David Kupfer of the American Psychiatric Association and chair of the DSM-V task force struck back at the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health for its plan to distance itself from psychiatry’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in this press release. In it, Kupfer concedes there’s no foundation to the widespread belief in the biological basis of “mental illness”:
The promise of the science of mental disorders is great. In the future, we hope to be able to identify disorders using biological and genetic markers that provide precise diagnoses that can be delivered with complete reliability and validity. Yet this promise, which we have anticipated since the 1970s, remains disappointingly distant. We’ve been telling patients for several decades that we are waiting for biomarkers. We’re still waiting.
Though a welcome and appropriate admission from Kupfer, it’s still a bald-faced lie, as Gary Greenberg explores in a blog post. In fact, of course, psychiatrists have actually been telling their patients and the general public for decades the exact opposite — They’ve been claiming that they had indeed already found ample proof of the biological basis of mental illnesses. And as soon as the glare of publicity wanes, it’s likely psychiatrists will again try to use the darkness to promote such beliefs. So remember this admission. Quote it. Repost it. Tell your friends.