10 Reasons Survivors Might Know More Medicine Than Psychiatrists

Corinna West
24
375

We’ve been discussing a potential role for psychiatrists on this site, and I wanted some of the doctors to understand why many mental health escapees or graduates may know more about the mental health outcomes literature than doctors. One previous blogger pointed out that wearing a white coat and taking the Hippocratic Oath gave them some kind of expertise, but now the question is, “Who really is the expert?” Here are 10 reasons why it may not be the person with the degree and all the training.

This is an update of a post that appeared a month ago on Wellness Wordworks’ blog. 

1) It’s life and death for us. That’s a pretty good motivator to learn new things.

2) Free time:  Most Medical literature and medical education has been heavily influenced by the pharmacuetical industry. Most doctors have no formal exposure to mental health outcomes literature challenging the disease model of emotional suffering.  My favorite blogger, 1boringoldman.com does an excellent job of explaining this. Doctors can only find truth through their own off the clock efforts, and 80 hours a week of med school and residency training doesn’t leave much off the clock time. Many mental health professionals also work a lot more than 40 hours a week, so even after their training they don’t have time. In contrary, many of us survivors have been fired repeatedly due to the labels we have been given, so we are a bit more likely to have time available.

Street Art face painted on a concrete pipe cover in a diagonal alley in downtown Kansas City
Street Art face painted on a concrete pipe cover in a diagonal alley in downtown Kansas City

3) Risk: Many people in recovery are often at the bottom of many pits before we start looking for new ideas. We have nothing to lose.  Yet for professionals, it’s practically career suicide for them to question whether people can completely recover by exiting the mental health system and coming off medications if meds aren’t helping. Maria Bradshaw pointed out in a comment on this blog: Many doctors support struggling parent privately, but few of them are willing to risk supporting us publicly.

4) Public relations. Many people have never even heard that there might be another way to look at things, that we can improve mental health outcomes for practically free, practically overnight. We need to tell a story that we know how to help people recover, that we have a better way to do things than using labels and medications first, for everyone and forever. If we want people to leave the APA’s storytelling and tell ours, it has to be palatable. Linda Andre wrote an excellent book called, Doctors of Deception that outlined how a masterfully crafted public relations campaign has been able to show ECT as safe and effective when it’s neither.

5) Emotional toll: It’s tough to read that you’ve been harming people you wanted to help. Many more people in recovery know the true story on mental health outcomes because it’s a good news story to us, so it’s much easier to read and keep reading on our free time. It tells us we can be free again. It takes a lot of digging to come a place of intellectual honesty about deciding what is true. I read about 150 research articles, 15 books, and went to two conferences before I was sure that Whitaker was right. This is especially hard to follow through on when it means you have been hurting people your whole career. If survivors like me keep throwing up things like my 7 ECT’s, loss of grad school, loss of a chance to have kids, and loss of 10 years of my career in their face, they aren’t willing to pay that price.

An AUFL tag in a brick courtyard in the West Bottoms in Kansas City, MO. Who have you decided is "Awful"?
An AUFL tag in a brick courtyard in the West Bottoms in Kansas City, MO. Who have you decided is "Awful"?

6) An honorable way out: People might need a way out without admitting they have been wrong. Maybe we can figure out some way to show that life situations do intead cause our chemical changes and not just some random genetic or physical defect. This scientific explanation could satisfy the disease model advocates – simply explaining how much of our distress is due to trauma.

7) Future career plans: Many professionals don’t realize there’s a booming career in helping people get off meds or publishing medical literature about this practice.

8) The wrath of peers:  Truamatized people hurt other people. This does not make hurting people right and honorable and just and excusable. Or productive. When we speak publicly in ways that scare off professionals, we get labeled with their N-word, which is the A-word in our field: antipsychiatrist. Yes, an antipsychiatrist is pretty much anyone saying anything they don’t want to hear. But, it’s also anyone who talks with emotion and anger and hurt. We need to figure out other ways to share our pain besides personal attacks on people who may or may not have caused it. This is very difficult, and I cannot always do it. Instead, I feel great respect for the advocates who snuck into the APA convention to present Max Fink with a platter of brains for his work promoting ECT.

9) Ego: To listen to survivors, you have to admit that our experience has meaning. This is contrary to the entire disease model paradigm, which says that our behavior is irrational, and not a normal response to our life situations.

10) Fear of other professionals: psychiatrists are already stigmatized compared to other medical specialties, and probably thus less likely to be able to admit they are wrong.

Related Item:
Anti-Authoritarians and Schizophrenia: Do Rebels Who Defy Treatment Do Better?

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24 COMMENTS

  1. 2) Free time: I partially agree. Anyway, if you work in a field so controversial as psychiatry — and no professional can tell me they haven’t realised the degree of controversy when it comes to psychiatry — I see it as a sign of a profound lack of interest in what you’re doing for a living if you don’t follow up on the controversy, and do some serious investigation into it.

    5)Emotional toll: It’s not always that easy for survivors either, and often accompanied by feelings of guilt, to admit to themselves that they’ve let themselves be coerced into believing psychiatry’s lies. Never mind that, at the time, they couldn’t do anything else but buy into the lies. I know a lot of survivors who say “How could I be so stupid?! Why didn’t I see this immediately back then?!” And I also know quite a few people who just won’t let go of their “illness”, and their belief in bio-psychiatry, no matter how much evidence you present them with, because they simply can’t deal with the idea that they have lost maybe half of their life to a lie.

