A Black Box Warning for the DSM? Yes, Please!

The controversial drug Risperdal has a horrific grab bag of side effects.

So how did it become so widely prescribed, for so many conditions to everyone from the elderly to emotional or unruly children?

Psychologist and whistle blower Paula J. Caplan chats with Peter Breggin about DSM 4 author Allen Francis’s ties the the pharmaceutical industry- work that led to the promotion of and broader use of Risperdal. Paula and Peter also touch on her time serving on DSM committee, female Viagra, Robin Williams, and why she believes the DSM needs a black box warning


Listen to this enlightening discussion here.

Here is Paula’s documentation of DSM drug company scandal: 

Diagnosisgate: Conflict of Interest at the Top of the Psychiatric Apparatus

And some additional pieces on Risperdal sitch:

Allen Frances’ Ties to Johnson & Johnson

Too Corrupt, Too Insane, and Too Ridiculous to Be Reformed? Even Establishment Psychiatrists Now Distancing Themselves from Their Own Profession

The lying liars who lie about psychiatry

Paula has a petition regarding these issues she encourages listeners to sign Boycott the DSM

This petition was at 492 when I signed. Lets help it get the 4,508 it needs- sign and share!

I personally recommend her book, They Say You’re Crazy.

This is a must read for anyone ever given a psychiatric diagnosis, and also anyone living in a country where the word of “diagnostic bible” is held as sacred, scientific fact. In this book Paula reveals the unscientific nature of creating diagnosis, and how these arbitrary labels destroy lives. All you psych survivors too well how this plays out: mental and physical health destroyed by drugs. The “mental illness” label being used against you.

“This mother is deemed unfit due to her mental illness. Full custody is awarded to the father.”

Or forcible restriction of independence and self-direction:

“You’re not sane enough to decide what’s best for you. I order you to talk to this shrink. Take these pills. Have some electroshock-er, brain stimulation.”

It’s simultaneously stunning and horrifying to see how labels psychiatric survivors’ lives are tainted by, came to be. Reading this book has been sooooo helpful to my recovery process by helping me understand why and how I got labeled, and gave me alternative ways to view my distress and therefore, myself outside of this joke of a medical model.

Another excellent book on the subject of diagnosis is called Cracked: The Unhappy Truth About Psychiatry.

It’s an awesome, important critique on the DSM.

For further reading here’s Paula’s additional list of works.

Paula has a petition regarding these issues she encourages listeners to sign Boycott the DSM

This petition was at 492 when I signed. Lets help it get the 4,508 it needs- sign and share!

Wanna know more about Paula? Check out her lovely bio here.

Her website for veterans listen2veterans.org

Contact her here

Here’s the link to an additional interview she did with Peter Breggin on October 21st, 2015. In it they discuss the controversial topic of schizophrenia, other ways to view and treat emotional distress and how to support veterans returning from war. She mentions a new book she’s writing another book about the abusive therapies. I can’t wait to see how she tackles this issue that’s devastated my life and the lives of so many others mired in the mental health system.


Boxed warning – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved October 26, 2015, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxed_warning

Breggin, P. R. (2015, October 21). the Dr. Peter Breggin hour [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://prn.fm/the-dr-peter-breggin-hour-10-21-15/

Breggin, P. R. (2015, September 2). the Dr. Peter Beggin hour [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://prn.fm/the-dr-peter-breggin-hour-09-02-15/

Caplan, P. J. (1995). They say you’re crazy: How the world’s most powerful psychiatrists decide who’s normal. Reading, MA: Perseus Books.

Caplan, P. J. (2015). Diagnosisgate: conflict of interest at the top of the psychiatric apparatus. Retrieved from http://www.oa.uottawa.ca/journals/aporia/articles/2015_01/commentary.pdf

Caplan, P. J. (n.d.). Home – Paula Joan Caplan. Retrieved October 26, 2015, from http://www.paulajcaplan.net/index.htm

Davies, J. (2013). Cracked: The unhappy truth about psychiatry.

Hickey, P. (2015, June 19). Allen Frances’ Ties to Johnson and Johnson. Retrieved October 26, 2015, from http://www.behaviorismandmentalhealth.com/2015/06/19/allen-frances-ties-to-johnson-and-johnson/

Rappaport, J. (2013, May 7). The lying liars who lie about psychiatry « Jon Rappoport’s Blog. Retrieved October 26, 2015, from https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/the-lying-liars-who-lie-about-psychiatry/

The Welcome Johnny and Jane Home Project. (n.d.). Retrieved October 26, 2015, from http://whenjohnnyandjanecomemarching.weebly.com/the-welcome-johnny-and-jane-home-project.html


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