MindFreedom International – please forward
Human Rights in Mental Health – 26 Dec. 2008
BELOW, the main weekly newspaper in Eugene, Oregon, USA — home of
MindFreedom International — published a brief article about how
psychiatrist Darrel A. Regier is a link between revising the “label
bible” of psychiatry and the drug industry.
Dr. Regier is in charge of preparing the new, fifth version of the
American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) powerful “Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual” (DSM). Dr. Regier has forced psychiatrists
participating in the DSM process sign a secrecy agreement, and he has
refused to respond to contacts from organizations such as
MindFreedom, despite encouragement from World Health Organization.
Dr. Regier is also head of the APA’s “APIRE,” their research arm that
collects millions of dollars in psychiatric drug company donations to
In the article, MindFreedom’s director David W. Oaks says that
democracy needs to get hands on with psychiatry in order to “green”
the mental health system.
AT BOTTOM is more info, including a web page of links to how Dr.
Regier connects the dots between the DSM and psychiatric drug
Eugene Weekly, Oregon, USA – 24 December 2008
Greening of Mental Health?
by Ted Taylor, Editor
Psychiatrists are wrestling with changes in definitions and diagnoses
that will be included in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The final edition will
have consequences for insurance reimbursement, research and
individuals’ psychological identity for years to come, according to a
Dec. 18 story by Benedict Carey in The New York Times. But will the
content reflect any input from millions of mental health patients?
“We definitely tried to have input and dialogue, and there was none
allowed. Period,” says David Oaks, executive director of MindFreedom
International, based in Eugene.
MindFreedom was founded [in 1986] to advocate against forced
medication, physical restraints and involuntary electroconvulsive
therapy, says Oaks. Members worldwide identify themselves as
survivors of human rights violations in a mental health system
heavily influenced by outdated practices and pharmaceutical interests.
[Oaks] says Dr. Darrel A. Regier, a key figure in the new DSM, is
also head of the special “research” wing of the American Psychiatric
Association. APIRE, an independent component of the APA, [led initial
planning for] the DSM and “tends to get millions upon millions of
drug company dollars.”
“Even though Dr. Regier got federal money to hold international
seminars on the ‘future of psychiatric diagnosis,’ he has absolutely
refused to even respond to civil inquiries from anyone outside his
closed-door process,” says Oaks.
Oaks says a prominent official with the World Health Organization’s
mental health section, “has twice personally asked Dr. Regier to
respond to requests from MindFreedom about having mental health
consumer input in the re-writing of the DSM,” and was told “no.” “So
these few hundred unelected mainly rich, mainly white males are
cooking up behavioral guidelines for us all, with zero input from the
public who is impacted by these rules.”
MindFreedom is working to break the undemocratic domination of mental
health care by the medical establishment, says Oaks. “Our issue is
kind of like where energy policy was in the 1950s, totally dominated
by the system. Now we’re pushing for ‘greening of mental health,’ to
allow for more holistic, empowering, non-chemical approaches, and
especially direct involvement by citizens in helping to plan mental
and emotional well-being programs.”
The revised DSM, due out in about three years, is expected to reflect
some public pressures. Early editions of the book defined
homosexuality as a mental disorder. Protests by gay activists
provoked a scientific review, and the diagnosis was dropped in 1973,
replaced by “sexual orientation disturbance,” and then “ego-dystonic
homosexuality.” Homosexuality as a disorder was dropped from the book
in 1987. Some GLBTQ activists are now lobbying for similar changes
regarding gender identity issues, but others are wanting to keep
transgender identity as a formal diagnosis so that treatment or
surgery can be covered by insurance.
The story can be found by a web search for “NYTimes DSM,” and
MindFreedom International’s website is www.mindfreedom.org — Ted
Taylor, Editor, Eugene Weekly
– end –
original article [corrections bracketed]
APIRE is the repository for much of the millions of dollars that the
psychiatric drug industry pours into the American Psychiatric
Association and its related organizations. As director of APIRE, Dr.
Regier also is in charge of the new DSM.
For a version of above with links at bottom to more info about APA,
DSM, Dr. Regier and APIRE:
** Ask your Congressperson to investigate the links between Dr.
Regier, APIRE, APA, psychiatric drug industry, and DSM.
** Mark your calendar: MindFreedom plans another protest of APA
Annual Meeting in San Francisco, May 2009! Attend, or plan actions
wherever you are from May to July.
** Join MindFreedom! For information about joining MindFreedom today,
PLEASE FORWARD THIS NEWS!
MindFreedom International Office:
454 Willamette, Suite 216 – POB 11284; Eugene, OR 97440-3484 USA
MindFreedom International is a 100 percent independent nonprofit
united to win activist campaigns for human rights and alternatives in
Open to the public, most members identify themselves as individuals
who have personally experienced human rights violations in the mental
Support voices for choices in mental health. Mind your freedom!
Join now or renew early here: