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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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Here's a fascinating study of consumer attitudes towards doctors among patients receiving antidepressants. The conclusions help us understand what goes wrong in the doctor-patient relationship and suggest steps needed to fix it.

If we didn't so stigmatize the severely mentally ill, we would feel an urgent responsibility to rescue them immediately from prison and homelessness.

This is the fourth in a series of blogs devoted to our society’s shameful neglect of people with severe mental illness.

A mother recalls seeing a donation box with a photo of a little boy with leukemia in a grocery store checkout line but never one of a child with serious mental illness. How can this be if twice as many children and young people die from suicide than those who die of all cancers combined? More in this commentary.

The institutions of yesterday were overcrowded, noisy, and often had a distinctive odor. Patients were neglected and mistreated. Yet those problems have been replaced with a different set. More in this commentary.

Some doubt that even $650 million will go very far in speeding up the solution to the vast jigsaw puzzle known as neuroscience. According to this author, we have learned a great deal in basic science, but nothing at all that translates to better clinical care.

Amidst the anguish and heartbreak felt by the victims’ families, there are always two haunting questions: What motivates someone to kill strangers wholesale in a seemingly senseless way? And what, if anything, can we do to stop these tragedies from recurring?

Death penalty cases are extravagantly expensive and drain funding from programs that might actually reduce crime.

I get a strong and encouraging response whenever I write or talk about saving normals from excessive treatment. I get almost no response when I write or talk about the shameful and wasteful neglect of the severely ill. We mistreat them barbarously and almost no one seems to care.

The tripling of ADHD rates in the last 20 years and skyrocketing use of stimulants are sure signs of a fad. The forces promoting it are, and will continue to be, formidable. More in this commentary.

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