Why We Still Need Psychiatrists!


“It is really quite incredible to me that some . . . are willing to denigrate the 8 years of training that it takes to become sophisticated about pathophysiology of the whole body, understand the intricate play of medical and mental problems and really master complex diagnosis, pharmacotherapy, and psychotherapy, as I feel I did in my training”.  – A psychiatrist colleague, personal e-mail communication, 4/2/12

This blog, and many to follow, will try to analyze why we are in this “incredible” state of affairs and what to do about it.

 The Siege on Psychiatrists

In many ways, this situation has been building over many years. We can start with the middle of the last century, when psychologists and social workers started to provide more and more of the psychotherapy that psychiatrists like Freud had developed. And, wouldn’t you know it, and just as Freud had predicted, not only have their results have been pretty good, but they helped develop more evidence-based psychotherapies like Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. So, it turned out we don’t really need psychiatrists to purely do psychotherapy, do we?

Then, around 1990, the promising new wave of psychopharmacology provided a new direction for psychiatrists. In fact, with Prozac for clinical depression, it all seemed so easy and safe that primary care physicians soon became the major prescribers of psychiatric medications. Just pop a pill like you might a daily vitamin. Patients seemed to like that, too, as it seemed less stigmatizing to go to your general doctor instead of a “shrink”.

More recently, the book by Robert Whitaker, Anatomy of an Epidemic, strongly suggested that we may have been led down a path mined with unexpected risks for long-term use of most of these new medications. Convincing evidence, which seemed to fit my own personal experience, was presented about how some of our “thought leaders” in psychiatry may have been swayed by pay from the pharmaceutical companies.

To top this all off, a colleague just advertised two jobs for a psychiatrist and/or nurse practitioner, as if there wasn’t any difference between the two professions. Similarly, not a week goes by that I don’t have a patient ask what the difference is between a psychiatrist and a psychologist. Hint (if you don’t know the answer): psychologists can not yet generally prescribe medication. Adding to this confusion, although anyone with a Ph.D in any field can call themselves a “doctor”, only psychiatrists are medical doctors specializing in mental disorders. Besides confusing psychiatrists with psychologists, “psychiatry” is often confused with all mental healthcare. Technically speaking, “psychiatry” should just refer to what psychiatrists do.

Outside of our profession, scientologists have led an anti-psychiatry movement for decades. More gently and helpfully, many of our patients have formed a consumer movement to achieve more of a voice and remind us that recovery is more than just taking a medication.

We psychiatrists also do not get paid nowadays nearly as much as one may imagine. How about $25 from Medicare or Medicaid to do a medication review for the most seriously symptomatic, a reimbursement which doesn’t compare well to what many plumbers make.

Psychiatric Advances and Retreats

Fortunately, our current state of affairs hasn’t always been the case, otherwise the profession would not have developed and continued to serve a societal need in the first place. A highly selective view of some of psychiatry’s glory days, followed by retrenchments, would include the following.

Back in the 1800s, in the early days of state psychiatric hospitals, inmates with mental illness were able to leave jails and prisons to receive “moral treatment” in attractive new facilities. Imagine how proud these early psychiatrists must have been to be able to increase the dignity and safety of these patients. Unfortunately, over time, these state hospitals started to become overpopulated and in need of repair.

Then, the theories of Sigmund Freud seemed to promise a new way to treat mental illness. Just think of what made this so exciting in the early 1900s. The pride and promise to disclose unknown and unconscious conflicts! Unfortunately, though as Freud himself anticipated, the psychotherapies derived from his theories have major limitations, especially for the most seriously mentally ill.

There is more. The promise of mental healthcare for all with the federally-funded community mental health centers, supplanted by cost-cutting for-profit managed care systems. Therapeutic communities and housing led by such psychiatrists as Loren Mosher, only to give way to scores of homeless mentally ill. But you get the picture by now. One wave of promise supplanted by another, and not one way necessarily complementing and being integrated with the other. Two steps forward, then one step back.

 Stepping Into an Integrated Future

Fortunately, all of these prior treatments and settings are alive and partially well in one way or another. And therein lies the hope for the future: integrating the best of the past in new ways. If we accept constructive criticism, we should be poised to take another two steps forward. One of these emerging new paths leads to clinics that integrate psychiatrists on-site with primary care physicians. It is here, given enough time, where there is the best potential to make accurate diagnoses and more carefully prescribe psychiatric medication when it is needed.

Who has the best potential to lead this advance? By now, you should know the answer. It is still only psychiatrists that have the most comprehensive education and training in all aspects of mental health and mental illness. In the loving spirit of Shakespeare, let us count some of the many ways they can add unique value to those in need.

-Psychiatrists, alone among all the mental healthcare professionals, still take some version of the Hippocratic Oath, dedicating ourselves to the patient first and foremost.

-Psychiatrists, alone among mental healthcare professionals, have worn the white coat of medicine, which forever will infuse our professional identity.

-Psychiatrists, alone and unlike any other mental healthcare discipline, have had direct responsibility for life and death decisions in medical school and internship.

-Psychiatrists by far have the longest and most comprehensive education, with at least 8 years of graduate school.

-Psychiatrists have studied the brain extensively, and know why it is by the hardest organ to study in the body, let alone how the brain may differ from our “mind” and “spirit”.

-Psychiatrists know that deficits in the frontal lobes of the brain can cause a condition called Anosognosia, which leaves many prospective patients unable to even realize and accept that they have a mental problem in the first place.

-Psychiatrists, by our medical school training, are best equipped to make sure that an underactive thyroid gland or brain tumor is not causing one’s anxiety, depression, or psychosis.

-Psychiatrists know best that people with psychiatric illness have much poorer overall health than the general population, and why.

-Psychiatrists are leading the way in understanding that disorders like PTSD and Major Depression may turn out to be not just brain diseases, but whole body illnesses.

-Psychiatrists best understand the medical language of other physicians.

Sure, we have “bad apples” among us, just like any other profession. And we, too, are subject to social forces that limit what we can do. Nevertheless, one might heed the advice of another hard-hitting and truth-finding investigative journalist, Mike Wallace, who just recently died. He had a serious suicide attempt and suffered periodic depressions. When asked once what advice he would give others suffering from depression, he simply recommended to find a “good psychiatrist”. Note that he did not say, find any psychiatrist. How to find that good psychiatrist will be the subject of future blogs. If you have any recommendations on how to do so, let us know.


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


  1. It’s great that psychiatrists swear to put patients first, understand general medicine, and have gone through a lot of training. My question, is do psychiatrists or psychiatrist led teams get better outcomes with their patients than other mental health professionals? The answer is no. It is not because psychiatry ceded professional territory that they are getting paid less and denigrated, is that people with less training and less societal prestige can help people just the same. Why have 8 years of graduate training then? Why not have an NP do similar work as a psychiatrist? I mean, it would be great if these lack of differences between MH professionals would mean that everyone gets paid as well as psychiatrists, but there limited resources, having fewer loans to pay make people with fewer years of training feel more able to work for less, and having more people on staff for the same amount of money allows more people to access care.

    Psychiatrists are unique among mental health professionals for many of the reasons you cite, but this uniqueness has not really shown to be materially helpful or worthwhile. Your colleague can have a lot of pride in all that was learned in training, but it doesn’t make your colleague a better clinician than folks with less training, just one that seems more proud, arrogant, demanding of more resources than is justified. Write another post when you can make a better case for the role of psychiatrists in mental health care not based on the resources expended on psychiatrists (extensive training, prestige, etc.) but on the wellness of people cared for by them.

    • 8 years of studying quackery textbooks and passing exams.

      Decades of practice.

      Never once proven the biology diseased of someone labeled mentally ill.

      This article was pathetic. I have never seen an article which showed MadinAmerica.com in such a poor light.

      Deeply bad judgement letting this quack publish here. There are endless forums for him to spew his quackery elsewhere.

      The last thing we want is for this site to go downhill.

      Word of advice to the thinking people out there. If some QUACK comes to you and says you or your family member has ‘anosognoisa’ due to something wrong with your ‘frontal lobes’ and he doesn’t perform a single biological test, you can see, that like the author of this article, he is a quack.

        • WIRED

          Inside the Battle to Define Mental Illness

          By Gary Greenberg

          Wired January 2011

          · Every so often Al Frances says something that seems to surprise even him. Just now, for instance, in the predawn darkness of his comfortable, rambling home in Carmel, California, he has broken off his exercise routine to declare that “there is no definition of a mental disorder. It’s bullshit. I mean, you just can’t define it.” Then an odd, reflective look crosses his face, as if he’s taking in the strangeness of this scene: Allen Frances, lead editor of the fourth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’sDiagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (universally known as the DSM-IV), the guy who wrote the book on mental illness, confessing that “these concepts are virtually impossible to define precisely with bright lines at the boundaries.” For the first time in two days, the conversation comes to an awkward halt.

          But he recovers quickly, and back in the living room he finishes explaining why he came out of a seemingly contented retirement to launch a bitter and protracted battle with the people, some of them friends, who are creating the next edition of the DSM. And to criticize them not just once, and not in professional mumbo jumbo that would keep the fight inside the professional family, but repeatedly and in plain English, in newspapers and magazines and blogs. And to accuse his colleagues not just of bad science but of bad faith, hubris, and blindness, of making diseases out of everyday suffering and, as a result, padding the bottom lines of drug companies. These aren’t new accusations to level at psychiatry, but Frances used to be their target, not their source. He’s hurling grenades into the bunker where he spent his entire career.


          • Dr. Allen Frances,Psychiatrist, editor of DSM IV, who claims he doesn’t care about the royalties (which amount, he says, to just 10 grand a year), also claims not to mind if the APA cites his faults. He just wishes they’d go after the right ones—the serious errors in the DSM-IV. “We made mistakes that had terrible consequences,” he says. Diagnoses of autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and bipolar disorder skyrocketed, and Frances thinks his manual inadvertently facilitated these epidemics—and, in the bargain, fostered an increasing tendency to chalk up life’s difficulties to mental illness and then treat them with psychiatric drugs.


      • I wholeheartedly agree. This guy’s imposture is starting to grate. He is like a more insincere E Fuller Torrey. His views are just plain offensive, and unsurprisingly reflects what he does, which is stigmatise and forcibly drug people, which he rationalises in his own head as therapeutism. His Tartuffery is simply sublime. He is a dangerous quack, far more dangerous I imagine than any of his patients.

  2. Thanks for the comments and I’m sure there are many others that would agree with you. However, the unfortunate fact is that we don’t have any comparative studies of the outcomes of psychiatrist led teams with others. What we do know is that when psychiatrists provide combined psychotherapy and medication, instead of a patient seeing both a therapist and a psychiatrist, that it is more cost-effective (saves money and is more therapeutic). We do know that in for-proft managed care healthcare systems led by business people, patients get much less care.