    6) An honorable way out: I think, the only honorable, and really constructive, way out is to be honest, and admit that you made a mistake when you made one. I love what one of my riding instructors (who, btw, also is a trauma-survivor) once said: “It’s ok to make a mistake. But it’s unforgivable to make a mistake, and, although you know it was a mistake, claim it to have been the only right thing to do.”

    There’s this misconception in our society that making mistakes turns somebody into a “bad” person, that it’s a disgrace to make mistakes, and degrading for us if anybody finds out we made one. So we try everything to cover our mistakes up, and to avoid having to admit to them, and apologise for them. If we didn’t make mistakes, we wouldn’t learn anything. But we can only learn from our mistakes, if we admit to them. If we don’t, nothing will change. What we maybe are most in need of learning is that we’re not perfect, that we’re not God. No one of us. Not even psychiatrists(!).

    Nothing is more liberating than admitting to one’s mistakes and apologising for them, if you really mean it. It’s humbling, but not the least degrading. Which is truly degrading, and destructive to the person’s dignity and integrity, is the covering up of our humanity, of our imperfection that we see going on in our society.

  2. Corinna,

    There are no “experts” when it comes to the human brain or the human mind. The first is a scientific phenomenon, the latter, a spiritual mystery.

    Where do we start with the human brain?
    Gray matter that thinks and feels.
    We don’t know squat about the human brain.
    Not squat.

    And when it comes to the mind…
    To declare onself an expert is to claim a better understanding of an iceberg, by having surveyed a square mile, without ever having seen what lays underneath the surface. (Although, I do think those who have had “breakdowns” may have caught a quickl glimpse).
    But it’s silly to think anyone understands the human mind.

    Once mental health professionals give up their self-proclaimed “expertise” in these areas, we may be able to begin to see some real progress… some real recovery.

    Could psychiatrists be instrumental in helping get people off psychiatric drugs (now that on in ten pepople are on antidepressants; one in four on some type of psychotropic)?
    I hope so.

    Can psychologists (along with social workers, counselors and others) continue to help guide people through a deeper understanding of themselves, their thoughts, feelings, relationships?
    Sure.

    Can both groups learn from people who’ve had personal, life experience in overcoming… from “breakdowns to recovery… wellness, thriving?
    Absolutely!

    Duane

  3. Excellent post as usual. I often sat listening to psychiatrists talking about the antipsychotic medication they were plying my son with, wondering:are they lying to me or do they really not know and if not why not? I definitely knew more than “the specialists”.

  4. Corinna,

    Great article.

    I am reminded that no one will ever take care of my best interests the way I will. I have fired doctors, dentists and an accountant in the process of discovering this basic truth in my life.

    However much advice and directions I ask and get from others, this is my life and I’m driving it. Our advisers are only that. They will not be with me and see and feel what I do. I am the expert on my own experiences. When things happen in my life, I am the one there, the one that has to take action.

    I hope that no one really imagines that “wearing a white coat and taking the Hippocratic Oath gave them some kind of expertise” as you say. If that were true we could all be “experts” by chanting a few words and dressing for a costume party. It would be like the Wizard of Oz handing out heart, brains and courage.

    Thanks for your reminder that there is nothing like personal experience and self-education. I believe all true education to be self-education. Anyone willing to read and dig and study with access to information can become an expert.

    Thanks for all your expertise,
    Alice

    • Dr. Keys,

      I DO think that some people are very good at helping bring the best parts of people out – to help them see these parts, and build on them. But it is very much like the Wizard of Oz, in the sense that these things are already inside the person seeking to find them.

      IMO, a good therapist is able to help a person heal, by guiding them to find the wholeness that already exists inside. And being able to related to people is best done by someone who builds trust, as a fellow human, not a wizard or “expert”.

      “Oz never did give nothin’ to the Tin Man, that he didn’t already have.” – American, the Band

      Duane

  5. “5) Emotional toll: It’s tough to read that you’ve been harming people you wanted to help. ”

    I would have thought that even in the early stages of a psychiatrist’s career, in the rotation in med school, or in the residency, that when they witnessed captive people being dominated by three or more psychiatric nurses, forcibly injected, people screaming out in helpless screams trying to avoid such assaults, when they witnessed people locked in cages without due process, without access to an attorney, for the crime of thinking thoughts that have been labeled out of order by such a credible organization as the APA, who previously brought us such gems as ‘masturbation is a mental illness’ and ‘being gay is a mental illness’, I’d have thought that this would give a young supposedly intelligent med student pause.

    You’d think from day 1 on a psych ward rotation, ethical individuals would want to go and heave their lunch into the nearest toilet witnessing such systemic violence against vulnerable people.

    But of course, just like the Nazi Doctors, they justify it to themselves.

    ‘these people’, they say to themselves, are a special case.

    ‘these people’, it is justified to use force on, because ‘these people’ have diseased brains.

    It is a moral stain on anyone to participate in or be an apologist for coercive psychiatry.

    • If you want an insight into how med students think you simply need to look on the forums where they vent and talk to each other on the internet.

      http://allnurses.com/psychiatric-nursing/lpn-student-first-82297.html

      From the above link, a med student says of his psych rotation:

      “Oct 20, ’04 by vern234
      The thing that really got to me was a verbal attack on all the students by a patient, He “Didn’t give his permission to have students watching him all day, writing stuff about him…..” he then encited(sic) all the others at group to voice the same thought, the charge nurse had to end group. I’m sure it happens often, but it was alittle frightening on our 1st day.”

      YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT HE DIDN’T GIVE PERMISSION. THAT IS ACTUALLY A MORALLY COGENT ARGUMENT TO BACK OFF AND NOT EXPLOIT HIM AS A LEARNING TOOL! but med students can’t grasp this kind of basic morality.

      Let’s examine this gem, from a med student doing a psych ward rotation…

      http://forums.studentdoctor.net/archive/index.php/t-757929.html

      “desijigga
      08-28-2010, 08:23 AM
      We have a Inpatient Psych ward…

      Wednesdays we did ECTs which I thought was kind of cool, I got to bag some patients and write the ECT notes. Follow the Attending doing ECTs when he did his hospital rounds on the IM floors. It was weird the next day when I talked to one of my patients who had an ECT done, she actually did have Amnesia… It was a nice rotation for me as I was studying for my usmle Step 1 and needed the time, but I wish my attending would actually take the time to teach how to interview psych patients, we kind of were just thrown into the crazy ward and were like go to talk to whoever…:laugh:”

      Let me reiterate…

      “It was weird the next day when I talked to one of my patients who had an ECT done, she actually did have Amnesia…”

      Now, does he care? at all? that psychiatry’s lies about memory loss have given this poor victim amnesia?

      No. That human being is just reduced to a ‘story’ to tell the people they know about the time they had on their psych rotation.

      Another one…

      “I did my rotation in consult psychiatry. You basically go around the medicine floors to patients that they need a consult on. Usually for depression, schizos, suicide”

      The word ‘schizo’ came up again and again when I read the forums that medical students write messages on.

      And another one…

      “xanthomondo
      09-18-2010, 05:41 PM
      I just tried not to get punched in the face while on psych.

      Seriously, I’ve never heard the phrase “Imma kill you mother f*cker”/other threats thrown at me so many times.”

      The fact that med students don’t seem to get that the reason people are angry is because they are having their human rights abused, is what gets me.

      Another one…

      This time from http://www.fabladyh.com/2010/06/done-with-psychiatry-rotation.html

      “This is a profession where you cannot cure your patients, in order words most (not all) of the patients you have keep coming back for a life time. So what keeps you going?? well I think you should ask a psychiatrist. A profession where a lot of your patients don’t even want to see you. ”

      Another one…

      This time from http://www.caribbeanmedstudent.com/2012/02/some-thoughts-about-psych/

      “In Basic Sciences, I’ve often heard students say that they’re not interested in going into Psychiatry because “it isn’t really medicine.””

      I FULLY AGREE.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would prefer you didn’t go into psychiatry. The less people that go into psychiatry, the safer we are.

      Another one…

      This time from

      “whopper
      07-13-2006, 09:07 PM
      Don’t go into this field just because of better hours. Common, is that what you’re going to say at your interview?

      I wouldn’t judge until you do your psychiatry rotation. Then make a decision. If you’re interested in psychiatry, make sure your rotation is at a place that actually gives you a good exposure to it.

      Yes the hours are better, but there are things about the field that could be interpreted as worse.

      E.g. I saw one of my patients at the mall, and the same guy threatened to kill me a few weeks earlier. In other fields, you see a patient and they’re thanking you for saving their life. In this field, you’re committing patients against their will. You think they’re going to be happy when they see you?”

      EXACTLY. If I saw the people who assaulted my brain in the past in the psych ward, “at the mall”, I would be straining not to tell them what I think of them as human beings.

      Another one…

      “psychmom1
      07-14-2006, 09:25 PM
      Oh and don’t forget to know the laws by heart… a simply screw up means a lawsuit.

      Ummm, that’s why there is always malpractice insurance”

      YOU SEE, SCREWING UP IN PSYCHIATRY ONLY COSTS THE INSURER MONEY. The doers of harm get to never lose any of their own money. Those who hide behind the protection of the law to assault human beings, need to know the laws ‘by heart’, that’s for sure.

      More… http://forums.studentdoctor.net/archive/index.php/t-298551.html

      “I love examing(sic) what make people tick. I love personality disorders and understanding what (biology or social events) led up to the development of them. ”

      “Unfortunately, it is rather hard if not impossible to volunteer in a psych ward due to patient confidentiality”

      Yep, the average shrink has SO MUCH understanding of the ‘biology’ that led to the development of your problems that they will pull out such cutting edge biological investigative techniques as a scrappy DSM book from 1994. And oh those pesky confidentiality laws preventing citizens walking in off the street reading involuntarily compiled medical notes. Wow.

      Below http://forums.studentdoctor.net/archive/index.php/t-153694.html

      “This sounds like a pretty bad experience, IMO – in our psych rotation, we followed inpatients by ourselves, did H&Ps for new admits and wrote the admission notes, worked up patients in the ER, *ran* a few group sessions (after instruction by the attending, of course), and even had the chance to practice drawing blood”

      This is what you are as an involuntarily detained/caged person in a psych ward, an opportunity for med students who have no desire to specialize in psychiatry, to practice drawing blood.

      You’re an arm. Nothing more.

      http://forums.studentdoctor.net/archive/index.php/t-153694.html

      “Mumpu
      10-06-2004, 03:38 PM
      I am currently on a Psych rotation and I feel totally useless!!!!

      That’s how most psychiatrists feel too. Or at least should. :meanie:

      If there was ever a profession not requiring a medical education…”

      HAHAHAHA the truth comes out. Real med students, chatting candidly online about how you don’t even need a medical education to be a psychiatrist day to day. This is not me making things up, this is ACTUAL med students candidly chatting in med student forums online. Check the links above to verify.

      “Disco
      10-06-2004, 05:23 PM
      I think your experience thus far is typical of psych. My psych rotation blew. I was very restless and felt useless too. The most exciting thing i did was have a 9 year old draw a picture of a house, tree, person. And the psych experts decided he was psychotic and not loved because the tree didn’t have many branches…….
      Unless you want to become a psychiatrist, I say kick your feet up and get solitaire or billiards on your Palm.(Palm Pilot, 2004 personal handheld computing device)”

      THIS IS REAL MEDICAL STUDENTS VENTING AFTER A HARD DAY’S PSYCH ROTATION ONLINE ON STUDENTDOCTOR.NET

      This is the internet psychiatrists! you can’t hide. You can’t hide your medical students, you can’t hide their conversations that they so foolishly put online and show us all what casual contempt they have for our humanity.

      THIS ISN’T THE 80s or 70s where you could just call someone and have a private conversation. These foolish med students give us an insight into the contempt with which they hold people with psychiatric labels.

      One word I heard again and again when I spent a few hours perusing what med students freely admit on med student forums about psych rotations is the word ‘detachment’. They again and again said it was so important to be ‘detached’.

      HOW ELSE COULD SOMEONE live with themselves after doing violence to another human being if they were not detached?

      You’ve got SUPERVISORS selling the benefits of ‘detachment’ to med students going on psych rotations.

      Corrupt, basely immoral practices, rationalized and explained away as a matter of routine. If you ever find yourself “admitted”, and this will not necessarily be your choice to be “admitted”, EXPECT AS A MATTER OF COURSE to be turned into learning fodder for med students.

    • If you want an insight into how med students think you simply need to look on the forums where they vent and talk to each other on the internet.

      http://allnurses.com/psychiatric-nursing/lpn-student-first-82297.html

      From the above link, a med student says of his psych rotation:

      “Oct 20, ’04 by vern234
      The thing that really got to me was a verbal attack on all the students by a patient, He “Didn’t give his permission to have students watching him all day, writing stuff about him…..” he then encited(sic) all the others at group to voice the same thought, the charge nurse had to end group. I’m sure it happens often, but it was alittle frightening on our 1st day.”

      YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT HE DIDN’T GIVE PERMISSION. THAT IS ACTUALLY A MORALLY COGENT ARGUMENT TO BACK OFF AND NOT EXPLOIT HIM AS A LEARNING TOOL! but med students can’t grasp this kind of basic morality.

      Let’s examine this gem, from a med student doing a psych ward rotation…

      http://forums.studentdoctor.net/archive/index.php/t-757929.html

      “desijigga
      08-28-2010, 08:23 AM
      We have a Inpatient Psych ward…

      Wednesdays we did ECTs which I thought was kind of cool, I got to bag some patients and write the ECT notes. Follow the Attending doing ECTs when he did his hospital rounds on the IM floors. It was weird the next day when I talked to one of my patients who had an ECT done, she actually did have Amnesia… It was a nice rotation for me as I was studying for my usmle Step 1 and needed the time, but I wish my attending would actually take the time to teach how to interview psych patients, we kind of were just thrown into the crazy ward and were like go to talk to whoever…:laugh:”

      Let me reiterate…

      “It was weird the next day when I talked to one of my patients who had an ECT done, she actually did have Amnesia…”

      Now, does he care? at all? that psychiatry’s lies about memory loss have given this poor victim amnesia?

      No. That human being is just reduced to a ‘story’ to tell the people they know about the time they had on their psych rotation.

      Another one…

      “I did my rotation in consult psychiatry. You basically go around the medicine floors to patients that they need a consult on. Usually for depression, schizos, suicide”

      The word ‘schizo’ came up again and again when I read the forums that medical students write messages on.

      And another one…

      “xanthomondo
      09-18-2010, 05:41 PM
      I just tried not to get punched in the face while on psych.

      Seriously, I’ve never heard the phrase “Imma kill you mother f*cker”/other threats thrown at me so many times.”

      The fact that med students don’t seem to get that the reason people are angry is because they are having their human rights abused, is what gets me.

      Another one…

      This time from http://www.fabladyh.com/2010/06/done-with-psychiatry-rotation.html

      “This is a profession where you cannot cure your patients, in order words most (not all) of the patients you have keep coming back for a life time. So what keeps you going?? well I think you should ask a psychiatrist. A profession where a lot of your patients don’t even want to see you. ”

      Another one…

      This time from http://www.caribbeanmedstudent.com/2012/02/some-thoughts-about-psych/

      “In Basic Sciences, I’ve often heard students say that they’re not interested in going into Psychiatry because “it isn’t really medicine.””

      I FULLY AGREE.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would prefer you didn’t go into psychiatry. The less people that go into psychiatry, the safer we are.

      Another one…

      This time from

      “whopper
      07-13-2006, 09:07 PM
      Don’t go into this field just because of better hours. Common, is that what you’re going to say at your interview?

      I wouldn’t judge until you do your psychiatry rotation. Then make a decision. If you’re interested in psychiatry, make sure your rotation is at a place that actually gives you a good exposure to it.

      Yes the hours are better, but there are things about the field that could be interpreted as worse.

      E.g. I saw one of my patients at the mall, and the same guy threatened to kill me a few weeks earlier. In other fields, you see a patient and they’re thanking you for saving their life. In this field, you’re committing patients against their will. You think they’re going to be happy when they see you?”

      EXACTLY. If I saw the people who assaulted my brain in the past in the psych ward, “at the mall”, I would be straining not to tell them what I think of them as human beings.

      Another one…

      “psychmom1
      07-14-2006, 09:25 PM
      Oh and don’t forget to know the laws by heart… a simply screw up means a lawsuit.

      Ummm, that’s why there is always malpractice insurance”

      YOU SEE, SCREWING UP IN PSYCHIATRY ONLY COSTS THE INSURER MONEY. The doers of harm get to never lose any of their own money. Those who hide behind the protection of the law to assault human beings, need to know the laws ‘by heart’, that’s for sure.

      More… http://forums.studentdoctor.net/archive/index.php/t-298551.html

      “I love examing(sic) what make people tick. I love personality disorders and understanding what (biology or social events) led up to the development of them. ”

      “Unfortunately, it is rather hard if not impossible to volunteer in a psych ward due to patient confidentiality”

      Yep, the average shrink has SO MUCH understanding of the ‘biology’ that led to the development of your problems that they will pull out such cutting edge biological investigative techniques as a scrappy DSM book from 1994. And oh those pesky confidentiality laws preventing citizens walking in off the street reading involuntarily compiled medical notes. Wow.

      Below http://forums.studentdoctor.net/archive/index.php/t-153694.html

      “This sounds like a pretty bad experience, IMO – in our psych rotation, we followed inpatients by ourselves, did H&Ps for new admits and wrote the admission notes, worked up patients in the ER, *ran* a few group sessions (after instruction by the attending, of course), and even had the chance to practice drawing blood”

      This is what you are as an involuntarily detained/caged person in a psych ward, an opportunity for med students who have no desire to specialize in psychiatry, to practice drawing blood.

      You’re an arm. Nothing more.

      http://forums.studentdoctor.net/archive/index.php/t-153694.html

      “Mumpu
      10-06-2004, 03:38 PM
      I am currently on a Psych rotation and I feel totally useless!!!!

      That’s how most psychiatrists feel too. Or at least should. :meanie:

      If there was ever a profession not requiring a medical education…”

      HAHAHAHA the truth comes out. Real med students, chatting candidly online about how you don’t even need a medical education to be a psychiatrist day to day. This is not me making things up, this is ACTUAL med students candidly chatting in med student forums online. Check the links above to verify.

      “Disco
      10-06-2004, 05:23 PM
      I think your experience thus far is typical of psych. My psych rotation blew. I was very restless and felt useless too. The most exciting thing i did was have a 9 year old draw a picture of a house, tree, person. And the psych experts decided he was psychotic and not loved because the tree didn’t have many branches…….
      Unless you want to become a psychiatrist, I say kick your feet up and get solitaire or billiards on your Palm.(Palm Pilot, 2004 personal handheld computing device)”

      THIS IS REAL MEDICAL STUDENTS VENTING AFTER A HARD DAY’S PSYCH ROTATION ONLINE ON STUDENTDOCTOR.NET

      This is the internet psychiatrists! you can’t hide. You can’t hide your medical students, you can’t hide their conversations that they so foolishly put online and show us all what casual contempt they have for our humanity.

      THIS ISN’T THE 80s or 70s where you could just call someone and have a private conversation. These foolish med students give us an insight into the contempt with which they hold people with psychiatric labels.

      One word I heard again and again when I spent a few hours perusing what med students freely admit on med student forums about psych rotations is the word ‘detachment’. They again and again said it was so important to be ‘detached’.

      HOW ELSE COULD SOMEONE live with themselves after doing violence to another human being if they were not detached?

      You’ve got SUPERVISORS selling the benefits of ‘detachment’ to med students going on psych rotations.

      Corrupt, basely immoral practices, rationalized and explained away as a matter of routine. If you ever find yourself “admitted”, and this will not necessarily be your choice to be “admitted”, EXPECT AS A MATTER OF COURSE to be turned into learning fodder for med students.

      • FYI: when a post has a lot of hyperlinks in it, the site automatically marks it for approval. I check as often as I can, but sometimes that might not be for a day or so. This one was only waiting an hour or so, but I see it was the second attempt at posting. Just letting you know.

  6. If you want an insight into how med students think you simply need to look on the forums where they vent and talk to each other on the internet.

    http://allnurses.com/psychiatric-nursing/lpn-student-first-82297.html

    From the above link, a med student says of his psych rotation:

    “Oct 20, ’04 by vern234
    The thing that really got to me was a verbal attack on all the students by a patient, He “Didn’t give his permission to have students watching him all day, writing stuff about him…..” he then encited(sic) all the others at group to voice the same thought, the charge nurse had to end group. I’m sure it happens often, but it was alittle frightening on our 1st day.”

    YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT HE DIDN’T GIVE PERMISSION. THAT IS ACTUALLY A MORALLY COGENT ARGUMENT TO BACK OFF AND NOT EXPLOIT HIM AS A LEARNING TOOL! but med students can’t grasp this kind of basic morality.

