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A Study of The Depressing Facts and Statistics on Depression as Highlighted in The Dsm: Psychiatry's Deadliest Scam

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Words: 1038 |

Pages: 2|

6 min read

Published: Mar 14, 2019

Words: 1038|Pages: 2|6 min read

Published: Mar 14, 2019

Without even watching this documentary I could imagine what it was going to be, I mean the title says it all doesn’t it, an expository film that would give us the truth on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and those behind it, the American Psychiatric Association. Although, within the first five minutes it struck me that this expository film was quite heavy-handed and in my personal opinion somewhat ham-fisted. The overall tone of this documentary was almost cartoonish. Within the first minute of the video they displayed disorders from the DSM on decks of cards atop a poker table, while I can appreciate the symbolism behind it- allusion to the fact that the committee of psychologists who decide what to include in the DSM treat the process as though it is a game and they gamble with people’s lives- it just came across as a joke and ridiculous. The worst thing of all in this overall metaphor was their portrayal of the psychologists playing poker with DSM cards and prescription chips, as though the filmmakers believed that by making those involved with the development and additions to the DSM seem like the villains from childhood cartoons we would instantly root against them. It was much too overt and honestly funny, I found it hard to take any of that seriously. Not to mention the over-the-top reactions and attitudes of the narrators guiding us through the many different points on why the DSM is the worst possible thing to happen to mental health care ever since its inception. All expository documentaries are attempting to persuade the viewer to see a different perspective, but the filmmakers behind this documentary forgot anything they knew about subtlety and just went with an almost propagandist methodology instead of letting the source material speak for itself. The film had the testimony of many people who had experienced the suffering caused at the hands of psychologists using the DSM, as well as many experts in the mental health field revealing the way they truly felt about the DSM, I would say this was the best tactic this documentary employed. They obviously handpicked those they interviewed in order to find whoever would best fit their views on the DSM, but even so they implemented pathos by allowing those who have had poor or harmful experiences on medicine prescribed to them only after being unexpectedly diagnosed to speak about what they went through and how they felt, the filmmakers also included stories of those who could not cope with their illnesses and the drugs they were treated with and killed themselves. This could incite emotions in viewers so it was a well used “expository trick”. There was even appeals to ethos and logos in the film by including statistics and specific data, as well as testimony from professionals who practice with the DSM.

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After carefully considering all the ways the video attempted to sway me, I’d have to argue that it wasn’t very convincing. As I previously stated it came across as cartoonish and funny at times. Not only that but some of the things it was claiming seemed unfounded or ridiculous. While I understand where those behind this documentary are coming from, because there are some underhanded practices going on behind the scenes in terms of the DSM and mental health treatments, I feel it is misplaced animosity that fuels this documentary rather than a true desire to inform viewers. The DSM is a guideline that allows for standardization and increased and more efficient communication amongst psychiatrists. Most other medical fields have a plethora of clear cut journals and textbooks that can directly define the symptoms of a disease. Therefore, physicians can easily use these resources to diagnose a patient. However, psychiatric diseases do not follow this clear-cut pattern and are a lot harder to efficiently diagnose. Although the DSM does indirectly lead to over-diagnosis, the blame should be shifted to the actual psychiatrists rather than the manual itself. The discussion on the pharmaceutical industry was not entirely wrong either, of course money is what makes the world go round and thus companies are always looking for ways to exploit people and make more money, but we don’t live in a world where we have the cures to every disease/disorder. Unfortunately, most medicines, not only in the field of psychology, but throughout, is damage control. There is not much we can do except offer people comfort. People with heart disease for example, have to take medicine for the rest of their lives, as do those with diabetes, or any other significant life changing diagnosis. Therapy is a long process and the real issue lies in the ethics of physicians, specifically psychiatrists rather than the actual DSM. This problem is persistent in all medical fields and does not discredit the necessity and function the DSM provides to the psychiatric community. Another issue with the documentary’s approach to drug treatment and its side affects was that the narrators were quick to point out the severe side effects of psychiatric drugs, but they forgot to mention that most drugs across all medical fields have severe side effects as well. A very clear example of that is chemotherapy, which literally kills malignant and healthy cells alike to stop the spread of cancer.

In closing I would like to add that this film did not strike me as well done or convincing because I believe that the underlying issue in a field like psychology or psychiatry is the malleability of the field and the inconsistency of it, which simply comes with the territory. The best way to enhance the field and push it forward and stop the over diagnosis, misdiagnosis, plethora of insurance fraud, etc. is to attack the problem at the root, instead of shifting the blame to the DSM. Major reform needs to happen in the field itself and specifically in those leading this field, not so much a simple handbook that gives physicians an excuse to commit the mistakes that are so prevalent. Instead of proposing this or making meaningful discussion this documentary choose instead to “expose the evil practices” of psychiatry fueled by the DSM.

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This essay was reviewed by
Alex Wood

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A Study Of The Depressing Facts And Statistics On Depression As Highlighted In The DSM: Psychiatry’s Deadliest Scam. (2019, March 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 24, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-study-of-the-depressing-facts-and-statistics-on-depression-as-highlighted-in-the-dsm-psychiatrys-deadliest-scam/
“A Study Of The Depressing Facts And Statistics On Depression As Highlighted In The DSM: Psychiatry’s Deadliest Scam.” GradesFixer, 12 Mar. 2019, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-study-of-the-depressing-facts-and-statistics-on-depression-as-highlighted-in-the-dsm-psychiatrys-deadliest-scam/
A Study Of The Depressing Facts And Statistics On Depression As Highlighted In The DSM: Psychiatry’s Deadliest Scam. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-study-of-the-depressing-facts-and-statistics-on-depression-as-highlighted-in-the-dsm-psychiatrys-deadliest-scam/> [Accessed 24 Feb. 2024].
A Study Of The Depressing Facts And Statistics On Depression As Highlighted In The DSM: Psychiatry’s Deadliest Scam [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Mar 12 [cited 2024 Feb 24]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-study-of-the-depressing-facts-and-statistics-on-depression-as-highlighted-in-the-dsm-psychiatrys-deadliest-scam/
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