Resources and media coverage: American Psychiatric Association “cease and desist” v DSM-5 Watch website

Post #123 Shortlink:

Update: Commentary on APA’s threats of legal action in paper by Dr Monica Greco:

Monica Greco (2016) What is the DSM? Diagnostic manual, cultural icon, political battleground: an overview with suggestions for a critical research agenda, Psychology & Sexuality, 7:1, 6-22, DOI: 10.1080/19419899.2015.1024470

Dr. Monica Greco is a Reader in the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London and a Fellow of the Humboldt Foundation. She is the author of Illness As a Work of Thought: A Foucauldian Perspective on Psychosomatics (Routledge, 1998) and of articles on psychosomatics, vitalism, medical humanities and the sociology of unexplained symptoms.

Click to access Greco%20-%20What%20is%20the%20DSM%20for%20GRO.pdf

Media coverage: American Psychiatric Association (APA) “cease and desist” v DSM-5 Watch website;

Legal information and resources for bloggers and site owners

Media coverage and blogger commentaries on “APA ‘cease and desist’ use of DSM 5 mark in domain name” issue


APA Shut Down DSM-5 Blogger

Knight Science Journal Tracker

Psychiatrists issue legal threat, silencing blogger critical of diagnostic manual.

Paul Raeburn | March 1, 2012


National Association of Science Writers

Reporting on Health

William Heisel’s Antidote

Investigating Untold Health Stories

Part One: February 27, 2012

Slap: American Psychiatric Association Pressures Brit DSM5 Blogger Suzy Chapman

Part Two: February 29, 2012

William Heisel: Slap: American Psychiatric Association Targets One DSM5 Critic, Ignores Others

Psychiatry Update (Australia)

DSM 5 blogger bounces back

Kate Aubusson | January 19, 2012

Behaviorism and Mental Health

An alternative perspective on mental disorders

Philip Hickey, Ph.D.

What’s New? APA Threats, Xanax, Etc.

Philip Hickey  | January 23, 2012

From a Polish blogger, January 16, 2012

From a Spanish psychologist, January 9, 2012

From a Spanish blogger, January 7, 2012

Salty Current

APA bullies blogger

SC (Salty Current) | January 18, 2012

“…I think what we may be witnessing with the broad challenges to the DSM-5 is the beginning of the end for this psychiatric model. Its flaws, failures, and cooptation by corporate interests are becoming more widely known, and it’s unraveling. Efforts at evasion and intimidation like these merely dramatize the process.”

retired doc’s thoughts

James Gaulte

Southwest, United States
Trained in and practiced internal medicine and pulmonary disease
Interests: current state of medicine from a technical and philosophical point of view

American Psychiatric Association “Slapps” down web site critical of DSM5

James Gaulte | January 12, 2012

“Dr. Bernard Carroll, former head of psychiatry at Duke, writing on the blog Health Care Renewal, writes about an interesting conflict between the APA and a former editor of DSM. See here

“Dr. Allen Francis who edited DSM4 has been highly critical of the DSM process and particularly of the yet to be released DSM5. He expresses concern that psychiatry is being practiced less by psychiatrists and more by primary care physicians, who are busy and often not very well trained in managing psychiatric problem and at times strongly influenced by marketing.

“His criticism includes the charge that with the publication of DSM5, not yet released, there will be more patients diagnosed with DMS defined mental conditions as new diagnoses are being added and the criteria for others have been broadened. His comments regarding his view of the problems with DSM were appearing on at least one web site.

“Now the APA, who owns DSM and profits from its publication and use, has sent out a cease and desist threat to the website previously known as “dsm5watch”…”

Full commentary

1 Boring Old Man

1 Boring Old Man | January 16, 2012

“But this is about more than just Suzy’s site, it’s about the worst kind of arrogance – the worst kind because the people at the APA and the APPI don’t seem to have a clue how arrogant they really are.”


Good news: “DSM-5-censorship fails”

Maarten Maartensz M.A. Psy, B.A. Phil | January 14, 2012

Is the American Psychiatric Association a terrorist organization?

Maarten Maartensz M.A. Psy, B.A. Phil | January 04, 2012

Psychology Today

DSM5 in Distress
The DSM’s impact on mental health practice and research.
by Allen Frances, M.D. (Chair, DSM-IV Task Force and currently professor emeritus at Duke.)

