horse and work to create a national framework where patients can safely address their moods and are not subjected to expensive, ineffective, and harmful substances, whether by prescription or from the alcohol bottle. Foster mature, honest, and intelligent discussion related to mind-altering substances. Non-addictive sacred hallucinogens and cannabis deserve respect and a proper framework for their use, not illegal status and stigmatism. Nobody dies from either substance, unlike the 40,000 deaths caused by prescription opioids in 2014. Along with meditation, hallucinogens and cannabis could provide inexpensive means of resilience that do not break the bank, allowing more resources to be allotted to those with more serious and difficult-to-treat forms of mental illness. Give more attention to the power of positive emotions. Wake up, Uncle Sam, mass shootings are a loud siren ringing through our nation.
Politics & Faux Morals Trump American Health
OF SACRED PLANT MEDICINES IN THE LINKS BELOW
Treat Alcoholism: Barriers, Background, and the Latest Research
Non-Addictive Serotonergic Hallucinogens and
Emerging Targets for Addiction Pharmacotherapies
- Is Consciousness the Only Savior for a Changing America? Meditation Has People Believing.
Stunting the Growth of Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, and Pain Meds: Meditation & Hallucinogen Therapy as Mental Health Preventative Medicine?
More on Transcendental Meditation: "Self-medicating with alcohol or other drugs is not a rarity among veterans returning from war. According to the VA’s National Center for PTSD, more than 20 percent of veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) abuse such substances. For Jensen, the destructive forces of substance abuse culminated the day he put a gun to his head in front of his wife and two young children."
PTSD is No Joke:
The BEST Mental Health Care Access in the United States is for United States Combat Veterans. Level of Care: DISMAL.
Sadly, using military and wartime jobs as a solution to job growth is a solution for some politicians. The United States is entrenched in a toxic cycle of perpetual warfare. A decent proportion of men and women in the United States military will leave service in their 20s and be on disability for the rest of their lives. They'll come back to a country that has not focused on domestic policies. The United States has the worst mental health care among developed nations with few effective means of treating PTSD. Politicians cheering from the sideline have zero insight as to how their country is perceived by the rest of the world and how it factors into winning the war of ideology. This mindset is not sustainable for our country.
No Accountability in America: Rising deaths among white middle-aged Americans could exceed Aids toll in US
Heroin use via injection was responsible for an HIV outbreak in southeastern Indiana and a hepatitis C epidemic that is currently sweeping through Appalachia. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hepatitis C infection rates in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia tripled from 2006 to 2012, coinciding with increased injectable drug use.
Hepatitis C may lie latent for years and not cause harm to patients. However, when it become acute, it destroys the liver and kills those who have it.
- Claiborne County, TN, jail says most inmates have hepatitis C
- Minnesota prison inmates sue to access to costly hepatitis C meds
Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) is a new drug that can essentially cure hepatitis C. Made by Gilead Sciences, Inc., Sovaldi costs about $1,000 a pill, or about $84,000 for a patient on a standard, 12-week treatment schedule.
The True Cost of an Expensive Medication: The U.S. is unique among Western countries in that it doesn’t regulate drug prices. One nurse tells the story of what it’s like to watch patients get sicker when they can’t afford a pricey treatment
All told, 33 states spent more than $1 billion to treat the disease with Gilead Sciences' Sovaldi, according to data released Tuesday by Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ron Wyden, D-Ore. Still, the money spent was enough to treat only 2.4 percent of Medicaid patients infected with the virus.
NPR: Costly Hepatitis C Drugs Threaten To Bust Prison Budgets
Americans foot the healthcare bill for the rest of the world: Maker Of $1,000 Hepatitis C Pill Looks To Cut Its Cost Overseas More than 3 million Americans are infected with hepatitis C. Many of them are poor or incarcerated. In the U.S., Gilead says it will rely on insurance coverage plus giveaway "patient assistance" programs for people who aren't insured.Sensitive to anger over its pricing decision in the U.S., Gilead is talking to generic drugmakers in India about a licensing deal that would set the price at $2,000 per treatment course, or 2 percent of the U.S. price, for 60 low-income countries.
"We think a $2,000 price tag, although a discount from U.S. prices, is not going to get the job done," says Rohit Malpani, a policy director of Doctors Without Borders. "It's a discount from a price we think is absolutely outrageous. The way we look at it is, how much does this drug cost to make and what is patients' ability to pay?"
Solvadi can be made for far less, Malpani and other critics say, perhaps $68 to $136 for a 12-week treatment course.
"We know from our experience treating HIV over the past decade and a half that treatment needs to be simple and affordable," Malpani says in a Doctors Without Borders statement. "Full hepatitis C treatment needs to be available for no more than $500 per person."
Liver Disease Stage Req. for Medicaid Coverage of Sovaldi
EPIDEMIC THAT AMERICAN MEDICINE MADE
The Atlantic: Among Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, a study by the Commonwealth Fund found that the U.S. was last or near-last in measures of health access, efficiency, and equity.
National Center for Policy Analysis: How the U.S. Single-Payer System for Seniors’ Health Compares Internationally. Even America's single-payer Medicare system needs an overhaul.
Psilocybin to Prepare Americans for End-of-Life and Combating Negative Effects of Loneliness in Homebound Older Adults Seniors may have discussed end-of-life, but a discussion with a doctor sure as hell won't get someone mentally ready for death.
Something isn't working in the United States. Why is Bernie Sanders is the only one providing real solutions?