Allen Frances MD is Professor Emeritus at Duke University and former Chair of its Department of Psychiatry. He was Chair of the DSM IV Task Force. He is the author of “Saving Normal” and “Essentials of Psychiatric Diagnosis.” Dr. Frances was the chairperson of the DSM-IV Task Force. He is the author of hundreds of papers and more than a dozen books. He blogs frequently on Huffington Post, Psychology Today, National Newspapers and Education Update.  The New York Post has titled him “The most powerful psychiatrist in America”  Wired Magazine has called him “The man who wrote the book on mental illness.” Dr. Frances is a respected and sought after TV media commentator on national media news forums.  He has been at the center of the controversy surrounding the proposed changes to the DSMV.

“There is nothing tougher in psychiatry than accurately diagnosing a mental disorder in a pre-teenager. It is so easy to make mistakes both ways — to miss problems that desperately need attention and to attend to problems that are better left alone. Getting the right diagnosis and predicting its future course is especially difficult in kids because their symptoms have such a short track record and are often heavily influenced by transient factors like developmental differences: family, school and peer stress; and the use of drugs.”

“It usually takes a while before an illness declares itself — and often, it turns out that no diagnosis is necessary because the symptoms go away without intervention. That said, there’s been a massive mislabeling of psychiatric diagnosis among children because of recent medical fads. In the last 20 years, rates of attention deficit disorder have tripled, while autistic disorder and childhood bipolar disorder have each increased by a remarkable 40-fold. Human nature just doesn’t change that quickly, but the labels follow fashion and can escalate dramatically without there being an actual increase in symptoms. Our kids haven’t suddenly become sicker, it’s just that diagnoses are applied to them more loosely.” ~ Dr Allen Frances

We have been honored to have four appearances with Dr. Frances on The Coffee Klatch. Listen to any interview, any time by clicking on the Blog Talk Radio Player Box

The DSMV and Bipolar Disorder in Children

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Changes to the DSMV – Autism Bipolar Disorder ADHD TDD Oppositional Defiant Disorder and your child

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Saving Normal: An Insider’s Revolt against Out-of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life

Is it possible that soon most of us will all have a diagnosable mental illness? Will our differences, which make us so unique and wonderful, only be looked in the negative, as a disorder, with the mindset of needing to be fixed when in fact, we are not truly broken

The High Cost Of A Quick Fix For Children With Behavioral Issues – How do we determine the line between mental illness and a child with challenging behaviors with Dr. Dale Archer