DSM 5 Censorship Fails
Support From Professionals and Patients Saves Free Speech

Allen Frances, M.D. | January 12, 2012

“Last week I described the plight of Suzy Chapman, a well respected UK patient advocate forced to change the domain name of her website by the heavy handed tactics of the publishing arm of the American Psychiatric Association. The spurious legal excuse was commercial protection of the ‘DSM 5’ trademark; the probable intent was to stifle one of the internet’s best sources of DSM and ICD information. This bullying could not have come at a worse time – just as final decisions are being made on highly controversial DSM 5 proposals and with the third and final draft due for release this spring. This is precisely when a ragged and reckless DSM 5 can most benefit from the widest and most open discussion.”

Read on 

PLoS Blogs


About Neuroanthropology

Neuroanthropology forms part of PLoS Blogs, and is one of eleven founding blogs that joined with, everyONE and Speaking of Medicine to provide a comprehensive network that covers science and medicine…Daniel Lende is Associate Professor in Anthropology at the University of South Florida. He trained in medical, psychological, and biological anthropology and public health at Emory University…

Wednesday Round Up #160

Daniel Lende  | January 11, 2012

“This week I lead off with some controversy over the new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, DSM 5, which is due out in 2013. This is not the first time the DSM 5 has come into the public’s eye (it’s been there pretty much since it got announced), but the focus has zoomed in on the machinations of the American Psychiatry Association, the force behind DSM 5, in protecting its DSM 5 brand while also maintaining closed control over the production of the new set of diagnoses.”

Read on here


Mindhacks | January 07, 2012

The manual that must not be named

Science Isn’t Golden
Matters of the mind and heart
by Paula J. Caplan, Ph.D.

Top Psychiatrists Again Try to Quash Debate
APA shuts down website critical of DSM-5

Paula J. Caplan, Ph.D. in Science Isn’t Golden | January 06, 2012

American Psychiatric Association Shuts Down Critical Website

“As you read the following, think what an outcry there would be if the silencing came from a third-world dictator (or maybe even the U.S. government) and was directed against pro-democracy protestors or protestors against any real harm.”

Thought Broadcast

Two New Ways To Get Sued

Steve Balt, MD | January 06, 2012

“The last week hasn’t been a very uplifting one for psychiatrists who pay attention to the news. For as much as we complain about shrinking reimbursements, the undue influence of Big Pharma, and government meddling in our therapeutic work, we psychiatrists now have two new reasons to be concerned.

“And, maybe, to lawyer up.

“I. APA Threatens Blogger
Most readers who follow this blog will certainly have seen this story already, after first being reported in Allen Frances’ Psychology Today blog. So I know I’m just preaching to the choir here, but frankly, in my opinion, this story cannot receive too much attention.”

Gary Greenberg

About the author

Gary Greenberg Blog

Pity the poor American Psychiatric Association, Part 1

Pity the poor American Psychiatric Association, Part 2

Gary Greenberg | January 05, 2012

“Why the APA would make themselves into a Goliath is not clear to me. The DSM offers Paranoid Personality Disorder, but this episode makes me wish Frances hadn’t shied away from his proposal for a Self-Defeating Personality Disorder. Because it is not clear to me how they win this one.”

Beyond Meds
Alternatives to psychiatry

APA for DSM5 takes legal action against a website with the URL:

giannakali | January 04, 2012

“Seems to me the APA is feeling the heat and digging themselves in even deeper.”

I Speak of Dreams

Passions: Effective parenting and education, learning disabilities, non-profit management, horses, and fun!

Yet More Legal Thuggery, This Time from the American Psychiatric Association

I Speak of Dreams | January 05, 2012

“I am not an attorney or in any way educated in the legal system, but this seems to me to be intimidation, pure and simple.”

1984 Revisted, II: Big Brother on the Run

“The American Psychiatric Association keeps on undermining its credibility, or more to the point, plays a mean big brother.”

Jack Carney, DSW | January 04, 2012

Hooked: Ethics, Medicine and Pharma blog

Updates and Commentary related to HOOKED: ETHICS, THE MEDICAL PROFESSION, AND THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY, by Howard Brody, MD, PhD (Rowman and Littlefield, January, 2007)

From Health Care Renewal: Egregious Behavior of the APA

Howard Brody | January 04, 2012

“Dr. Carroll makes a number of on-target observations in his post. He notes that this action by the APA amounts to what’s called “SLAPP,” which as I discussed in HOOKED means “strategic lawsuit against public participation.” In this case it would be a threatened SLAPP rather than a true SLAPP, as no lawsuit was filed, but the fear of having to go up individually against the deep legal pockets of the APA forced the UK blogger to knuckle under promptly.”

