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South African Broadcasting Corporation Copyright ©
2000 - 2005 SABC

SARS could be target for international fraudsters

February 03, 2007, 18:15

The Business Report reported on 2 February that taxpayers could soon claim tax deductions for a wide variety of mental "disorders". In fact, these disorders do not exist.

The report quoting Eugene Bendel, an independent Tax Consultant, states that taxpayers could claim for disorders listed in the Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Yet this document is extremely controversial and its credibility shown to be compromised.

Suzette Pelser, Executive Director of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a mental health watchdog group, said "A fact almost never discussed is that unlike physical diseases a mental disease is not discovered. It is described and then voted into existence by a panel of psychiatrists of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). That is the DSM. Not a single disorder on that list has a blood or other objective test to show the existence of any abnormality."

A study published in April 2006 by Lisa Cosgrove, an American psychologist from the University of Massachusetts and Sheldon Krimsky, an American university professor, documented that 100% of the experts on the DSM panels overseeing "mood disorders" were financially involved with drug companies. Every disorder on the list has an accompanying drug for its treatment.

Pelser stated further that "The DSM in 1968 was 118 pages long. Today it is a staggering 886 and lists such disorders as 'Caffeine Related Disorder' for someone who drinks too much coffee to 'mathematics disorder'. A billion dollar industry has been built around prescribing mind altering drugs for these unscientific, unprovable diseases."

CCHR advises that SARS should be more than a little skeptical about claims for such disorders and the public should be wary of unscrupulous psychiatrists pushing psychiatric drugs with the lure of tax deductions. - Sapa