    I’m with you for having others providing the same services that psychiatrists can for cheaper and less training. That is how I led, and why I was early to advocate for paraprofessionals and peer specialists. But there are some things that psychiatrists should be able to do better, just like one might only go to dermatologists or surgeons. No excuse if that care is not provided humbly, compassionately, and respectfully.

    • Why is “Mad in America” giving this APA establishment, DSM5 promoting, and industry apologist Dr. a platform here? –

      Isn’t it enough they own the journals & fill the news with corporate sponsored propaganda, lies, and deceit.

      I do have a question for apologist Steve Moffic; when was the last time you actually preformed a full physical medical examination of a patient…

      I have worked and observed psychiatrist in institutional and clinical settings for years, and I have never once seen this happen…Dr. of what?

    • I was willing to cut you some slack until you mentioned “giving medicines” and that blew it for you. All of the toxic drugs used in psychiatry do nothing but tranquilize and numb people. They have horrible and terrible side effects and cure nothing at all. Sorry, no psychiatrists for me, thank you!

  3. As a psychiatrist, I absolutely hope there’s still a “need” for people like me. But this will require a true paradigm shift. As Nathan correctly points out (and as I see almost daily in my own practice), people with much less training than I, can do my job just as well.

    But that’s because of the job I’m being asked to do. Most psychiatrists are being hired to slap diagnoses on people and give out meds. It doesn’t take 8 years of training to read the DSM and some online industry-funded CME. Moreover, a Steve Stahl seminar will tell you all the psychopharmacology you need to know to sound like an expert– not only to your patients but to your peers. It’s no wonder that your colleague is looking for a psychiatrist “and/or” a nurse practitioner. And as you say, psychologists can not “yet” prescribe medication. When they do, we can kiss our jobs good-bye.

    But the quote from your colleague’s email does provide a glimmer of hope for us. In reality, mental health and illness are far more intricate than what the DSM reveals, and psychotropic medications are just one part (a small part, in my opinion) of a person’s treatment. It’s important for us to start looking at psychiatric “illnesses” as consequences of complex interactions between mind and body, and treatment should involve nutrition, behavior, social environment, beliefs, and full attention to the patient’s physical well-being above and beyond appetite, sleep, and the avoidance of metabolic and extrapyramidal side effects. THAT, to me, would demand 8 years of training… and make us fully worthy of wearing that white coat.

    • Dear Dr. Balt:

      I give you a great deal of credit for your honesty. Hopefully, psychiatrists like you can help turn the crisis of care around for those with emotional or trauma injuries by telling the truth, forsaking the Faustian bargains with BIG PHARMA/BUSINESS and putting the patients first while paying attention to the huge harm done with bogus junk science life destroying stigmas from the DSM political billing bible to push lethal drugs that do far more harm than good.

    • Dr. Moffic, I think Dr. Balt hits on the point precisely, “But that’s because of the job I’m being asked to do.” I think your both saying that this paradigm shift is necessary if psychiatry is going to remain relevant and helpful in the care of persons struggling with problems of life. There are absolutely areas where the 8 years of training can be brought to bear if you’re giving leave to do it and medical schools teach it. We have to look at our healthcare re-imbursement system. Will the Medicaid/Medicare system pay for psychiatrist to do things other than prescribe psychiatric meds? Remember, the things the psychiatrist will do, must not be things that can be done by another professional far more cheaply with the same outcome. I feel kind of bad for the box in which psychiatry finds itself. Yes, it created this box back in the mid/late 70’s and yes it’s kind of “entrenched thinking” right now, but I’d like to believe with a paradigm change, a new role/function for psychiatrists is possible. I look forward to your future blogs!

      • I don’t think Dr. Moffic and Dr. Balt are on the same page in that Dr. Moffic is fighting for more of the same pseudoscientific mainstream biological psychiatry in keeping with the junk science DSM to continue pushing useless but deadly psychiatric drugs. (See citations below).

        Dr. Balt like a growing number within and outside of psychiatry understands that an entire paradigm shift is needed if psychiatry it to uphold its Hippocratic oath and offer real prevention and healing of emotional or trauma injuries and/or physical illnesses, poor nutrition, allergies and other real medical problems sought that might cause symptoms misdiagnosed as mental illness.

        This is why many are avoiding mainstream medicine in general for more holistic alternative approaches that focus on wellness and healthy life styles to prevent illness rather than mere toxic pill pushing to maintain toxic life styles and only mask symptoms without getting to the root of the real problems bound to get only worse due to the lethal effects of the drugs or other mainstream interventions mostly based on profit motives.

        What biological psychiatrist does actual medical testing to rule out real medical problems before “slapping on a diagnosis” within minutes and handing out a prescription? Very few if any.

        Same question applies to environMENTAL causes of stress symptoms due to common life crises, abuse, combat, etc. And the same answer applies as well.

        The biological model of psychiatry has served BIG PHARMA and bought out politicians, psychiatry and as a means of social control for the power elite quite well, but it has been a miserable failure for its so called patients destrorying countless lives.

        Again, I believe that Dr. Balt “gets it” and can become a major force in the reform movement of psychiatry if he can move beyond his present discouragement.

  4. Do we all suffer from Anosognosia? I don’t think so. Would psychiatrists dare to suggest (in America) that all those who claim to believe in God are suffering from delusions? What about the so-called dangers of “interconnectivity”? No, in my humble opinion, it’s just that those who are in positions of power where they seek to control the behaviour, thoughts and feelings of those without power, like to curtail brain activity , out of fear that once they have had the scales removed from their eyes and smelled the coffee, the lunatics might just take over the asylum.

  5. As someone who sees a psychiatrist and a social worker therapist, I have to tell you that most of the benefit of treatment is due to therapy sessions. My meds made me gain significant weight and also inflated my cholesterol and my blood sugar. I always ask about being switched, or weaned of medication. The docs I’ve seen don’t seem to ‘care’ about this at all. If they are really looking at this from a holistic perspective (based on the years of training), then why are there so many complaints in popular culture about psychiatric treatment? Why are so many folks on medications? Why do docs prescribe them — with terrible side effects? Why are clients lucky enough to have monthly visits– instead of a typical 3 month follow up? These are the answers that lay people want answered.

    • Donna are you a Scientologist by any chance?
      I honestly have alot of issues with the psychiatric profession especially from what i BELIEVE to be honest rational criticisms not swayed because of beliefs, the misdiagnosis of ADHD, bipolar disorder in children & over-medicating. But to suggest that the psychiatric industry is akin to a charlatan makes me question the motives and rationality of the person attacking the industry.

      • Robert Whitaker points out the convenient ploy of accusing any mainstream psychiatry critics of being scientologists. No, I am not a scientologist. Why haven’t you asked any other posters their religion? Or Dr. Moffit?

        Reason: Because you are using this as a below the belt tactic as does Dr. Moffet to discredit me and others instead of legitimately dealing with very real problems in biological psychiatry, many of which I have cited here from very excellent sources with far more credibility than mainstream psychiatry. The other tiresome claims that only conspiracy theorists, mentally ill or die hard antipsychiatrics could attack psychiatry are very old. Could you at least be original???

        Scientology did create a separate department to expose the fraud and harm done by psychiatry and I must say that they have done an excellent job and only cite the most credible sources. They have consulted with many experts who psychiatry in bed with BIG PHARMA try to tarnish to hide and discredit the truth they expose about the fraud of biological psychiatry, its bogus stigmas voted into the junk science DSM without a shred of medical or other evidence or any tests to prove anyone has them to push lethal drugs in bed with BIG PHARMA which bought out the APA long ago as is well known.

        There isn’t much point in responding further to what amounts to a rhetorical question and personal attack?

        Are you connected to psychiatry, BIG PHARMA or related areasthat could be seen as a conflict of interest?

      • When simply pointing out the truth and being able to back it up becomes attacking an industry, this only shows what kind of fear of the truth is going on. Psychiatric drugs (all of them) have been proven to cause chemical imbalances. The drug companies know this. Yet, they claim that they are treating chemical imbalances, although they can’t prove these chemical imbalances exist, WHILE they hide all the data that proves they are causing chemical imbalances. AND, despite this highly corrupt FDA which is littered with people with drug company ties, and despite the APA, which before a meeting has to explain that the normal protocol for conflicts of interest is ignored because just about everyone on the APA has drug company connections,…DESPITE all of this, DESPITE all of their clout, and all of the money they have, they STILL have had to pay BILLIONS of dollars because of the false advertising, and because they were withholding information from the public about side effects and they have caused severe illness and/or death because of their lies! This isn’t some MERE suggestion!

  6. Thanks for adding some needed psychiatrist perspective to this site. The way I understand part of your blog is to describe psychiatry and mental health care as having gone through many paradigms, and for now nobody (either inside or outside psychiatry) has yet found a convincing protocol or method to reliably and significantly improve (or even understand) mental illness for a majority of patients (and their number is not decreasing). Assuming I interpret you correctly, I am tempted to ask whether most psychiatrists are sharing that view, and whether the mainstream discourse about mental health should not be more humble. The reason so many people are feeling suspicious, and sometimes almost paranoid about psychiatry is that it advertises good prognosis in many places (not just pharma is doing that), while both clinical trials and practices are showing very limited outcomes. Plumbers do not get paid at all if they don’t fix the problem they promised to fix. Anyway thanks for daring to come discuss in a place where psychiatry is occasionally demonized.

    • This is completely not true that neither side (inside or outside) of psychiatry have a convincing protocol. In fact there AREN’T two sides. To begin with, when there isn’t money for psychiatric medications in “poor” or “developing” countries there are more recovery rates, less disability and less relapses. A person diagnosed with schizophrenia, when not medicated, usually recovers after 20 years or so. In other words when psychiatric treatment isn’t really involved, although they label something as a disease, people are more likely to get better. This is DEFINITELY outside of psychiatry, whether it’s involved with “mental health,” picking your nose or drawing doodles, no matter how much psychiatry says they should have the means to treat what has been prove to get better without them treating it. Further more, the numbers only have increased when psychiatric treatment was instigated. When you “medicate” people saying they have a chemical imbalance, but the only true scientific data of chemical imbalances are caused by the the treatment; you are CREATING disease not healing it. If you want the numbers to decrease and you want more recovery, less relapses and less disability and to wipe out chemical imbalances, then all you have to do is STOP psychiatry from treating people. Psychiatric treatment also correlates with more violence (see the side effects for antidepressants). http://www.ssristories.com/ This ridiculous comparison with inside or outside of psychiatry is something akin to saying that there’s no convincing protocol inside or outside of selling snake oil, except snake oil wouldn’t necessarily correlate with making things worse. And there’s nothing to understand about an organic illness when it’s not an organic illness. In fact, ANYBODY that doesn’t see it as an organic illness and that knows that the treatment causes organic illness, knows more about what’s going on than someone who puts this in the “organic illness” box, no matter if you went to school 8 years, 2 seconds, or you wait till infinity keels over. To compare results in this manner only proves you have no ability to see what’s going on.

