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.
“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
Dr. Dale Archer is a medical doctor, psychiatrist and Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. His specialties include propagating the theory of chemical imbalances of the brain, relationships and personal responsibility. Dr. Archer recently published Better Than Normal: ‘How What Makes You Different Can Make You Exceptional’ and has authored several articles, as well as the book “Chemical Imbalance Depression” He has several successful radio shows including “Taking Charge with Dr. Dale Archer” and a TV talk show “The Dr. Dale Archer Show’”. Dr Archer appears regularly on national news shows, talking about psychological issues. He is a regular blogger on “Psychology Today”, “Forbes” and “Foxnews.com” where he discusses current events from a psychological perspective.
“In a highly competitive environment where it superficially seems that it pays to conform and be “normal,” there’s a strikingly unhealthy tendency in the field of mental health to identify a set of “symptoms” as a “disease” in the hopes of finding a “cure”. This adversely affects the decision making of parents, doctors, individuals, organizations insurance companies and educators.”
The pendulum has swung too far and must head the other way before our entire society is on a psychiatric medication for something, be it moodiness, sadness, too little (or too much) energy, occasional anxiety or insomnia. Look, I’m not suggesting that in severe cases pharmacologic treatment for ADHD is not indicated, but, based on the numbers, we’re medicating this like it’s an epidemic. It’s absurd. ~ Dr. Dale Archer
The Coffee Klatch is honored to welcome back these two groundbreaking experts to our show. This will be Dr. Frances’ third appearance and Dr. Archer’s second.
Are we medicalizing normal childhood behaviors?
Are common core standards and expectations of conformity causing parents and teachers to seek labels and treatment for differences?
Why is new scientific research rethinking the benefits of medicating ADHD with stimulants?
Where do we draw the line between “normal” and “mentally ill”?
CLICK ON THE BLOG TALK BOX TO LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW