There are very few reasons that a psychiatry blog should discuss the recent change in policy of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” After all, homosexuality is not a mental disorder and this is a case of righting a wrong of discrimination and an example of social justice. However, until 1973 American psychiatry considered homosexuality as a psychiatric diagnosis. The behind the scenes story of how the American Psychiatric Association reversed it’s official policy towards homosexuality is explained in an interview that Dr. Blumenfield had with Dr. Alfred M. Freedman who at the time was President of that organization. There are links to a transcript of that interview as well as a 3 part video broadcast on You-Tube or the entire audio of the interview on Shrinkpod which is a podcast.
This blog is written to mark the first year of PsychiatryTalk.com being on the Internet. The readership has expanded from 25 hits/week to over 300 hits/day and it is still growing. A followup on the topics of several of the blogs written in the past year was reported.
President Obama in his State of the Union Address stated that he wanted to abolish the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy in the military service. Admiral Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff as well as the President of the Americann Psychiatric Association have issued similar statements. The history of this policy in the 20th century was briefly reviewed. In addition the concerns that have been expressed about letting gays serve openly in the military were discussed as was the experience of other countries where gays serving in the military has not been a problem.