Allen J. Frances on the overdiagnosis of mental illness

Allen J. Frances on the overdiagnosis of mental illness

Psychiatrist and author, Allen J. Frances, believes that mental illnesses are being over-diagnosed. In his lecture, Diagnostic Inflation: Does Everyone Have a Mental Illness?, Dr. Frances outlines why he thinks the DSM-V will lead to millions of people being mislabeled with mental disorders. His lecture was part of Mental Health Matters, an initiative of TVO in association with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.


May 11, 2012 / 28 Comments / by / in
  • He had me up until he advocated the use of ECT (electroconvulsive therapy).

  • <48:50 Exellent.. "what is the effect of the words in use"

    Why not opening a mental hospital which offers huma ton treatment. without drug nor other forcing alternative, but respect, tollerancea, emotional space, and encouragement to expression? 
    Respecting the human will is a first and "must condition" of recovery. 
    Satisfying the needs of being heard and seen, is the next condition…

    I don´t undersatnd why doctor didn´t mention that labels like: schizophrenic, autistic, etc.don´t only reduces the sense of responsibility, but reduce also the sense of self-esteem, and distort the feeling of identity and belonging.
    The feeling of identity damage is rational. because one is a human being and not an autist, crazy or schizophren..

  • the system we live in doesnt account for for the discrepancies and/or changes that r daily in the industry!

  • small changes r every day, in the pos, or the neg!

  • at the end of the day, proper study shows that unless u r all over the the changes then u will b lost

  • dsm 5 is a fuckin joke!!!! the prob w america is americans!!! americans! r the spawn of the fucking assholes who created it!

  • once u wake up, if u do, u will see!

  • wake up bitches!!!

  • congrats! we r all retards!

  • unsuspecting retards!

  • Psychiatrists are the most dangerous criminals affecting our planet today. The true terrorists are psychiatrists and they have fooled everyone. Wake up people.

  • Absolutely fucking brilliant.

  • What does Dr. Frances say about the impact of increased diagnostic sensitivity?

  • Sossialmarxism. I got 3 diagnoses 1.Personalyty dissorder(angst) 2.Allkholism 3.Multiple Sclerosis. Only nummer 3 is real effort done . Doctors are slobby. MRI cosst monny,,, nevropsyhlogists.Mony. Point is i got 2 diagnonosiss witch lack fundation.

  • Thats what is called a Growth Industry.

  • Thank You Dr Frances

  • Frances talks of "overdiagnosis," but his DSM-IV was just as much of a pseudoscientific fraud as DSM-5. What's more, he criticizes "big pharma", but still doesn't acknowledge how he took money from Johnson & Johnson in the '90s to promote Risperdal. Look up Dr. Paula Caplan's article on "diagnosisgate" if you want to know more. The guy's a hypocritical quack.

  • Since "mental illness" is disapproved behavior rather than physical abnormality, how can there be a correct amount of medical diagnosis? Frances validates quackery by contending that it is possible to distinguish the fake from the real. He's like someone who claims he's a genuine psychic while other psychics are charlatans.


    I was one 4 different psych drugs for over 25 years (Clonazepam, Luvox, Serquel, Requip). I carefully weaned myself all of them many years ago thinking they could be causing me relapses of depression. My gut told me they where damaging me. I've been free of them for years now & I have never felt worse! I've been bed bound & house bound for over 3 years now & am completely dysfunctional, suicidal & depressed.

    So the point I'm trying to make is: Don't think that your underlying condition is gone…. it's not! In fact I think it gets worse with time. There is a lot of anti-psych videos, but I'm one to say I'm worse than ever from coming off of them. It is important to remember that we obviously had serious problems in the first place to ever be put on meds. From what I've seen, these problems do not magically vanish.

    *This is not to advise anyone one way or the other, just my own experience. In fact, maybe I'm still in withdrawal? ….. how does one know?

  • This video could be much shorter. Could go something like this — burn all the DSMs, lock up all the Psychiatrists, reserve psych drug use for emergencies only, throw out the idiotic concept of "mental illness", deprogram the masses. The End.

  • Right at the start, Frances begins throws out that he is completely "unsympathetic" regarding modern stressors, referencing the resilience of our ancestors "from Africa."  No, 'doctor'.  It is far easier to go mad with current types of 'Spanish Inquisition' – and DSMs – which, as you know, have, sadly, been adopted, along with approaches, nearly world-wide, destroying cultural traditions that allowed individuals to adapt to difficulties of all manner because of the intrusion of U.S. medicine.  You're what in some manuals would be diagnosed a real prick.

  • I really wish psychiatrists, i don't know, stop making diseases up and taste their own medicine to see what harm these drugs actually do. They are totally clueless about how the brain actually works, clueless.

  • 1:35 The eruption of psychiatric hyperdiagnosticism IS The NEW, "Spanish Inquisition–!"

  • wow he says "I" a lot.

  • MK

    wow, this guy is so arrogant…he needs to go out and lay in the sun some more…Yes, unfortunately your ageing out of wisdom, which is opposite direction. Gosh, I can't believe this guy is on the chair. Not intelligent sounding what so over..

  • Hero !

  • Time to arrest psychiatrists, put them into Haia following Nuremeberg.

  • Allen Frances' Paid Role in Creating Psychiatric Epidemics

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