The Carlat Psychiatry Blog
Keeping Psychiatry Honest Since 2007

APA Threatens to Sue “dsm5watch” Website

Dan Carlat | January 04, 2012

“It all seems rather heavy-handed to me. After all, the New York Times appears to have no problem with the anti-Times site called TimesWatch. In a democratic society, healthy dissent and debate is part of the package. It may be annoying, but that doesn’t excuse the bullying tactics that the APA has chosen.”

University Diaries

A professor of English describes university life.
Aim: To change things.

The Stalking Cure

Margaret Soltan | January 04, 2012

Health Care Renewal

Addressing threats to health care’s core values, especially those stemming from concentration and abuse of power. Advocating for accountability, integrity, transparency, honesty and ethics in leadership and governance of health care.


“It is bad enough that the APA resorts to this legal artifice to stifle public discussion. When they do it through their lawyers and business entities rather than through their medical and scientific officers, they sink to a lower level yet. The parallels with corporate sleaze that we have discussed so often on this blog are obvious. For shame.”

Bernard Carroll | January 04, 2012

1 Boring Old Man


1 Boring Old Man | January 03, 2012

“Phrases like “of all the lame-brained…”, “you’ve got to be kidding…”, or “what were they thinking?” came immediately to mind on reading this most recent post from Dr. Allen Frances in Psychology Today. After pondering for a bit, I still can’t find anything sensible about playing the trademark card on DSM-5™.”

Soulful Sepulcher

Allen Frances, MD- ” I am surprised and saddened by APA’s ill-conceived attempt to restrict Suzy Chapman’s free expression on DSM 5″

Stephanie at Soulful Sepulcher | January 03, 2012

APA Use Restraints on Blogger

A blog by Bob Fiddaman

Bob Fiddaman | January 04, 2012

“The field of psychiatry is doing itself no favours by using intimidation tactics against people that criticize their opinion, let’s face it, the whole premise of psychiatry is based on opinion, I’ve not yet seen any scientific evidence of the chemical imbalance the field of psychiatry tout when someone is depressed or has a psychiatric disorder.

“Chapman’s blog can be read at her new web address HERE. Her work/opinion continues to spread, much to the annoyance of the APA who have probably shot themselves in the foot with their intimidation tactics.

“Memo to the APA – Intimidate a blogger and you put them on a pedastal, you highlight what it is that they have to say… here endeth your first lesson in psychology.”

DSM5 in Distress
The DSM’s impact on mental health practice and research.
by Allen Frances, M.D (Dr Frances was chair of the DSM-IV Task Force and is currently professor emeritus at Duke.)

Is DSM 5 A Public Trust Or An APA Cash Cow?
Commercialism And Censorship Trump Concern For Quality

Allen Frances, M.D. |  January 03, 2012

“I am surprised and saddened by APA’s ill-conceived attempt to restrict Suzy Chapman’s free expression on DSM 5. It can only be in the service of the equally unworthy goals of censorship and/or commercialism. I simply can’t imagine that anything should ever be kept secret in the preparation of a diagnostic manual and wonder what in Suzy Chapman’s web site could possibly be so frightening to APA.

“Using a trademark to suppress comment is a violation of APA’s public trust to produce the best possible DSM 5. This is another indication that DSM has become too important for public health and for public policy for its revisions to be left under the exclusive control of one professional organization – particularly when that organization’s own financial future is at stake. This basic conflict of interest can be cured only by creating a new institutional framework to supervise the future DSM revisions. Censorship and commercial motivations must not warp the development of a safe and scientifically sound diagnostic manual.”

Read full commentary

Legal information and resources for bloggers and site owners:

1] Wipedia article: Cease and desist
2] Wipedia article: Strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP)
3] Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
EFF Bloggers’ Rights
EFF Legal Guide for Bloggers
4] Chilling Effects
Chilling Effects FAQ on Trademark Law
Chilling Effects on Protest, Parody and Criticism Sites
5] U.S. Trademark Law, Rules of Practice & Federal Statutes, U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, November 2011:



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