APA Strikes Back at NIMH, But Admits No Proof for Biological Basis of Mental Illnesses

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.


4 comments for “APA Strikes Back at NIMH, But Admits No Proof for Biological Basis of Mental Illnesses

  1. May 12, 2013 at 6:01 am

    Seriously boggling my mind that the APA can admit there are no biological markers but everyone is still going about their lives like it was never said….

    • May 12, 2013 at 9:45 am

      I know, I know, it boggles the mind, doesn’t it??! It seriously boggles the mind, that’s the only word we can use for it. And WHY is that? What do you think? Do you have any theories?

  2. Francesca Allan
    June 3, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    It was decided that mental illness is a biologically based brain disorder and any information that came in was seen through that lens. In my own case, I developed mania (and thus was diagnosed bipolar) in response to harmful treatment for depression. The psychiatrists concluded that I must have been bipolar all along (though without symptoms) and SSRIs merely “triggered” my underlying condition — a perfectly un-falsifiable and therefore pseudo-scientific theory. This kind of bizarro logic is the whole foundation for psychiatric medicine and I fear it’s never going to end.

    • June 3, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      Oh, ya gotta love that: “You’re mentally ill, you just don’t have any symptoms of it yet.”

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