Paula CaplanPh.D.

Paula J. Caplan, Ph.D. is a Visiting Scholar at the Pembroke Center for Women, Brown University, Providence, RI. Previously she was full professor of psychology, assistant professor of psychiatry, and lecturer in Womens Studies at the University of Toronto, and was chosen by the American Psychological Association as an "eminent woman psychologist". 

She is the author of "The Myth of Women's Masochism" and "Don't Blame Mother", plus a number of other books. A clinical and research psychologist, she was formerly a consultant to those who construct the DSM - the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Interview by Douglas Eby

External links

They Say You're Crazy: How the World's Most Powerful Psychiatrists Decide Who's Normal by Paula Caplan
Bias in Psychiatric Diagnosis by Caplan Paula J.

There are other psychiatric labels and diagnoses that may be misused with respect to gifted women, Dr. Caplan finds.  "'Hysterical' is a big one, and 'borderline' because any woman who is very emotional and doesn't give the therapist what he wants - if it's a guy - is in danger of being diagnosed as histrionic or hysterical. ......"This whole diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder is made up anyway, and is usually applied to someone who had been terribly abused. ......there are all kinds of non-pathological reasons for any person to be showing what are then called the symptoms of 'borderline personality'....... Cynthia Veldhuis gave a psychology class of hers [in the Dept. of Psychology, University of Oregon] a checklist of symptoms for different disorders, and 75% of the students fit the criteria for having Borderline Personality Disorder, and guess what - 100% of the men fit the criteria for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder! 
    "The current DSM4 [the latest edition] has 374 categories of alleged mental disorder, including things like 'Stuttering', and 'Caffeine-induced Sleep Disorder', and 'Major Depressive Disorder' - if someone close to you died two weeks ago and you're still grieving. In other words, every conceivable form of human behavior is in there; 'Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder': if you don't have as much sexual activity, or as many sexual fantasies as your therapist thinks you should, then you have that." With such a large number of categories, she points out, anybody "who walks into a therapist's office is going to fit probably a very large number of those descriptions. And this is all the more true because so many of the criteria for these labels use terms like 'marked' or 'deficient', so there's this huge scope for subjectivity on the part of therapists.  Interview by Douglas Eby