    • Nope. The reason i, and a lot of others are paranoid about psychiatry, is because all the damage it has done and continues to do. I can rattle off all my friends and acquaintances that psychiatry has harmed if not destroyed but i will spare you. The evidence is so lopsided that psychiatry has been witting or unwitting accomplices in massive fraud it really isn’t a fair debate. It is just whether the medical establishment is willing to admit this. I try to remind myself that psychiatrist are humans but it is hard for me to swallow 11% of the American population over the age of 12 on anti-depressants. It is hard for me to swallow doctors giving brain shrinking drugs to kids. I don’t mean to single out psychiatrists because regular doctors do this too. It really isn’t fun pointing out the obvious and is kind of awkward seeing psychiatrist defend this paradigm of death.

  7. Thank you so much, Mr. Holmes, for essentially welcoming me, I trust. You interpreted my points correctly. No, I don’t think most psychiatrists necessarily share my view, which is one reason why I try to put mine out for consideration by all concerned. I also do this in writings and presentations in other places. I certainly have reservations about our medications. If people can do well without any mental healthcare, I’m all for it. Often, trying some psychotherapy before medications is best to do. If religious, clergy can be of great comfort. Maybe plumbers was a bad comparison. If only the brain was as simple as toilets! No, take that back; our brains are amazingly complex and interesting, though there is always room for improvement.

    • And how might you and your fellow shrinks “improve” brains with your toxic pharmaceuticals that eat the frontal lobes off, cause WORSE long term outcomes and a host of other horrible REAL diseases? With brain-damaging shock? Lack of sunlight and fresh air? Restraints and seclusion? Human rights violations?

      You’re a fraud, and I don’t why why Robert Whitaker is allowing you a space on his website. Your arguments are appalling. Apparently, you’ve never read _Mad in America_.

    • Dr Moffic, did you even read the book Mad in America by Robert Whitaker?
      It is a history of psychiatry similar to your summary, only with all the gory details, and doesn’t dress up the cruel and dehumanizing treatments that continue to be used, only modernized.

      Please read it. Maybe you will get some CEU’s for it.

      I realize that you and Dr Sandy, the other drug pusher on this site, want to live a grand lifestyle and pay off your student loans from all those years in medical school.

      How difficult would it be for you to take a deeper look into what you do for a living and think about it from the “patients” point of view?

      You would have to humble yourself and admit fault, but think what a difference you could make in the lives of the people who want your help.

  8. I think we need psychiatrists but they have to change totally their approach to patients and start treating them as human beings. They need to learn how to listen and stop treating people like idiots. They need to learn how to monitor the side-effects of the meds they prescribe and how the medications they prescribe work and why patients develop those side effects.They are doctors: they should know. Sadly they don’t know. They should also know that psychosis can be caused by infection or simple sleep deprivation not just mental illness. They should also learn something about emotional distress etc and they should stop instantly labelling their patients and learn how to get patients safely off the medication they prescribe. I think the training psychiatrists get is totally inadequate. I knew more about the meds they prescribe than the psychiatrists themselves.They believe blindly what the pharmaceutical industry tells them. My son died nearly three times because psychiatrists failed to recognise NMS my son developed on olanzapine. When he complained, nobody checked on him. I could go on and on. Psychiatrists should also stop lying to protect their own and their colleagues backs and so on and so forth

  9. Correction to Dr. Moffit’s article:

    The Quakers were responsible for creating and overseeing moral treatment for those suffering emotional or life crisis injuries and not psychiatry.

    Dr. Loren Mosher, famous reform psyciatrist, created the highly successful Soteria project similar to the gentle, nondrugging treatment of the Quakerss. Sadly, Dr. Mosher and his Soteria project were sidelined and shut down because psychiatry had already sold out to BIG PHARMA and hijacked all the reseach funds and government agencies to the bogus biomedial model of psychiatry that ultimately harmed so many people in the name of “mental health” as it continues to do today with much help from drug company front groups like NAMI and CHADD.

    Here is Dr. Loren Mosher’s regignation letter in disgust from the APA based on its selling out to the biomedical model and BIG PHARMA:


  10. Nice try! Ever heard of Open Dialogue? Soteria? Diabasis?… And, yes, there were a few psychiatrists involved in all of these. They just didn’t practise psychiatry. Psychotherapy or simply “being with” isn’t psychiatry. And “moral treatment” was an entirely non-psychiatric approach. Psychiatrists weren’t allowed at the Quakers’ establishments. For very good reasons.

    Not only are you strutting in borrowed plumes, you’re post here is so filled with glaringly obvious untruths, it has me wonder if you really believe one word of it yourself.

  11. This is about the lamest defense of psychiatry I’ve ever heard. It fails to address psychiatry’s continued use of discredited theories of “biochemcial imbalance”, the imprecise and subjective (and often absurd) nature of the social constructions that pass for diagnoses, the ongoing denial of the effectiveness of a wide range of non-medical interventions, and the cynical and corrupt decision of the profession to sell out its integrity to the pharmaceutical industry in the face of the competition he mentions from non-medical practitioners. He alludes to Loren Mosher’s successful Soteria experiment, but fails to mention that Mosher’s funding was cut off due to political discomfort with his challenge to the status quo, and Mosher’s eventual resignation in disgust from the “American Pharmaceutical Association.”

    No, psychiatrists are not best positioned to lead any change, not until they get their house in order, acknowledge the corruption that has led them far away from their vaunted Hippocratic Oath, and take a big swallow of humility by starting to admit that they don’t even know what a mental illness is or whether it’s physically caused or not and starting over from ground zero on a totally new paradigm of care.

    Let’s just say I’m not holding my breath for that outcome…

    —- Steve

  12. I have to agree with others. I have NEVER heard a weaker excuse or defense of psychiatry than ever before. If you think that we are not able to make informed decisions when we are supposedly unwell than advocate for legally enforcable advance directives. Or are you saying that even things I sign with YOU as a witness when YOU declare that I am perfectly sane are not me knowing anything at all. How can someone be deemed SANE enough to refuse a blood transfusion that will kill them if they do not have it and yet if I say I don’t want you to put electricity through my brain I am INSANE and have no idea of what I am talking about. The last I heard there are very SOUND medical resons for giving someone a blood transfusion. I am yet to understand how one needs to put electricity through someone’s brain to keep them alive?? If you are medical doctors you would well know that ECT is not and never will be CPR. ECT does not keep someone alive. If the only way you know how to keep someone alive is to put electricity through there brain cells then one wonders how on earth you ever made it through 8 years of medical school.

    I am yet to come across ANY psychiatrist that knows what the hypocratic oath is. In case you forgot it says FIRST DO NO HARM. Exactly how is it that your treatments do not harm. And of course where is the evidence that they are better than doing nothing. If you had read Anatomony of an Epidemic you would know as well as anyone that there is NO evidence for ANYTHING that psychiatry currently practises. For the first 15 years of antipsychotics you said they had NO antipsychotic properties. How did they suddenly develop them?? And if they are so effective then why are so many people getting sicker. And this is everywhere. I’m in Victoria, Australia and we have the highest rates of forced community treatment as well as inpatient treatment per head of population anywhere in the world. Simple really. A nurse turns up on the person’s front door step and without even closing the front door pulls down a person’s underwear and shoves a needle in there arse. If they are not home at the set time a warrant is immediately issued for there arrest. Yet we know that over 98% of them are acutely psychotic. HOW. How can these people not be taking there medication it is being shoved into there arse via a injection. They are also required to have independent blood tests every week to ensure that a high enough rate of the medication is still in there body and that they have not conned the nurse into not giving it to them. How much more can one do to ensure they take there medications. And if these medications are so bloody wonderful then WHY are they all still so unwell. And how can these people not be taking the medication??? Psychiatrists are required to a do a minimum of a hour long assessment every 3 months and are paid for that. If you are such wonderful people and have a hypocratic oath then why do so many people get forced to recieve treatment that provides NO benefits at all and huge amonts of life threatening side effects.

    The fact that one can defend psychiatry by saying you take a hpyocratic oath is the most shameful thing that has ever been said. Perhaps you should read Mad in America. How on earth did ANY of those psychiatrists take the hypocratic oath?? What part of treating people like human beings do not understand.

    • It is interesting that someone in their comments posted a quote from one of this guy’s writings or talks, whatever, in which he mentions peer workers as being in support of psychiatry. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read that. I am a peer worker and will tell you right up front, there is no way I’ll ever lead a peaceful revolution to save psychiatry! Believe me, no peer worker I’ve ever met or talked with supports psychiatry. If anything, I will be at the forefront of any revolution to put psychiatrists in their proper place, and it isn’t where their butts are sitting right now. Until they stop trying to be the drivers of their patients’ cars I have absolutely no use for them. I got better care and treatment from my friends and fellow residents on the unit I was locked in for two and a half months than I ever got from any psychiatrist. I did have an intern psychiatrist who was wonderful because of his broad education and true understanding of what it is to be human. He ministers to people from the foundation of his own humanity. He is the only one of his kind I’ve ever dealt with and he goes far beyond being a psychiatrist. But, he is the exception to this group of quacks.

      • I misread his statement. He talked about the “consumer movement” being in support of a peaceful revolution and not peer workers. Sorry. However, I don’t think the consumer movement is going to do anything to help psychiatry either. Off with its head and good riddance to trash.

  13. Actually, IMO, this post isn’t really worth the amount of attention it gets here. If there’s anything “positive” to say about it, it’s that it is a very beautiful, indeed almost unequalled, illustration of how psychiatry has deceived and conned the public with its lies, as described and documented in AoaE. And, really people, what did you expect? This is a matter of life and death for an entire profession, and what more is, it’s a matter of life and death for the individual psychiatrist’s ego. Imagine if somebody came along, notonly telling you, but indeed showing you proof that you’ve wasted your entire life, that you’ve been living a lie. Oh my! Not everybody has the strength and courage it takes to admit a mistake of such dimensions to themselves. And I’ve never met more scared and insecure people anywhere else than among mental health professionals. Of course they will go to extremes, and toss out all reason, not to mention ethical considerations — well, if one can say that there’s ever been such things as “reason” and “etical considerations” involved in psychiatry… –, like Steve Moffic does it above, in a desperate attempt to save their skin as they face their possible end as a profession, and, which is worse, the loss of meaning with their individual life.

    • “Imagine if somebody came along, notonly telling you, but indeed showing you proof that you’ve wasted your entire life, that you’ve been living a lie.”

      Considering the money that they make and the fact they they face no criminal charges for the harm that they do, I really cant see how this is a problem for them. And among’st all the outrageous things this guy said is that they don’t make much money, that plumbers can make more money than them or they can have a hard time making more than plumbers. Total bull. Just a quick google search will reveal that the average salary of a psychiatrist in the U.S. is around 200k a year, and even when you remove places like New York City where they do make a lot more, they still make 170k. That’s ridiculous. That’s more than most fortune 500 CEO’s. They could for 5 years, pay off their student loans and still retire with more money than the common peasant worker. I’ve tracked down psychiatrists in the past just to see how and where they lived. Mansions. One of them had a 12,000 SQ mansion on 40 acres of gated land with an Audi r10 in the driveway. They seriously need to be facing criminal charges, especially in the cases of unnecessary drug harm caused in children. They are never going to suffer any real punishment otherwise, even if they do lose their profession in the near future.

