10-03-2010, 08:02 PM #1
PAS and the APA DSM
(Did I draw you in with all of the acronyms?)
PAS= Parental Alienation Syndrome
APA= American Psychiatric Association
DSM= Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
NEW YORK – The American Psychiatric Association has a hot potato on its hands as it updates its catalog of mental disorders — whether to include parental alienation, a disputed term conveying how a child's relationship with one estranged parent can be poisoned by the other.
(Keep in mind, this is the same group that did not remove homosexuality as a psychiatric disorder until 1986.) But I digress.
The argument is whether or not this is an actual mental health syndrome. The debate is passionate and heated-on one side are those who believe that this is utilized primarily in divorce/custody cases where one parent is trying to deflect from abusive behaviors. The other side believes that classifying it would in fact give children a chance to be treated and to reconcile with the estranged parent.
The DSM is due for republication in 2013. The intial reaction of the vice chair who is reworking it is that there is not enough supporting research indicating that PAS is a mental disorder. There are people who disagree.
I think that this debate is very similar to munchausen's by proxy, and autism caused by vaccines to give you two examples. People believe they know it can be proved/disproved depending on which side they are on.
So, FWIW, here is what I believe-I think that charecterizing it as a mental disorder will just be yet another way to engage children in a tug of war between their parents. It is sickening. Diagnose the parents who whisper evil things to their children, not the children who are caught in the middle. Find a better way to protect children than this kind of BS. To be honest. By and large, I have only ever seen this charge made by one abusive spouse as a means of forcing access to children when it may not be in the best interest of the child. So my view may be slightly colored. But enough is enough-divorce is hard enough on children without them being forced into therapy and medication in an attempt to level the playing field/create torture between parents at least one of whom is desperate to leave the relationship. JMVHO.
10-03-2010, 09:59 PM #2
Believe I hate to sound thicker skulled than I am...but are they talking about diagnosing children with this disorder or the parent that causes the alienation?
FWIW, children live what they learn, one of the most intimate and trusting relationships that we have as children are (or should be) with our primary caregivers.
I've seen this happen in my family. But I just figured it was "La Loca's" and not the kiddos fault. (note: that quoted name is my pet name for his ex wife )
10-03-2010, 11:43 PM #3
well, if they're referring to diagnoses of parents - I think it's ridiculous - the parents who do it are just selfish, immature, & arrogant AFAIC
10-04-2010, 07:55 AM #4
They want to diagnose the CHILDREN. I can see why it was not clear, lol-I was on a rant.
10-04-2010, 08:42 AM #5
10-04-2010, 11:34 AM #6In constant need of a nap
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10-04-2010, 12:52 PM #7
10-04-2010, 07:17 PM #8
thank you Kat-you summed up what my rant was attempting to say. This is just another tool in a tug of war. it is the parents who need to be addressed, not the children.
10-05-2010, 01:48 AM #9Former Member
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I agree it is the parents that need to be addressed. However, the parents are rarely addressed resulting in GREAT harm to the children.
I have mixed feelings about this. I believe the children are entitled to therapy that can reunite them with the alienated parent and I believe this therapy can be quite expensive. The alternative is that the child NEVER reunites with the alienated parent at the emotional and intellectual expense of both the child and the parent.
PAS is very hard to spot by the powers that be. All the judge knows is what he said/she said. All the attorneys know is what he said/she said. If the children end up in the system then the judge will also know what the social worker says after meeting with the children once. The children don't understand what is happening. If the primary parent tells them the other parent is evil - the children believe it. After all the parent no longer lives with them, they never see the missing parent and they have no idea what is true and what is not. Older children are not as easy to fool, but the younger ones - oh my, it can be very, very sad.
I don't know if PAS is a mental illness, but I do believe it is real and it is harmful and some children never get over it.
Just my 2 cents,
Last edited by Salem; 10-05-2010 at 01:50 AM. Reason: typo
10-05-2010, 08:48 AM #10
I would like to see stats on actual cases of PAS. Because most children make up their own mind as they approach adolescence and adulthood....I know someone who had her divorce records sealed so that the children could NOT see the accusations of PAS, the GAL findings that were favorable to the accused parent and all of the uglieness surrounding the custody battle. Mind you, this woman never tried to prevent the children from seeing their bio-dad except when two restraining orders were in effect. Legitimate, verified restraining orders...not politically filed ones. She does not speak ill of bio-dad...the reverse is not true.
I am sceptical regarding PAS. I think that if a parent is purposely poisoning the well, the remedy is in the courts. Not in a therapists hands, unless there are false accusations of abuse of any kind. Which then, in my mind, makes the parent at fault for child abuse, not PAS. JMVHO.
10-05-2010, 11:47 PM #11
I believe this is a real disorder if they've observed and studied the problem. I've seen it in a person , but it stemmed from one woman that I believe has narcissist personality disorder. Kids have no way of dealing with people like that or seeing through their manipulations, and it is damaging, but in the meantime it could take years for a kid to grow up and figure out what happened.