    Let’s examine this gem, from a med student doing a psych ward rotation…

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/archive/index.php/t-757929.html

    “desijigga
    08-28-2010, 08:23 AM
    We have a Inpatient Psych ward…

    Wednesdays we did ECTs which I thought was kind of cool, I got to bag some patients and write the ECT notes. Follow the Attending doing ECTs when he did his hospital rounds on the IM floors. It was weird the next day when I talked to one of my patients who had an ECT done, she actually did have Amnesia… It was a nice rotation for me as I was studying for my usmle Step 1 and needed the time, but I wish my attending would actually take the time to teach how to interview psych patients, we kind of were just thrown into the crazy ward and were like go to talk to whoever…:laugh:”

    Let me reiterate…

    “It was weird the next day when I talked to one of my patients who had an ECT done, she actually did have Amnesia…”

    Now, does he care? at all? that psychiatry’s lies about memory loss have given this poor victim amnesia?

    No. That human being is just reduced to a ‘story’ to tell the people they know about the time they had on their psych rotation.

    Another one…

    “I did my rotation in consult psychiatry. You basically go around the medicine floors to patients that they need a consult on. Usually for depression, schizos, suicide”

    The word ‘schizo’ came up again and again when I read the forums that medical students write messages on.

    And another one…

    “xanthomondo
    09-18-2010, 05:41 PM
    I just tried not to get punched in the face while on psych.

    Seriously, I’ve never heard the phrase “Imma kill you mother f*cker”/other threats thrown at me so many times.”

    The fact that med students don’t seem to get that the reason people are angry is because they are having their human rights abused, is what gets me.

    Another one…

    This time from http://www.fabladyh.com/2010/06/done-with-psychiatry-rotation.html

    “This is a profession where you cannot cure your patients, in order words most (not all) of the patients you have keep coming back for a life time. So what keeps you going?? well I think you should ask a psychiatrist. A profession where a lot of your patients don’t even want to see you. ”

    Another one…

    This time from http://www.caribbeanmedstudent.com/2012/02/some-thoughts-about-psych/

    “In Basic Sciences, I’ve often heard students say that they’re not interested in going into Psychiatry because “it isn’t really medicine.””

    I FULLY AGREE.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would prefer you didn’t go into psychiatry. The less people that go into psychiatry, the safer we are.

    Another one…

    This time from

    “whopper
    07-13-2006, 09:07 PM
    Don’t go into this field just because of better hours. Common, is that what you’re going to say at your interview?

    I wouldn’t judge until you do your psychiatry rotation. Then make a decision. If you’re interested in psychiatry, make sure your rotation is at a place that actually gives you a good exposure to it.

    Yes the hours are better, but there are things about the field that could be interpreted as worse.

    E.g. I saw one of my patients at the mall, and the same guy threatened to kill me a few weeks earlier. In other fields, you see a patient and they’re thanking you for saving their life. In this field, you’re committing patients against their will. You think they’re going to be happy when they see you?”

    EXACTLY. If I saw the people who assaulted my brain in the past in the psych ward, “at the mall”, I would be straining not to tell them what I think of them as human beings.

    Another one…

    “psychmom1
    07-14-2006, 09:25 PM
    Oh and don’t forget to know the laws by heart… a simply screw up means a lawsuit.

    Ummm, that’s why there is always malpractice insurance”

    YOU SEE, SCREWING UP IN PSYCHIATRY ONLY COSTS THE INSURER MONEY. The doers of harm get to never lose any of their own money. Those who hide behind the protection of the law to assault human beings, need to know the laws ‘by heart’, that’s for sure.

    More… http://forums.studentdoctor.net/archive/index.php/t-298551.html

    “I love examing(sic) what make people tick. I love personality disorders and understanding what (biology or social events) led up to the development of them. ”

    “Unfortunately, it is rather hard if not impossible to volunteer in a psych ward due to patient confidentiality”

    Yep, the average shrink has SO MUCH understanding of the ‘biology’ that led to the development of your problems that they will pull out such cutting edge biological investigative techniques as a scrappy DSM book from 1994. And oh those pesky confidentiality laws preventing citizens walking in off the street reading involuntarily compiled medical notes. Wow.

    Below http://forums.studentdoctor.net/archive/index.php/t-153694.html

    “This sounds like a pretty bad experience, IMO – in our psych rotation, we followed inpatients by ourselves, did H&Ps for new admits and wrote the admission notes, worked up patients in the ER, *ran* a few group sessions (after instruction by the attending, of course), and even had the chance to practice drawing blood”

    This is what you are as an involuntarily detained/caged person in a psych ward, an opportunity for med students who have no desire to specialize in psychiatry, to practice drawing blood.

    You’re an arm. Nothing more.

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/archive/index.php/t-153694.html

    “Mumpu
    10-06-2004, 03:38 PM
    I am currently on a Psych rotation and I feel totally useless!!!!

    That’s how most psychiatrists feel too. Or at least should. :meanie:

    If there was ever a profession not requiring a medical education…”

    HAHAHAHA the truth comes out. Real med students, chatting candidly online about how you don’t even need a medical education to be a psychiatrist day to day. This is not me making things up, this is ACTUAL med students candidly chatting in med student forums online. Check the links above to verify.

