Understanding the Dangers of Diagnostic Epidemics

The Most Powerful Psychiatrist in America on Why DSM-5 Is a Step Backward

At first glance you’d think that eminent psychiatrist and researcher Allen Frances, a man the New York Times once referred to as “the most powerful psychiatrist in America,” would be the last person to trash DSM-5. But as the chair of the task force that published DSM-IV, Allen learned first-hand how, even when motivated by the best of intentions, changes in the “bible of psychiatry” can have large-scale negative consequences no one can foresee.

In this video clip Allen talks about the dangers of over-diagnosing people who don’t need it and giving treatments to others that will only make them worse. 



Rich Simon

Richard Simon, PhD, founded Psychotherapy Networker and served as the editor for more than 40 years. He received every major magazine industry honor, including the National Magazine Award. Rich passed away November 2020, and we honor his memory and contributions to the field every day.