      • “Considering the money that they make and the fact they they face no criminal charges for the harm that they do, I really cant see how this is a problem for them.”

        I can see one problem with it: to be able to ignore the harm they do, the suffering they cause, they have to stop being human. They have to deaden themselves emotionally. That doesn’t come without a cost. There’s a good reason why the psychiatric profession is the one with the highest rates of “depression”, burn-out, suicide.

    • Oh, I think physicians are doing one heck of a job evidencing their fears and insecurities by posing as qualified psychiatrists. How many physicians are prescribing psychotropic medications faster than they blink at complex medical problems. Far too many, and they’re not doing pre-lab testing to ensure that medications will not exacerbate or cause additional physiological problems.

      After reading the comments, and considering experiences with physicians who must spend more time reading the DSM than patient history< and given my own experience and that of many others, i'd say that physicians, under the scam and sham of "integrative health care," lead the pack in doing harm as pseudo-psychiatrists, because what they're using pharmaceuticals and psychiatric diagnoses to avoid the word of medical diagnosis.

      It is a shame that psychiatrists do not take the risk to raise the needed uproar to retrieve what should be the logical practice of evaluating body and mind and proceeding accordingly and humanistically.

  14. Dr. Mofic,

    I couldn’t understand all the anger until I reread your post. Now I see why people are so upset. To address your specific points

    “”One of these emerging new paths leads to clinics that integrate psychiatrists on-site with primary care physicians. It is here, given enough time, where there is the best potential to make accurate diagnoses and more carefully prescribe psychiatric medication when it is needed.””

    As one who recently dealt with a regular physician who wanted to unfairly blame all my problems with medical treatment on psych issues, I find this concept very frightening. Going to the doctor will now be like a job interview as you have to put your game face on to avoid being pegged as a psych patient.

    “”Psychiatrists, alone among all the mental healthcare professionals, still take some version of the Hippocratic Oath, dedicating ourselves to the patient first and foremost.””

    If that were truly the case, why do so many psychiatrists keep patients on meds when the cure is worse than the disease and they might do better with a trial off of meds?
    Why are so many psychiatrists sentencing patients to life on meds when it isn’t warranted?

    I am asking these questions because if I hadn’t made the move to get off of my psych med cocktail due to horrific side effect, i would still be on them and probably in worse shape.

    “”Psychiatrists have studied the brain extensively, and know why it is by the hardest organ to study in the body, let alone how the brain may differ from our “mind” and “spirit”.””

    I am not sure what you mean by this comment. If you are referring to alleged chemical imbalances, please provide links to studies not financed by drug companies or psychiatrists connected with drug companies.

    And if psychiatrist have studied the brain extensively, why are there none to be found when patients want to safely get off of psych meds? Why have so many patients gone to internet boards, http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/index for assistance?

    I mean, if you know the brain so well, why don’t you understand withdrawal issues?

    “”Psychiatrists know that deficits in the frontal lobes of the brain can cause a condition called Anosognosia, which leaves many prospective patients unable to even realize and accept that they have a mental problem in the first place.””

    Ok, I am going to try to be civil but I have a big time problem with this statement. If you are willing to open up your mind, you might want to go to http://www.madnessradio.net/ and listen to the stories of psych survivors who were definitely aware that something was wrong. But after getting brutalized in psych hospitals that worsened the situation, they wanted nothing to do with your treatment.

    I also object greatly to saying that someone has a mental problem. That is extremely stigmatizing.

    “”Psychiatrists know best that people with psychiatric illness have much poorer overall health than the general population, and why.””

    You think drug side effects from psych meds might have something to do with this such as diabetes?

    “”-Psychiatrists are leading the way in understanding that disorders like PTSD and Major Depression may turn out to be not just brain diseases, but whole body illnesses.””

    Where is the proof that this is a whole body illness? Once again, psychiatry is fishing for a red herring.

    Also, since when are normal reactions to abnormal situations like war considered a mental illness?

    I do appaud you for posting on this board. But you don’t seem to get it.

    • I have much of the same questions. Here i go now with what i have been through from not one psych doc, but several. One point only is the drug i took at the time i had a problem with and I asked several times if this drug will cause me to get diabetes, since it is in my family should i be on it? I was told and this is the truth, no it will not. Can anyone then explain why i have diabetes now after taking this drug for almost two years on a higher dose than normal. The side effect and warning was to be aware it can raise sugars in patients. This was ignored and then told to me it would not affect me, even though my mother and two brothers have diabetes. I was the only one who had not gotten it before the drug was given. Dr. please explain why when i made a good decision to go off due to my history in the family i was blatantly told it would not and now i have it and will always have to make sure what goes in me to not get a diabetic reaction. There is no answer for it and i do not expect anyone to sit here and tell me that they did what they felt was sound. Not to me they did not, they ignored my sound questions or told me nah it won’t happen. End of my story.

  15. Just to try to catch up on all the recent comments, I did not write the blog to defend psychiatry and psychiatrists. It was to try to improve what we can do, if that is possible. We indeed may need a paradigm shift, as some have suggested. For that, I appreciate all the comments on what we are doing wrong or where we are wrong about what we are thinking.

    Sometimes it is clear we do well. That is why I gave the Mike Wallace example. For whatever information he shared publicly, whoever was his psychiatrist saved his life, a life that he dedicated to finding the truth and exposing fraud to millions on the 60 minutes TV show.

    I’m all for other ways of helping than medications. Loren Mosher was a friend and colleague and model of a brave psychiatrist, and I know well what happened to him.

    It is certainly true that medications can do harm, and more than we realized at first. There are also many other things that do mental harm: racism, sexism, trauma (physical, sexual, and mental), substance abuse, environmental pollution, loss of jobs, poverty, and I hope to get to comment on them.

    • A few quotes from mister Moffic:

      “Just to try to catch up on all the recent comments, I did not write the blog to defend psychiatry and psychiatrists. “
      One wonders what the following statement is supposed to be, although it serves a comedy regardless of intent. He’s not “Defending” psychiatry, just repeatedly saying that psychiatrist are “the only ones,” the “best at” etc.
      ‘Who has the best potential to lead this advance? By now, you should know the answer. It is still only psychiatrists that have the most comprehensive education and training in all aspects of mental health and mental illness. In the loving spirit of Shakespeare, let us count some of the many ways they can add unique value to those in need.”
      Yes, let’s count the ways:
      1) “-Psychiatrists, alone among all the mental healthcare professionals, still take some version of the Hippocratic Oath, dedicating ourselves to the patient first and foremost.”
      This is why psychiatry is the ONE profession that maintains that for a healthy brain you need to make it unhealthy, giving it a chemical imbalance that it didn’t have before it was said to have one it hasn’t been proven to have.
      2) “-Psychiatrists, alone among mental healthcare professionals, have worn the white coat of medicine, which forever will infuse our professional identity.”
      Forever means that there’s no point in time when it can’t exist. And there still is no point in scientific data that proves that they are doing anything but damaging minds with what they call “medicines.”
      3) “-Psychiatrists, alone and unlike any other mental healthcare discipline, have had direct responsibility for life and death decisions in medical school and internship.”
      This is true. They alone are responsible for prescribing neuroleptics which in general take 20-25 years off of people’s lives. They alone are responsible for introducing anti-depressants and the scourge of violence, horrendous side effects, addictions and chemical imbalances. They also are responsible for introducing the terrifying notion that people have something organically wrong with their brain; and replace true understanding of what’s going on with mind disabling substances erroneously called “medications.”
      4) “-Psychiatrists by far have the longest and most comprehensive education, with at least 8 years of graduate school.”
      Yes, it takes a long time to brain wash people that the mechanics of disabling the mind, creating a chemically addicted unhealthy and unstable organism is a form of healing, something which statistics and a true comprehensive education teach you it isn’t.
      “-Psychiatrists have studied the brain extensively, and know why it is by the hardest organ to study in the body, let alone how the brain may differ from our “mind” and “spirit.”
      Trying to find something that’s never been proven to be there does not equate an extensive study, nor a degree of difficulty in discovery. It’s not there…
      “-Psychiatrists know that deficits in the frontal lobes of the brain can cause a condition called Anosognosia, which leaves many prospective patients unable to even realize and accept that they have a mental problem in the first place.”
      Do they know that there deficits in the frontal lobe come from the medications they prescribe?
      “-Psychiatrists, by our medical school training, are best equipped to make sure that an underactive thyroid gland or brain tumor is not causing one’s anxiety, depression, or psychosis.”
      This is simply a lie. Psychiatrists are trained to see something which isn’t a medical condition as one, and thus cause medical conditions with their treatment.
      Psychiatrists are the one people that make anxiety, depression or psychosis out to be caused by a non existent chemical imbalance.
      “-Psychiatrists know best that people with psychiatric illness have much poorer overall health than the general population, and why.”
      Apparently not, otherwise they’d stop being the main cause for this poor health, and would stop prescribing their “medications,” which are the one scientifically verifiable cause.
      “-Psychiatrists are leading the way in understanding that disorders like PTSD and Major Depression may turn out to be not just brain diseases, but whole body illnesses.”
      Again this is a lie, Psychiatrists are the ones that treat it as a chemical imbalance CREATING brain diseases and body diseases.
      “-Psychiatrists best understand the medical language of other physicians.”
      No amount of medical jargon can cover up the simple fact that psychiatrist prescribe drugs which cause chemical imbalances and disease.

      “Sure, we have “bad apples” among us, just like any other profession. And we, too, are subject to social forces that limit what we can do. Nevertheless, one might heed the advice of another hard-hitting and truth-finding investigative journalist, Mike Wallace, who just recently died. He had a serious suicide attempt and suffered periodic depressions. When asked once what advice he would give others suffering from depression, he simply recommended to find a “good psychiatrist”. Note that he did not say, find any psychiatrist. How to find that good psychiatrist will be the subject of future blogs. If you have any recommendations on how to do so, let us know.”
      Corporate media no longer is hard-hitting and truth-finding. There are more than enough stories of people who have recovered because they got away from their psychiatrist but this is suppressed by corporate media. In fact if Mike Wallace would have a true expose on what psychiatry does, this would have been most likely suppressed.

      • I noticed I stopped counting. It becomes superfluous when the same false logic is repeated as often as it is.

        And this is the Shakespeare sonnet

        How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
        I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
        My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
        For the ends of being and ideal grace.
        I love thee to the level of every day’s
        Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
        I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
        I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
        I love thee with the passion put to use
        In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
        I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
        With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
        Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
        I shall but love thee better after death.

        It’s an amazingly beautiful sonnet, and actually comes from many different varied angles to make a true point, with color and imagination.

