Disturbed minds or manuals?

From TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin
Part of series: Mental Health Matters

This is an excellent panel conversation with: Dr Allen J Frances, Dr Donna Stewart , Dr Kwame McKenzie, and Historian Edward Shorter.

the pool of normal has been reduced to a puddle

Allen Frances opens with a pitch that we are already at great  risk of treating what may be fake ills with pills; questions all the attention and resources given to diagnosis when we lack the tools to treat; and suggests that we have reduced the pool of normal to a puddle and that the, fortcoming new  edition of diagnostic and statistical manual DSM5 will only accelerate and exacerbate  all of this.

treating fake ills with pills

Edward Shorter tries hard  to make his forthcoming book  sound like it has more than a catchy title but later blows completely  it when he goes “all in” and tries his hand  bit of instant diagnosis based on a four minute sound clip.

It’s nice and also encouraging that the three actual psychiatrists on the panel are much more reluctant to even think of so doing  but Shorter unwittingly has offered a choice example of everything that’s wrong with mental heath world dominated by the attitude of   Diagnosis for Dummies that DSM IV has helped create.

Diagnosis for Dummies

There’s a great contribution from “Mark”  who talks about his experience getting over severe OCD  with behavioral therapy, and

” I’ve been on the receiving end of the DSM for several years,

“The fact is: we all have a brain, we all have mental health : I’d love to see the pool of normal expanded to include illness.”

“How can we be proactive , prevent mental health problems?”

Lets expand the pool of normal 

At about 50mins,  Kevin Healey, coordinator of recoverynetwork : Toronto pops up to suggest a little playfulness,  talk about hearing voices, and raise issues around the whole folly of psychiatric diagnosis; that being labelled with a diagnosis of “schizophrenia” can be  a life sentence; and on being, well,  normal.

Steve Paikin picks up the cue to leads his guests into  into a great conclusion….

So, panel, people who hear voices:  are they, in the nomenclature of the gentleman, normal?”

Allen Frances

 “yes! he’s absolutely right!”

“Studies reliably show that 10 to 15% of us hear voices – it’s only a problem if it’s causing difficulties.”

[click to play]



Kevin Healey is presenting / leading a workshop at the

Holistic Mental Health Conference

Toronto, June 21st & 22nd, 2012

Hearing Voices: a Normal Human Experience

Because a person hears voices does not necessarily mean that they are ill – but if it leads to them becoming isolated and disoriented then they can certainly become very ill indeed.

It is possible for people to learn to make sense of voices in terms of life experiences and events and to find ways to make sense of voices so that they are less distressing, so integrating them into one’s life and even coming to value them.

Hearing voices as a..

  • human phenomena experienced by 10 to 15% 
  • holistic, humanistic, and non-violent approach to helping people learn to heal themselves
  • worldwide movement celebrating 25 years and operating in almost 30 countries including latest on what’s happening in Toronto and across Canada.

More, and to register…

About recoverynetwork:Toronto

We believe people can and do recover from "mental illness" - because we are living it. We believe in the power of supporting each other: learning from and with each other. You are welcome to join us..
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4 Responses to Disturbed minds or manuals?

  1. please, this is gold, I would like to share this as well


  2. kenyatta2009 says:

    Reblogged this on A Little Local Color.


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