  7. If you want an insight into how med students think you simply need to look on the forums where they vent and talk to each other on the internet.

    http://allnurses.com/psychiatric-nursing/lpn-student-first-82297.html

    From the above link, a med student says of his psych rotation:

    “Oct 20, ’04 by vern234
    The thing that really got to me was a verbal attack on all the students by a patient, He “Didn’t give his permission to have students watching him all day, writing stuff about him…..” he then encited(sic) all the others at group to voice the same thought, the charge nurse had to end group. I’m sure it happens often, but it was alittle frightening on our 1st day.”

    YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT HE DIDN’T GIVE PERMISSION. THAT IS ACTUALLY A MORALLY COGENT ARGUMENT TO BACK OFF AND NOT EXPLOIT HIM AS A LEARNING TOOL! but med students can’t grasp this kind of basic morality.

    Let’s examine this gem, from a med student doing a psych ward rotation…

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/archive/index.php/t-757929.html

    “desijigga
    08-28-2010, 08:23 AM
    We have a Inpatient Psych ward…

    Wednesdays we did ECTs which I thought was kind of cool, I got to bag some patients and write the ECT notes. Follow the Attending doing ECTs when he did his hospital rounds on the IM floors. It was weird the next day when I talked to one of my patients who had an ECT done, she actually did have Amnesia… It was a nice rotation for me as I was studying for my usmle Step 1 and needed the time, but I wish my attending would actually take the time to teach how to interview psych patients, we kind of were just thrown into the crazy ward and were like go to talk to whoever…:laugh:”

    Let me reiterate…

    “It was weird the next day when I talked to one of my patients who had an ECT done, she actually did have Amnesia…”

    Now, does he care? at all? that psychiatry’s lies about memory loss have given this poor victim amnesia?

    No. That human being is just reduced to a ‘story’ to tell the people they know about the time they had on their psych rotation.

    Another one…

    “I did my rotation in consult psychiatry. You basically go around the medicine floors to patients that they need a consult on. Usually for depression, schizos, suicide”

    The word ‘schizo’ came up again and again when I read the forums that medical students write messages on.

    And another one…

    “xanthomondo
    09-18-2010, 05:41 PM
    I just tried not to get punched in the face while on psych.

    Seriously, I’ve never heard the phrase “Imma kill you mother f*cker”/other threats thrown at me so many times.”

    The fact that med students don’t seem to get that the reason people are angry is because they are having their human rights abused, is what gets me.

    Another one…

    This time from http://www.fabladyh.com/2010/06/done-with-psychiatry-rotation.html

    “This is a profession where you cannot cure your patients, in order words most (not all) of the patients you have keep coming back for a life time. So what keeps you going?? well I think you should ask a psychiatrist. A profession where a lot of your patients don’t even want to see you. ”

    Another one…

    This time from http://www.caribbeanmedstudent.com/2012/02/some-thoughts-about-psych/

    “In Basic Sciences, I’ve often heard students say that they’re not interested in going into Psychiatry because “it isn’t really medicine.””

    I FULLY AGREE.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would prefer you didn’t go into psychiatry. The less people that go into psychiatry, the safer we are.

    • The entire US medical model is underpinned with a cold, analytical death cult. This is not the case for the average doctor but the ones at the very top like Joseph Biederman. Just look around. Even with all our seeming medical advances autism is skyrocketing, cancer is skyrocketing, and everyone is wacked out on drugs. Just yesterday i was reading that 99% of the world’s hydrocodone in 2004 was purchased in the US. That is nuts. Medicine in the US is a for-profit business first and foremost, underwritten at the highest echelons by a philosophy that people are nothing but cattle and can/should be discarded.

  8. The medical students and doctors I had to deal with here in Britain were nothing like the ones you describe here. The doctor in charge was actually better than me in handling my broken down son. I was impressed. He calmed him down beautifully. There was just one femail consultant psychiatrist, I had to deal with, who was afraid of the big, six-foot tall lads she was treating.

  9. I do not have the slightest doubt that “graduates” of psychiatric treatment know its adverse effects better than 90% of the doctors.

    Every day, I’m appalled by reports from patients that this or that doctor ignored or misinterpreted obvious adverse effects from psychiatric drugs. And not obscure adverse effects, either — adverse effects clearly described in the package insert, in the Physician’s Desk Reference, and online on sites such as Drugs.com Professional http://www.drugs.com/ppa/ (free FDA info about drugs available to anyone).

    (Not to mention the more rare reactions that are documented in the medical literature and still might affect any individual patient.)

    These may be bad doctors, but I don’t believe they’re uncommon. I think they represent the rank-and-file in psychiatry and other specialties. It’s beyond belief that a few bad apples are causing mistreatment in psychiatry clinics, psychiatric wards, and practitioner’s offices all over the world.

    It’s the same errors over and over — overmedication, ignorance of adverse effects of medication, additional medication causing additional adverse effects, escalating diagnoses, deterioration of the patient.

    If the patient is lucky, he or she realizes apparently sincere and caring medical caregivers (sometimes not so caring) are utterly and completely clueless about the medications and embarks upon self-treatment to get off the medications.

    This leads to a discovery that finding a doctor who grasps withdrawal is very, very hard to find. Maybe 1 in 20 psychiatrists and far fewer other doctors even know what the term “gradual tapering” means. It’s far too difficult for anyone to find that 1-in-20 doctor, so patients go to the Web and give each other advice.