        It isn’t “Ten Thing I Hate About You.” A spoof loosely based on the Taming of the Shrew, and having Heath Ledger in the a starring role. Here’s only SIX “medications” to hate, although I’m sure there are more: “Mr. Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam, and doxylamine,” the office said in a short statement.

    • A few things:

      Citing individual, prominent cases as successes of psychiatry is misleading and obfuscating. I’m glad Mike Wallace experienced relief and recovery, but just examining his own case does not tell you whether his engaging with hospitalization and psychiatrists is what was helpful to him. He may have recovered on his own, have recovered better seeking support in a different way, and his treatment may have actually hindered his recovery. We just don’t know what you examine a single person.

      Also, as someone who was hospitalized and a major personality on a powerful network in the early 80s, I bet his treatment was directed by only psychiatrists (given where he got treatment, his prominence, and the time). I also be he was able to receive time/care/focus beyond other patients without his fame, finances, or importance to a major network. I find it unlikely that someone with less means, prominence, and less of a liability to a giant corporation would receive the clinical attention Mike Wallace did.

      I don’t think anyone here is questioning whether pervasive and institutional social/economic oppression cause all sorts of problems for people, often so that certain others can benefit. If I had to decide to which greater extent psychiatry has been a force for challenging that oppression or a force to sustain and multiply the overlapping forms and depth of those oppressions, I would assign to the latter. I know many, if not nearly all psychiatrists believe that they do their job in order to help people and live “freer” lives, but I find the history of Psychiatry to show how Psychiatry has woven oppression into our societies by medicalizing, moralizing, criminalizing all sorts of identities, communities, behaviors, thoughts, feelings, variance, non-normative ways of living/experiencing, and dissent that not only did more harm to those already made vulnerable and victimized but also limited/silenced challenges to those oppressions. I know many progressive psychiatrists who would like to take a different direction, but that really cannot happen without people who willfully choose to become a psychiatrist owning the history of the enterprise they are choosing to join and recognize the tremendous harm done in its name and through its power. Through the lens of a physician, perhaps this means being more critical in engaging the Hippocratic Oath and recognizing that harm takes many forms, that before one can even help, there is a lot of harm caused by others like them that needs to be minimized/undone, and that psychiatrists could benefit from being mindful that they carry the history and current practices of other psychiatrists with them, whether they like it or not.

      Mostly, I sense that you come from a perspective that Psychiatry has done well and you want to “improve” it. You describe in your post all of the things that go into becoming a psychiatrist and the perceived benefits those have for people in need (even that psychiatrists irrationally spend years wearing white coats to work even though they usually work in temperature controlled indoor settings), but show no evidence that generally, psychiatry is a helpful endeavor. Again, Mike Wallace may have benefited from psychiatric intervention, but it does not mean that many others have not been harmed by it or that Mike Wallace could have been better served in a different way. Your intentions seem noble and I know that you truly intend to bring health/help to people. I don’t like using truisms/platitudes in/as arguments, so I won’t say what many believe the road to hell is often paved with. I will say, if you want to make a case for the relevancy or value of psychiatry, you have to start from a more honest place of what psychiatry has actually done instead of what it was intended or hoped to do.

      • Naming individuals is the one of the biggest problems psychiatry has and what is causing it so much harm. It is the case study, which they criticise when used for psychotherapy which they then use to justify there own brain damagaging treatments. That is exactly what Anatomy of an Epidemic told us, that there is NO proof of what they do. There is no evidence that they are helping people. There are individual case studies, but the problem is individual case studies are not what science is based on. I can give you an individual case study of someone who smoked 80 cigarettes a day for 60 years and didn’t get lung caner. Does that mean that smoking does not cause lung cancer? I don’t think so. Case studies are not true science and we all know that. The fact that it takes them 8 years of graduate school to be brainwashed into believing it is a sign of how disturbed they really are. I learnt in elemtary school that real science realied on real samples, not one person!!!!

        Of course ONLY psychiatrists could do symptom exacerbation studies for 50 years and call that scientif research and of course other mental health professionals could not possible have done that, as they have not taken the hippocrattic oath!!

        Psychiatirsts alone are the ONLY medical profession who need specialised laws to force people to take there treatments, other doctors simply talk to them. Psychiatrists then claim that they know how to talk to people better???!!!!!

        The thing that stuck with me the most from Mad in America was that psychiatrists from the dawn of time have used the same reasons as to why people did not want there treatments. People did not want drowning treatments or whipping as there illnesses meant that they did not understand how theraputic they were for them. People did not want ECT without anesethic or muscle relaxant as they did not understand how theraputic it was for them. It was there brain diseases that made them this way. People did not want blister treatments as there brain disease meant they couldn’t understand it. One would think that in over 200 years they would have at least come up with a better explanation of WHY we don’t want there treatments. And how is it that they now admit that those things were not in fact treatments and were in fact harmful and caused immense dammage and trauma and yet they now claim using the exact same reasoning that we don’t want current treatments which they claim are not like the old ones. I would like ALL psychiatrists to be forced to take all medications they prescribe in the dosages and combinations they prescribe for a minimum of 3 months BEFORE they are allowed to prescribe them anyone! And of course before they are allowed to administer ECT they must have had a full course of at least 12 treatments first!!

        • I wonder if this man would be so willing to toot the horn of psychiatry if he were on the receiving end of the typical treatments that his wonderful fellows mete out to their patients. I wonder if he’s even ever tried one dose of wonderful so-called antipsychotics or a few doses of antidepressants. I wonder how much he would enjoy being court ordered for treatment and having to follow it even though the meds caused him great harm. I wonder how much he would like one of his fellows to get in the driver’s seat of his care and tell him how he was going to live his life exactly. I wonder how much he’d enjoy gaining 60 to 100 pounds and having his blood sugar go sky high. I don’t think he’s experienced anything first hand dealing with anything he talks about. He wouldn’t be so supportive if he’d experienced any of what we have.

          • Well done! I have brought this viewpoint up with every psychiatrist I’ve seen and their reaction is to recoil in horror and say, “but I don’t NEED to take meds or ECT”.
            Only one doctor said he had tried an early tricyclic that he received as a sample and it was so awful he never prescribed again. He was an MD, but he did psychotherapy with me and was the the best, most caring doctor I’ve ever known.

    • Psychiatry makes me happy to
      1)Go to the mall and buy the same clothes everyone else is wearing at the mall.
      2)Eat lots of Junk Food.
      3)Buy chips at the convenience store.
      4)Drink caffeinated beverages.
      5)Listen to politicians, the ones on the TV all the time.
      6)Read tabloids to get the dirt on people who aren’t supposed to act like that.
      7)Dream about selling shirt stuffings.
      8)Have the ambition of getting awards, being in clubs and going to church.
      9)Be normal.
      10)Not be normal by saying that it’s normal to have a disease which doesn’t exist, which is still normal; but gheeze, I just want to be normal, which evidently can’t be seen as being normal — because normal has to be seen as not being normal, in order for it to become normal!

  16. In my opinion, this blog is totally out of place on this website. Surely this author could get published on a site that is full of mainstream psychiatric belief. I come to this website to see educated critique of psychiatric assumptions, and all I’m seeing here is a reiterations of the field’s chestnuts, along with some outright falsehoods.

    “More recently, the book by Robert Whitaker, Anatomy of an Epidemic, strongly suggested that we may have been led down a path mined with unexpected risks for long-term use of most of these new medications.”

    From what I recall, Robert Whitaker’s book was not just about “these new medications”, but all psychiatric medications.

    “Outside of our profession, scientologists have led an anti-psychiatry movement for decades. More gently and helpfully, many of our patients have formed a consumer movement to achieve more of a voice and remind us that recovery is more than just taking a medication.”

    It’s a myth that the antipsychiatry movement is led by scientologists. It’s also a myth that the only thing that patients have done is become a consumer movement. Many former patients actually say that recovery is impossible _with_ medication, due to the medication’s damaging effects – and these often form the _survivor_ movement, which you’ve completely left out.

    “It is here, given enough time, where there is the best potential to make accurate diagnoses and more carefully prescribe psychiatric medication when it is needed.”

    You do know you’re speaking to an audience many of whose members disagree with the assumptions underneath diagnoses, and don’t believe ANY diagnosis can be “accurate”, don’t you? You do realize that there are those in your audience who completely doubt that any perceived behavioural or emotional problems are actually illnesses, right? And as I said before, I hope you realize that many in this audience were prescribed medications that made them feel WORSE, or were told they “needed” something only to have it ruin their lives — e.g. make them feel completely numb and non-functional.

    “-Psychiatrists, alone among all the mental healthcare professionals, still take some version of the Hippocratic Oath, dedicating ourselves to the patient first and foremost.”

    What does that acutally mean in practice? Putting a disturbed person in a seclusion room or sticking a needle in them to knock them out, then trying to convince them it was all for their own good? Surely you are not naive enough to believe that every single intervention that psychiatrists are involved in is purely beneficial and non-traumatizing. I haven’t known any psychiatrists who felt bad for coercive or forceful treatment, and I doubt you do either, from the tone of your article.

    “-Psychiatrists know that deficits in the frontal lobes of the brain can cause a condition called Anosognosia, which leaves many prospective patients unable to even realize and accept that they have a mental problem in the first place.”

    And you must surely know that there are no laboratory tests for such a postulated condition. In layman’s terms, you might as well say that people don’t realize they are engaging in self-destructive or self-defeating behaviour, but that’s far different from merely _theorizing_ that they have a brain defect that causes them to not understand what’s happening.

    “-Psychiatrists are leading the way in understanding that disorders like PTSD and Major Depression may turn out to be not just brain diseases, but whole body illnesses.”

    Again back to the diseases. What evidence can you give the individual patient that they do indeed have a disease? Again you’re working from assumption, not evidence, and it’s only common sense for a patient to be extremely skeptical of your claims.

    Robert Whitaker debunked the biological theories of mental illness in his book, and spoke about long-term outcomes being BETTER for patients off medications, so frankly I have no idea what you are doing posting on this website. Your message seems much more appropriate to a mainstream mental health site, and is definitely not the sort of thing I come here for.

    • You know what? I say let this guy post on this website. We can take care of him and anything he has to say. You’ve all successfully rebutted everything he had to say and you’ve done it with intelligence and great wit. We need someone to keep us on our toes and to keep us sharp. We need someone like him to give us practice on honing our responses to the likes of him and his cronies. Let him post; he is no danger to us at all. He got caught with his pants down.

  17. I think all this is getting silly and out of hand and childish. There is a problem with psychiatrists and psychiatry- they nearly killed my son for God’s sake- but shouting people down instead of discussing serious issues is not going to help and is immature.Sorry people!

