Monday, 4 June 2012

Adriaan Mak on DSM-V

For your information.

The task force working on the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association will soon decide what to include in its Fifth Edition.

As others have done, I decided to write directly to its editors all of whom are members of a much needed and often undervalued profession.

I hope that they will put a very small group of its members and their recommendations about Dissociative Disorders under scrutiny.

Adriaan Mak

From: Adriaan Mak [] 
Sent: Friday, June 01, 2012 3:24 PM
To: APASubject: DSM 5

1 June 2012

Dear DSM-V Editors:

Re: Dissociative Disorders

In 1990 I became aware that a large number of self-styled, poorly qualified mental health care workers, supported by a few well organized  professionals, were engaging in highly suggestive practices that led to false accusations of childhood sexual abuses.

As an older parent, initially falsely accused by a confused adult son who later retracted the allegations, I became a contact in Canada for people
(!)  who had to deal with similar accusations, and
(2) former clients of therapists whose techniques had induced vague and often absurd pseudo-memories of early childhood abuses.

As a result, within a short time of about three years I was contacted by close to 2000 Canadians reporting false allegations and questionable therapeutic strategies similar to the ones I had experienced.

The peak of this therapeutic fad lasted only a few years, but it now appears that a few professionals organized in the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation are still advocating similar diagnoses,  now under revised diagnostic names. Hence, I still receive rare calls from people who clearly have been victims of similar malpractices.

It is my hope that these diagnoses, especially Dissociative Amnesia (once referred to as Repressed Memories) and Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personalities) be put under great scrutiny and  perhaps totally eliminated from a Manual that comes from a respected profession.

Adriaan J.W. Mak
London ON Canada N6G 1P1