    Patients should not have to work around medical caregivers to safely get off psychiatric drugs.

    There’s so much need among patients for doctors to help with tapering, and a near-total wall of denial among doctors that this is a problem. Even Peter Breggin, in the 15 years he’s been publishing about the dangers of psychiatric drugs and withdrawal, throughout the establishment of two Web sites and two organizations, has failed to compile a directory of physicians who grasp gradual tapering.

    I’d better get off-line now, because today this is really getting to me. I’m feeling very discouraged.

  10. ‎10 reasons why psychiatrists need to leave their jobs for another profession. 1 they do not know how to do medicine. 2 medicine will never treat the root cause 3 their pharmaceutical driven knowledge helps no one. 4 they more often than not d not think with their brains but with their wallet 5 their hippo crate oath has no bearing when the majority do more harm than good 6. Their degrees on their walls mean nothing!! 7. They always go to the “placebo affect” 8. They blame their patients because their medicine does not work. 9. Their abuse of power needs to stop and as dr peter breggin says, patient compliance era is over! 10. Most who choose that profession actually have something wrong with their mind!!!

  11. great article.

    for those that feel lost. It is not all in your head. mainstream conventional psychiatry and doctoring will probably never give you the info that you need. I have gone the holistic route since 1986 for my health. I have only found 1 holistic psychiatrist in that time and he is located in Suffern, NY. Ask your doctor to do lab work on you for: neurotransmitters, adrenals and thyroid, heavy metal toxicity, hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, etc. I am also using Young Living essential oils and products since 2001 and they have helped me so much. I also do lots of vitamins, get vitamin and mineral IV therapy. I am going to be starting chelation therapy again because I have very high lead levels and also a history of mercury all of the above can causes symptoms of depression, anxiety, psychosis, etc.

    ‎10 reasons why psychiatrists need to leave their jobs for another profession.

    1 they do not know how to do medicine. 2 medicine will never treat the root cause 3 their pharmaceutical driven knowledge helps no one. 4 they more often than not d not think with their brains but with their wallet 5 their hippo crate oath has no bearing when the majority do more harm than good 6. Their degrees on their walls mean nothing!! 7. They always go to the “placebo affect” 8. They blame their patients because their medicine does not work. 9. Their abuse of power needs to stop and as dr peter breggin says, patient compliance era is over! 10. Most who choose that profession actually have something wrong with their mind!!!

    Here are some great resources:

    http://www.breggin.com
    http://www.theroadback.org
    http://www.alternativementalhealth.com

    http://www.alternativementalhealth.com/directory/search.asp

    Dr. Michael Schachter: http://www.mbschachter.com/articles_&_literature.htm

    ACAM – Holistic Doctors

    http://www.acamnet.org/site/c.ltJWJ4MPIwE/b.6182915/k.5B78/PhysicianLink_Advanced/apps/kb/cs/contactsearch.asp

    Dr. Abram Hoffer – http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=f&oq=dr.+abram+hoffer&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGNI_enUS469US469&q=dr.+abram+hoffer&gs_upl=0l0l0l4418lllllllllll0&aqi=g5

  12. I told my long time psychiatrist over and over how I was reacting to my psych drugs and he said he had never heard of this before. So he kept reinforcing my thinking all my horrid drug reactions were just due to being “mentally ill”.

    It is so hard for me to think an educated doctor could not put together what his patients were saying about drug induced symptoms?? Surely I was not the only one who told him this?

    I have been drug free for 10 years and feel better today than I ever felt with all the poly drugging.

  13. I’m a long term sufferer from major depression, well trained & experienced in psychological health research & have spent nearly 15 years working on the psychiatric ward of a general hospital. I first decided I needed help with my own depression when I was working with people who had been admitted to the ward whose symptoms weren’t as bad as my own! My boss (a psychiatrist who hadn’t spotted my depression) referred me to a lovely, caring psychiatrist who talked with me, helped me plan a happier life & gave me various medications over time until we discovered the right combination of pills & talk. After a 12 year gap where I coped reasonably well, I have been referred to another caring psychiatrist, after experiencing two psychologists who didn’t really seem to gauge the depth of my existential despair. This new helper is engineering my release from dependence on high doses of antidepressants onto a combination of nutrient supplementation, hormone & vitamin balance, regular physical activity, prescribed pleasant activities & prescribed socialising! The odd thing is that she trained on the ward where I used to work and had 5 years training in traditional Freudian & Jungian psychotherapy, but she doesn’t impose any of this philosophy on patients whom she perceives to need something different! I am improving well (but I’m currently having a winter dip in function), getting off high doses of Effexor WITHOUT extra side effects and getting into a frame of mind where I can finish my postgrad work this year. Incidentally, this shrink also believes in getting any physical problems properly fixed or controlled before expecting a lot of improvement in depression. Therefore, she organised for me to have diagnostic work on my painful joints and prescribed simple, non-sedative paracetamol, glucosamine & omega-3 fish oils herself. She also discovered I had a thyroid deficiency & Vitamin D deficiency & made sure my GP prescribed with those in mind & ordered repeat lab tests. She told me that her philosophy is to eliminate any possibility of underlying pain, even that which might not be noticed during sleep, before deciding that depression needs its own medication. I think this is very refreshing, although it doesn’t seem to be a common approach here in Australia.