Classification History

For centuries man has been making up ‘diseases’ to explain behaviour he does not agree with or finds difficult to explain.

In 1851 ‘Drapetomania’ was classified as a condition inherent in black slaves where their ‘mental illness’ drove them to have a desire to escape.

In Victorian times the term ‘Hysteria’ was diagnosed solely in women who suffered from such symptoms as fainting, insomnia, irritability, troublemaking and loss of appetite for food or sex.

These ‘labels’ had ulterior motives that have nothing to do with mental illness but were motivated by self-interested reasons of profit and/or social control. Today’s ‘mental illnesses’ are no different, though we venture to emphasise the profit motivation as a significant factor in today’s world because almost all ‘mental illnesses’ are treated with drugs creating huge profits for psychiatrists and drug companies.


The following short text was written by John Sorboro, M.D. and taken from his work entitled ‘Prognosis Negative, Psychiatry and the Foibles of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual V (DSM-V)’. We include it here for background information:

“In 1486, a treatise entitled The Malleus Maleficarum (The Hammer Against Witches) was written to assist in the detection and persecution of witches. It specified rules of evidence and the prodsm-moneysmcedures by which suspected witches were to be identified, tortured, and put to death. The Malleus remained in use for 300 years. Between 1487 and 1520, the manual went through 13 editions. It is estimated that in Europe it contributed to the identification and execution of as many as 60,000 “witches,” most of them woman. The parallels with the DSM are eerie.

“The DSM as a scientific text and almost every diagnosis found within it suffer from the same sort of problem as the concept of someone actually being a witch: Validity.”