“The medicalization of mental problems threatens the recognition of personal autonomy and responsibility.”  H. Tristam Engelhardt, Jr., Ph.D., M.D., Professor Emeritus, Department of Medicine and Community Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, quoted in Szasz Under Fire, page 382, edited by Jeffrey A. Schaler, Pub. By Open Court, 2004.



“DSM-IV is a manual of mental disorders, but it is by no means clear just what is a mental disorder…There could arguably not be a worse term than mental disorder to describe the conditions classified in DSM-IV.” Allen J. Frances, professer of psychiatry at Duke University, Chair of the DSM-IV Task Force.  Quoted in the Foreward of Philosophical Perspectives on Psychiatric Diagnostic Classification by J.Z. Sadder, O.P. Wigging, and M.A. Schwartz, eds., pages vii-ix, John Hopkins University Press, 1994.



“There are no statistics in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual – they just use that word to make it sound more scientific.”

Dr. Margaret Hagen, Professor of Psychology, Boston University.



“There is no laboratory tool used by psychiatrists to discover disease.”     Dr. Henry Powell, Professor, Department of Pathology, University of California, San Diego.


The following quotes are from Jeffrey A. Schaler, from a speech given before the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.


“The DSM is a great work – of fiction.”


“Real diseases are discovered.  The diseases in the DSM are invented.”


“It takes one person to have a real disease.  It takes two people to have a mental illness.”



(Schaler, continued)


“Mental illness is always diagnosed based upon some sort of social conflict.”



“The diagnosing of mental illness is always some kind of weapon.”


“Treatment for mental illness is punishment, for it is used as an alternative to prison or jail.”


“The controversy regarding the myth of mental illness and psychiatry in not about science or medicine, it is about power.”


“Psychiatrists had to invent their own book of diseases because pathologists would have nothing to do with them – it’s called the DSM.”


“Psychiatric treatment is worse than prison, for in prison they don’t judge how long people should be deprived of liberty based upon what they think of themselves and the world.”




“No mass disorder afflicting humankind has ever been brought under control by attempts at treating the individual.”

Dr. George W. Albee, Professor, University of Vermont, past president of the American Psychological Association (deceased)


“The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) is basically a political and social device for protecting the status quo, for maintaining a social order that supports exploitation and injustice.”  Rothblum, Solomon & Albee, A Sociopolitical Perspective of DSM-III (1986).

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