    • I have to respond again. To this video. To try to again defend psychiatry by stating that it’s treatment (insights and techniques) have something to do with alleviating shame, guilt and anxiety; this is wrong to begin with. They don’t do this. But then to state that these “techniques” (which don’t work) shouldn’t be used to alleviate the anxiety, guilt and shame that the evidence about global warming should be causing (something they wouldn’t do, regardless); this already has nothing to do with what it says it’s doing. All this because one uses these “techniques” to make a person compliant to a treatment that doesn’t work. In other words, it doesn’t matter whether the shame, anxiety and guilt people are made to feel actually would prevent global warming; it’s just to get them to be compliant (just like psychiatric treatment which has only made things worse, and is bent on compliance not on actually effectiveness). These “treatments” should not be used, which is contrary to their (the psychiatrists) goal of not making people feel worse (!?!?!?!?!?). Guilt, shame and anxiety are the things that caused the kind of society which doesn’t care about global warming, or is fooled that it isn’t occurring. With a society that doesn’t run on fear, guilt, shame and anxiety; all you’d have to do is simply point out the scientific facts and they would respond naturally. We wouldn’t have this problem. Programming people with mental imagery which would make them feel anxious, ashamed, guilty and terrorized is why people aren’t responding to the knowledge that’s already out there; and relying on being terrified, made shameful and guilty instead! I don’t think that wiring the whole population of the planet with electrodes and shocking them whenever they are shown images of global warming is going to magically get them all collectively to make it stop either!

  18. Behavioral change to save our planet? Please investigate the Physicians for Social Responsibility, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985 for helping to reduce the nuclear arms race (and co-founded by the psychiatrist Eric Chivian, who now leads the Health and Environment Program at Harvard).

      • Stephen, I think it would be better to give psychiatrists their proper “diagnosis” from their own junk science bible DSM that really amounts to adult name calling whereby the more powerful one wins with horrific consequences for the losers as in the movie, HUNGER GAMES. I tired to do this in my comment below and I think I was far more fair than psychiatrists having given it years of thought with much evidence and behavioral/mental symptoms reported by tons of victims.

        Perhaps we could submit the “Donkey” diagnosis for consideration to the latest DSM 5 now expanding and VOTING in the latest fraud fad life destoying stigmas in bed with BIG PHARMA to push the latest brain damaging psych drugs and comeback lucrative ECT on patent.

        Actually, sly fox might be more appropriate here! Wolves in sheep’s clothing? Dr. Robert Hare calls them SNAKES IN SUITS!

        • Let’s not insult Donkeys, OK? And please investigate all of the soldiers with PTSD who have suffered the ravages of war and know that it doesn’t work and that it’s nothing but traumatizing. It’s amazingly helpful that a few “Bad Apples” to the money games of big pharma have started something worthwhile such as the Physicians for Social Responsibility, however it says Physicians; and if the psychiatrist co-founder would truly be interested in people’s health (this is what a Physician is meant to do) not disabling their mind, we might more further. And before we go on some tangent again that we need physicians like we need a hole in our head, because they are why corporate $$$$$$$$$ will copyright the price of tea in China so that they (the physicians) can play both sides of the game; this is not about making people more anxious and guilty so that they are mind-controlled into compliance (something supposed different to medicalizing anxiety and then NOT reducing it in a global scale by saying you are reducing it). Not polluting the planet so that it’s destroyed is actually NATURAL (shame, guilt, anxiety etc. is what cause such destructive behavior)…

          • All of us here know that the DSM attempts to pathologize all of life so that we can all be caught in the net of mental illness and contribute to the coffers of Big Pharma. It has no scientific basis and absolutely no revelance to anything, except lining the pockets of said Big Pharma and biopsychiatry. PTSD is not an illness but a human response to horrible things. Grieving is not an illness, it is part of what being human is all about. The process of diagnosis is totally subjective and the labels themselves are ludicrous beyond belief. The “diagnosis” of Donkeyism is much too good for psychiatrists.

    • Ohhh, I see. You’re shooting for the Nobel Prize by leading psychiatry to take the reins and motivate the masses to end the conditions causing global warming. You’re a hero, Moffic.

      Let me give you a couple of tips that might will help if you really want to end the apathy prevents the social change needed to save the planet:

      Stop chemically lobotomizing adults, teens, children and infants for your imaginary psychiatric “brain illnesses”.

      Stop spreading lies to the world about these “chronic” (fake brain illnesses), telling people they can only hope to manage them with “appropriate” (as defined by you and yours) “treatments”, so that they are made to falsely believe in non-existent illnesses and deficiencies that would have them “disabled” for a lifetime and too demoralized about it to give a damn.

  19. Dr. Moffic,

    I disagree.

    We do NOT “still need psychiatrists!”
    At least not the kind you describe… with 8 years of intense training, etc.

    Your profession has caused enough damage.
    We do not need any more.

    Your profesion will soon be replaced.
    With integrative medical practitioners who search and treat underlying physical causes (not symptoms); counselors and therapists who have no pre-concieved notion of biological brain disorders (a myth); peer run respites and support centers; psychotropic drug withdrawal centers; and holistic treatment options that ofrfrer healing approaches and hope!

    In short, the conventional psychiatric model is not only broken, it’s SHATTERED. And it doesn’t need to be reformed, it needs to be REPLACED!

    You are witnessing, not only the death of your profession, but its replacement. And that’s not only a good thing, it’s GREAT thing!

    Duane Sherry, M.S.

  20. It is truly a sad state of affairs when people like Dr Moffic, who have entered the field of psychiatry to alleviate the suffering of others, are subject to the criticisms being levied here. I have no reason to think that Dr Moffic is not a compassionate, thoughtful person with a deep desire to empower and to cure. I would have to say the same for most of the psychiatrists I know.

    The problem, however, is that we have been misled by our leadership (as well as payers for our services, the government, insurance companies, drug companies, hospitals and universities, academic researchers) into believing in “cures” that really don’t exist in the real world. It’s not too far off the mark to say that psychiatry as it’s practiced today is one big shared delusion. And everyday psychiatrists are squarely in the middle of it.

    If someone on the “inside” (like Dr Moffic or me) takes the time to poke around enough, one can find many faults in our psychiatric models and treatments– in much the same way that a person with a psychotic delusion might “test” his or her belief and realize it’s not compatible with reality. Too few psychiatrists are willing or able to do this, however, because it would mean losing their livelihood (not to mention the fact that lots of patients share the delusion as well).

    I’m glad that people are starting to ask these important questions. Unfortunately, it’s too late for many patients who have been deceived or hurt (or worse), and it may be too late for psychiatry.

      • When someone comes up with the amount of inconsistencies that abound here, as if it’s anyone’s task to riddle their brains with it; taking it as an invitation to have a serious discussion is completely misleading. In contrast it instead evokes the need of venting one’s spleen. This is because it’s maliciously distracting, no matter how politically correct, egalitarian and open minded it’s dressed up to be. When someone wants to have a “serious” conversation about the existence of Santa Clause (because it’s his bread and butter), this isn’t even about the existence of Santa Clause. It could be about anything he gets paid for, gets attention from or does to maintain membership. And it’s insulting to anything people at loss for words compare him with….

    • Dear Dr. Balt:

      I believe that you are being disingenuous here. The truth is that there have been many books and articles about the many harms perpetrated by psychiatry being written for many years that psychiatric survivors found with no trouble with many available in public libraries. Fortunately, the Internet along with many more articles and books have made a great deal more of such information available to all. Isn’t failure to take responsibility for the harm one does a symptom of so called antisocial personality disorder otherwise known as sociopathy or psychopathy according to one’s theory of origin per Dr. Robert Hare, world authority on psychopaths? Other symptoms are lack of conscience, lack of remorse, lack of empathy, lying, manipulation, blaming the victims, exploitativeness, parasitic lifestyle, and other traits that seem to describe psychiatry quite accurately. It appears to me that given psychiatry’s long term sordid history, BIG PHARMA/BIG BUSINESS got as corrupted by psychiatry’s long term justification of torturing and destroying those they stigmatized as “mentally ill” as demonstrated in Robert Whitaker’s books including MAD IN AMERICA as psychiatry became increasingly corrupted and far too powerful with BIG PHARMA money along with bought out government hacks also under the influence of psychiatry. This allowed this powerful, wealthy pathocracy to perpetrate the largest number of crimes against humanity including children and toddlers no less ever with their neveending epansion of medicalizing normal human behavior as “mental illness” in their junk science DSM to profit from the suffering already inflicted by social injustice, violence, inequality, sexism, racism, life crises, life problems and traumas. Psychiatry has destroyed countless lives and is now playing the victim??? That is known as the pity ploy in Dr. Martha Stout’s book, THE SOCIOPATH NEXT DOOR, whereby she gives 13 red flags that indicate one is dealing with a sociopath.

      Consider Johnson & Johnson’s exellent reputation prior to teaming up with psychiatry. It was used as a textbook case for MBA students to preserve its stellar reputation when it pulled all Tylenol when an isolated case of deliberate poisoning of their products was revealed. Parents trusted Johnson products for their babies and children.

      Enter the likes of “Dr.” CHILD ADHD BIPOLAR EPIDEMIC Joseph Biederman who worked with J & J to produce bogus neuroloeptic studies he promised in advance would show these lethal poisons to be safe and effective for children and toddlers stigmatized with the bogus bipolar fad fraud diagnosis. Biederman created the child bipolar fraud fad epidemic almost singlehandedly while everyone went along until he was exposed as a paid shill for BIG PHARMA and these criminal actions against children resulting in many deaths and injuries were exposed in the media. Of course, the same thing happened with adults and many of the symptoms used for this bogus life destroying stigma came from physician induced iatrogenic harm from other lethal drugs like antidepressants and Ritalin like kiddie cocaine they lied and denied and blamed the victims per usual also exposed by Robert Whitaker in ANATOMY OF AN EPIDEMIC.

      Psychiatrists had far more access to this information than its victims in far greater amounts for a long time. Yet, psychiatric patients have known about the lethal effects of psychiatry’s horric treatments for decades from reading and their own horrible experience also lied and denied by psychiatry as they deceived the public that the so called benefits of these known poisons/tortures outweighed the “side effects” resulting in brain damage, severe cognitive deficits, tardive dyskinesia, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and a ton of others that led to early death by about 25 years not to mention the fact that psychiatry ensured their time on this earth would be a living hell. Psychiatry in bed with BIG PHARMA has also perpetrated many lies to a brain washed public that these bogus invented disorders VOTED in for self serving purposes were caused by chemical imbalances, bad genes, bad brains and other total lies to further their latest eugenics projects as they continue to do per a recent article on Robert Whitaker’s blog here.

      Robert Whitaker exposes all this research that has been widely available for years and is nothing new since Dr. Peter Bregggin was exposing these crimes long ago starting with TOXIC PSYCHIATRY and YOUR DRUG MAY BE YOUR PROBLEM.

