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Allen Frances, MD

Allen Frances, MD

Dr Frances was the chair of the DSM-IV Task Force and of the department of psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC. He is currently Professor Emeritus at Duke.  

He is author of Saving Normal: An Insider's Revolt Against Out-of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life (New York: William Morrow; 2013) and Essentials of Psychiatric Diagnosis (New York: Guilford Press; 2013).

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There is no worse death than a hospital death. This requires preparation and preparation requires recognizing that dying is a necessary, and indeed desirable, part of life.

Twenty five years ago, “hikikomori” was a new term in Japan, used to describe severe and prolonged school refusal in teenagers, sometimes evolving into complete social withdrawal. The shut-in phenomenon has since gone global.

“Quick, operate before the patient gets better” is one of those jokes surgeons tell among themselves, barely covering a hard truth: that a lot of elective surgery might be unnecessary or even harmful.

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In your effort to achieve a perfectly healthy body, you wind up hurting your health.

We all become much better therapists if we have confidence in our healing gifts and focus on enhancing our relationships with patients.

Sage advice for your patients: people who don’t change their behavior to prevent falls are almost sure to have them.

Treatments that work well for most don’t work well for all. And even effective treatments have side effects and complications. This is true of medication and surgery—and it is also true of psychotherapy.

Many years ago, the model approach to mental health treatment was the therapeutic community: "As Aristotle noted long ago, man is a social animal and only in a social unit can he experience a whole life." More in this blog.

The author concludes that people inappropriately placed in psychiatric hospitals can lead to grave violation of human rights.

The merging of primary psychiatric care with primary medical care is urgently needed. Here’s why.

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