      If you cannot see why Dr. Moffit’s blog entry is offensive to psychiatric survivors including the Catch 22 crazymaking, gas lighting circular argument that anyone rejecting psychiatry’s torture treatments is too mentally ill to understand that they need such tortures to control their so called mental illness voted in by the white old boy network of psychiatry in bed with BIG PHARMA/BUSINESS to line their pockets to justify their fascist lobbying for laws to force these bogus lethal tortures with fraud, fear and force is either delusional/psychotic themselves or very dishonest. Per Dr. David Kaiser’s article, AGAINST BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY, I cited above and a classic for psychiatric survivors, this could justify an insanity defense for psychiatrists since Dr. Kaiser diagnoses biological psychiatrists as delusional, psychotic and totally lacking any conscience.

      I believe that anyone familiar with psychiatry’s sordid past and present that required all to participate in a horrific fraud, malpractice and untold crimes against humanity has a right to be angry about it especially if they or their loved ones were harmed by it and/or continue to be threatened and harmed by it.

      Sorry, I apparently misjudged you. Perhaps some Nuremburg Trials would be most appropriate here?

      I believe that psychiatry is so corrupted and harmful that it should be abolished since it is anything but medical and its oath seems to be “First, do as much harm as possible.”

      • As much as i agree that there are caring psychiatrists out there and that we should discuss reforms, we must never forget what has and continues to happen in this profession. Secondly, it is not like people have not blown the whistle on psychiatry. Toxic Psychiatry, a true pillar of truth telling and exhaustive research, came out in 1990 by Peter Breggin and what does establishment psychiatry do? They blackball him and go after his character. Sorry, you guys made your own bed. And to say you guys got mislead by pharma is also a poor defense. Any profession that cozies up with an industry like big pharma is asking for it. On another note, your upcoming DSM is a complete debacle doubling down on your conflict of interests with pharma and faulty diagnosis. People would have more sympathy if you at least made an attempt at reform and said your sorry to all the people you hurt. And here is the kicker, the resistance against psychiatry is only going to grow.

      • It seems Dr. Balt is of the pseudo reformist/progressive camp that do not really get at the heart of the problems with psychiatry. They want to have it both ways: remain in good standing with their colleagues while being seen as someone who is giving people an “unbiased” (quote from the Carlat site) critique/review of psychiatry. Sorry, but until i see articles on your site like anti-psychotic brain shrinkage, SSRI induced permanent depression, how so many studies studies with psychiatric drugs are manipulated etc. you are going to have very little standing amongst this crowd. The impression i get from Dr. Carlat is someone engaging in half-truths and lies of omission because he doesn’t want to piss of the establishment.

        • I haven’t seen Carlat’s website, but I read his book and was just disgusted by his writing of he book in the first place.

          Not to mention I was disgusted with myself for putting even more money into the quack’s pocket by paying full price for his book.

          He was truthful until the end when he basically said he sold his soul to the devil in order to maintain his lavish lifestyle and who cares about harming people.

          • Is that what it was? I was debating whether to buy the book but ended up not. After checking out his site i figured it would be a soft hit-piece that just makes you even madder because of all the whitewashing. These are the people that make me more mad than the one’s who don’t even acknowledge that there is a problem because they are more insidious. The latter are just laughable. I was actually a friend of his facebook page until he started deleting my posts. The guy is not on our side.

    • Dr. Steve,

      It’s great and all to want to have a professional and personal commitment to “alleviate the suffering of others, “have a “deep desire to empower and cure,” and be “compassionate” and “thoughtful.” I have no doubt you have these commitments as does Dr. Moffic. I actually value Dr. Moffic’s commitment to public/environmental health, something that I see most doctors (not just psychiatrists) often at odds with. However, because someone wants to make a good living helping, empowering, and “curing”, and went to school for a long time to do so, does not mean that psychiatrists with these commitments engender robust outcomes for their patients, that their interventions don’t come with risk of significant harm that is often undisclosed before treatment begins, or that their time is worth the great amount of money spent for it. Good intentions may be a prerequisite for being a good clinician/researcher, but simply having them does not make clinicians/researchers helpful of laudable.

      There are lots of ways to make a living being helpful, empowering, and compassionate in ways that don’t risk as much harm, don’t lie (or reify delusions) about having specialized knowledge, or rely on outmoded/oppressive power dynamics/relations, but the paychecks and prestige aren’t enough for the vast majority of psychiatrists. Perhaps it would be better for psychiatrists to enter another field of medicine or another industry more lucrative and then finance others who are willing and capable of doing excellent work. This model of patronage has its problems, but at least would-be psychiatrists then could still be thoughtful, compassionate, and even helpful, but not in a provider role.

      I also want to thank you for acknowledging the hurt many feel due to their interaction with Psychiatry and engaging with reasoned (and often heated) criticisms as opposed to reducing them to symptoms of pathology or character. I do wish physician trained mental health specialists could bring the value that they were assured they would bring when in med school to the people they work with, work en masse to acknowledge and engage honestly about problems in their field, and partner with others to improve wellness. I don’t know about you though, but wishing has not been a great strategy for me in affecting change, and we’re going to need a lot more than wishing to improve the state of mental health.

    • Steve Balt,M.D.,

      “Re: “It may be too late for psychiatry”


      What a masterpiece of understatement!

      You write, you question, you engage others in discussion…

      All of these things are good.

      But we need to see some action, Steve.
      Some amends, which include the need for psychiatry to STOP doing what it does – namely, injury, grave injury, in fact.

      Once again, the good docs need to lead (and there are many good MDs who are NOT psychiatrists, by the way, who could help turn this thing around).

      Or they need to follow… to learn from the very people they’ve injured about non-drug alternatives, and psychiatry drug withdrawal.

      For the psychiatrists who are unable and/or unwilling to either lead or follow, GET OUTTA THE WAY!


  21. Dr. Moffic, if only psychiatrists did have the knowledge and concern you attribute to them.

    I run a peer support Web site for antidepressant withdrawal. You can readily see from patient descriptions of their treatment here http://tinyurl.com/3o4k3j5 that their psychiatrists never troubled to distinguish physical illness from so-called psychiatric illness, dangerously overmedicated them, and ignored obvious and severe adverse drug effects from the very beginning.

    These patients and their doctors are all over the world.

    Anosognosia is not just a condition that might affect a tiny number of patients. It appears to affect most psychiatrists, who do not realize the extent to which they are devoted to inflating their own competence while completely overlooking the best interests of patients.

  22. Robert Whitaker is successful in putting his point across because he keeps cool and rational.Psychiatrists tend to shout him down and that is actually what happens here and stops people from having a dialogue. I understand the anger- my son who was the real victim of psychiatry and its medications, thinks that all psychiatrists are monsters and wouldn’t talk to them. I beg to differ. The psychiatrists I delt with were really well-meaning people who wanted to help although most of what they actually did was harmful. And why was that? Because of what they had been taught at medical school. Also- they actually believed what the pharmaceutical industry was telling them and not the patients. On the other hand I believe that there is “chemical imbalance” in the brain when a person is psychotic-the question is why. In my son’s case fever and sleep deprivation brought it on. Of course stress can bring it on too. I don’t believe in the broken brain thing and that it is not curable. It would be good to discuss all these things rationally though. It might be possible to introduce some changes then and other people might not have to go through what you have been through.

    • As I said already, this is DANGEROUSLY warping things out of context. Saying that psychosis is a chemical imbalance brought on by stress or sleep deprivation is like saying that a physical wound is a chemical imbalance. A natural response the body has is not a chemical imbalance. PSYCHIATRIC MEDICATIONS cause chemical imbalance. That is something completely different to sleep deprivation, fever and the body’s response to it. And no one becomes addicted to “psychosis,” and no one has extreme “extreme withdrawal” symptoms from it. When the body gives warning signals, these warning signal are not a chemical imbalance, it points out something is not right. When a person feels pain, this is NOT a chemical imbalance. And the whole attempt to misrepresent the concept of psychosis here is completely out of line, out of context; insensitive, pretentious and abusive. People who statistically almost completely PREVENT recovery from psychosis when someone who is labeled as schizophrenic is “medicated,” and who cause more relapses thus; have NO business being made out as necessary ingredient in a discussion about it and excused as “well meaning”. And it’s no one’s task to be degraded because they are judged on how they respond to such abuse! And if your son is so hurt still from what he went through, it is none of your business to negate what he feels or even to be labeling it: “he thinks all Psychiatrists are Monsters.” And you make it sound like it’s your place to decide these psychiatrists you “delt” with were well meaning, DESPITE that they almost killed your son, which you say yourself! I think you NEED to let your son have his say. As well as the rest of the people who actually had to deal with what you excuse as being well meaning. That has already ceased to be an excuse. And discussing these things rationally would be YOU simply discussing your points rationally to the topic, not irrationally criticizing everyone else who doesn’t respond the way YOU think they should. THAT’S what’s irrational, not everybody else’s responses. It doesn’t say that this blog is “how should one respond to a psychiatrist.” Or “Please tell us how you think we should act to be considered civil by a psychiatrist.” Good God, in comparison, the way you go on it’s like saying that it’s the task of a girl who has been raped to have a “civil” conversation with her rapist and understand he was just trying to be part of a gang that taught him to do this.” All of this WHILE you are excusing such social forming that caused the gang to be there, which in the end amounts to “behave yourself.”

      • Someone had to say it.

        And, Alix, you’re naive if you think the response section of this blog post, regardless of however friendly the responses in it could be and however much discussion takes place in it, has the potential to effect change in psychiatry. This is not a congressional hearing, you know. And if my memory serves me well, even those haven’t changed anything.

        Oh, and I will conduct myself more genially when the majority of psychiatric practice is humane, and, whereas this surely will not happen anytime in the near future — given, for instance, the ostensibly unbreakable bond between psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry — well, you’d be best served by not holding your breath.

        — Stephen

      • Nijinsky, I agree with you in that Alix is way out of line bullying other posters about what they should think, feel, say, not having walked in their shoes or her son’s apparently either. She seems to have more compassion for the psychiatrists than her son, so I guess surivivors here shouldn’t expect any from her either. Many of her own statements are not exactly class acts either.

        Plus, I am appalled that she would allow her son to be “treated” in such a horrible way and think the fiends who did it are ethical, well meaning people. When my loved ones were threatened by psychiatry, I researched it in depth, found out about all the fraud and evil they do, and fought like hell to rescue them from such “near death” and SUCCEEDED!!!

        Alix sounds like a staunch NAMIE member, supporter, which is a BIG PHARMA/Psychiatry front group to push lethal life destroying junk science stigmas and toxic drugs in bed with BIG PHARMA for so called brain chemical imbalances and other bogus theories/lies. This is to avoid taking responsibility for what they may have contributed to the emotional INJURIES or other problems of their children or other relatives.

        To my knowledge, Robert Whitaker is not a psychiatric survivor nor has he said closed love ones of his are, so he is an outsider in this regard as is Alix since she stands by psychiatry and its deadly treatments and cons rather than her son who truly sees the horrible truth now like most of us here. It is far easier to remain distant, unemotional and “professional” when one has not been through the same traumatic ordeal as others. It is also impossible for someone to identify with such people having experienced such traumatic events especially when it is human nature to blame the victims.

        I do not think Alix is in any position to judge us or act like we are her kindergarten students, which she is doing, and I find quite very arrogrant and annoying.

        I would say that Alix should take the log out of her own eyes before trying to take the speck out of others’ eyes since most of us here have had our eyes opened far wider that we would have ever dreamed in our worst nightmares that became reality thanks to biological psychiatrists we had the misfortune to encounter.

        • I don’t think Alix bullied anyone. She expressed an opinion with little or no bombastic language, so far as I could tell (perhaps I missed a post).

          Imo, when a person writes long posts full of extreme language, it turns most other people off. The posts come off as rants. I’ve been gravely harmed by psychiatric treatment, browse this site from time to time, and have completely bought into the ideas described in Anatomy of an Epidemic. I’m slowly getting better now that I’m off those drugs.

          Yet I am turned off by the long, insulting comments. Is that what is really wanted – to turn off people who are coming to this website for information? I might just skip reading comments from now on. If the purpose is to vent, ok then, but if the purpose is to get the message out to the widest number of people, in order to reduce harm, then shorter posts that are more polite are the way to go.

          I suppose someone will attack me now, for saying that it’s better to write shorter, more polite posts, if you want to get the message across more effectively. Please don’t do that. I’m depressed enough as it is.

          • Prescriptivism and apologist morality is a real turn-off for me. And there’s something else I don’t like…an offering of defense on behalf of someone else while throwing down one’s personal wounds as a way to deflect any potential criticism. Say what you need to say, but be prepared to get responses you may not appreciate. Playing the “depressed” role, so “please don’t challenge me”, is a cop-out.

          • I believe that feeling bullied is a matter of perpective and feelings are not “wrong” perse as you indicate; they just are. I have tried to be professional and stick to the facts in all of my posts. Alix has also fluctuated between being critical of psychiatry to being very supportive. Yet, when someone makes a violent lie statement in the guise of medical, technical pretense, I believe that is far worse and dangerous than anything any survivors have said as they are no threat to psychiatry now or any time soon while psychiatry is a threat to everyone.

            Everyone silently tolerated Alix’s comments expressing her views that were offensive to me and many others here, but when she started calling others childish and making similar judgments several times, that was the final straw. She has critiqued my views on other blogs.

            I think most of us are depressed here given what we have been forced to deal with and the knowledge that BIG PHARMA billions in profits thanks to psychiatric fraud and oppression is not going to be given up any time soon by either.

            I agree that we should try to be civil, but so should the so called experts who claim to be more sane. Starting one’s blog with typical BIG PHARMA/psychiatry lies is not a great way to attract support.

          • WARNING, this is a LONG post. If you want to read a SHORT one read RP McMurphy’s excellent post.

            I do think that what Alix was doing can be called bullying. When people have been ill treated and are expected to suppress their pain or act like they aren’t hurt, this is bullying. And it doesn’t alleviate pain. I can only imagine what it would be like to be her son and to be chastised for one’s anger in such a way, as if this will make it go away. Further more, this isn’t the site from which a whole book is going to be published and which will be given out to the whole population. Telling people some nonsense about proper behavior and a wider audience is completely irrelevant. It’s also not true. Pretend as much as you want that you have the recipe for the perfect peaceful rational world, but this wouldn’t depend on us all building it for you. Go write your own book, don’t expect us to write it for you upon instructions on how to respond. And don’t tell people how to respond when they actually ARE responding and sharing information, which they need to hear and share.

            From Alix’s post:

            1) “Robert Whitaker is successful in putting his point across because he keeps cool and rational.”

            In other words we aren’t getting our point across, even though we have all shared a considerable amount of very sharp pertinent information. Something we share with each other for support, regardless of how it’s judged.

            2) “Psychiatrists tend to shout him down and that is actually what happens here and stops people from having a dialogue.”

            That’s ridiculous. We are actually having a dialogue here, promoting health healing and each other. We aren’t here ignoring what’s truly going on and making a cult about $$$$$$$ and sharing a bunch of lies. All of the pretense about surface isn’t going to change the content. With this logic, being dead in the end is the only “appropriate” way to respond. The rest would be considered too aggressive.

            3) “I understand the anger- my son who was the real victim of psychiatry and its medications, thinks that all psychiatrists are monsters and wouldn’t talk to them. I beg to differ.”

            Chastising people here doesn’t in ANY way point out an understanding of your son’s anger, in anyway!

            4) “The psychiatrists I delt with were really well-meaning people who wanted to help, although most of what they actually did was harmful. And why was that? Because of what they had been taught at medical school.”

            Having gone to medical school doesn’t excuse anything. We already know this. This really isn’t ground breaking input to any of us.

            5) “Also- they actually believed what the pharmaceutical industry was telling them and not the patients.”

            They aren’t treating the pharmaceutical industry, they are treating human beings.

            6) “On the other hand I believe that there is “chemical imbalance” in the brain when a person is psychotic-the question is why. In my son’s case fever and sleep deprivation brought it on. Of course stress can bring it on too. I don’t believe in the broken brain thing and that it is not curable. It would be good to discuss all these things rationally though. It might be possible to introduce some changes then and other people might not have to go through what you have been through.”
            This is nonsensical. If you don’t believe in the broken brain thing, don’t bring up the term chemical imbalance; and don’t lecture people on having to be rational, when you yourself aren’t even being coherent. The only reason the broken brain story is used is to maintain the unproven theory of the chemical imbalance. Your points don’t add up, no matter how much you dress them up to be: “cool and rational.” This DOES amount to bullying. And it’s completely inappropriate for you to come in here and start talking about, and defining the behavior of another person, who hasn’t shared his viewpoint and/or anger and clearly needs exactly that opportunity, and needed it before he got assaulted by psychiatric treatment. Something it’s COMPLETELY clear you allowed and even condoned at the time!

  23. I feel I also need to point out that 8 years of medical training is useless if the body of knowledge studied is thoroughly contaminated by commercial interests.

    This is what’s happened in 20 years of psychiatry research. It’s a gigantic pile of muck that’s shortchanged patient safety for profit. There are nuggets in the sewage, but someone needs to go in and find them. (Robert Whitaker deserves a medal for making a start in this.)

    Because of their heritage of garbage research, psychiatrists don’t know what they don’t know. The problem is not just a few bad apples. Most of the apples in the barrel are subpar but think they’re stellar. The truly good apples have had to jump out of the barrel. Physician, know thy own anosognosia.

    I note that patient safety is not on your list of “psychiatrists know…” Unfortunately, psychiatrists cannot claim to provide more accurate diagnosis and more effective and safer treatment than other doctors. Psychiatry is losing territory because the sad fact is, any MD can prescribe as badly as a psychiatrist.

    As for your use of “psychiatrists know…,” I would have preferred you had said “psychiatrists aspire to know…” Psychiatrists need to become much, much more humble about what they know.

    To survive, psychiatry desperately needs to clean up the mess it’s made by its symbiosis with pharma to promulgate psychiatric drugs as safe, easy, and good for everybody.

    At the top of psychiatry’s list of amends should be “Dedication to patient safety.” The psychiatry establishment should be pounding the table for intensive research in post-marketing adverse events and lobbying for the ban of drug advertising.

    But there’s no money in that, so nary a peep….

  24. Since the psychiatrist our coming out of the woodwork like rats to cheese with their professional apologist grandstanding…let’s go down the list of what they are actually using in their defense….

    “-Psychiatrists, alone among all the mental healthcare professionals, still take some version of the Hippocratic Oath, dedicating ourselves to the patient first and foremost.”

    To take some form of oath, and then not live up to anything close to the promise made in their actual professional actions is paramount to the worst form of hypocrisy..in fact, other than a select few psychiatric professionals who take this oath to do no harm seriously…psychiatry has abandoned this oath in never ending & all consuming lust for power & money that is based not in evidenced science or medicine; but on corrupted & unproven subjective theory mixed with a large helping of the most basic human condition “greed”…

    “-Psychiatrists, alone among mental healthcare professionals, have worn the white coat of medicine, which forever will infuse our professional identity.”

    Having worked in the vast gambit of institutional, community, and clinical settings; I have witnessed first hand that the vast majority of psychiatrist are not practicing anything that could be classified even in the distant descriptive realm of medicine.

    In fact, what I have witnessed is a dangerous DSM diagnosis first, quick drugging, drugging some more, & then imprisonment of patients with detestable labels that seldom can ever be undone. this is the medical mentality of psychiatry today…actual physical illnesses or situational factors are actually quite often not even considered, while seldom playing a role in the treatment modality used. I find it astonishing that main stream psychiatrist are still bailing the water of this sinking ship…but they can’t seem to help themselves..like helpless alcoholics with keys to the liqueur store…

    I see absolutely zero benefit or “first do no harm” practices in the actual everyday living reality of this so called profession in the vast majority of situations…

    Patients would be far better served in nurturing & understanding environment where care takers focus on spiritual and holistic aspects of life and recover through non-medical models.

    In fact “Medicine” or “Psychiatry” should not be involved in the mental health arena at all; until there is a provable and direct connection made between physical illness & mental distress. Further more; even then, Psychiatry has no business meddling in this mind arena until they can provide actual proven methods of treatment that have the actual evidence to provide significant benefits without causing further harm. They do not…just lots of hollow promises that can’t be backed up with real evidence..

    “-Psychiatrists, alone and unlike any other mental healthcare discipline, have had direct responsibility for life and death decisions in medical school and internship.”

    This is just not true & a complete misleading fallacy; That is what these sad medical apologist would like you to believe…which is just part of the failing egotistical problem that psychiatry continues to blind itself too while burying their heads in the sand.

    The life and death decisions negatively effecting patients that psychiatrist make are more often than not are involved in the masking of symptoms by chemical means that have devastating long term physical and mental consequences.

    Yet, they will continue spouting out a whole bunch of psychobabble & fear based propaganda to keep hold of their dubiously conceived societal power grab.

    “-Psychiatrists by far have the longest and most comprehensive education, with at least 8 years of graduate school.”

    Should we add that this includes eight years of medical indoctrination in theoretical & hypothetical mind medicine that continues to promise things that they have never been able to deliver to actual patients…that called eight expensive years wasted in egotistical futility…..how does that slice of humble pie taste dearest witch doctor with an MD.

    “-Psychiatrists have studied the brain extensively, and know why it is by the hardest organ to study in the body, let alone how the brain may differ from our “mind” and “spirit”.”

    Studied the brain extensively!!!Please tell what you have learned or can show everyone here that can be practically applied to your patients. I’m quite sure you can provide very little indeed; lots of pretty images, more theory, lots of maybe’s, and groundless predictions . Of course we all know that the moment symptoms are tied to a direct physical cause, those patients are given over to real medical doctors for treatment.

    If fact, Psychiatry is pretty much mired down in complete ignorance when it comes to knowledge of the “Mind” & “Spirituality”….

    “-Psychiatrists know that deficits in the frontal lobes of the brain can cause a condition called Anosognosia, which leaves many prospective patients unable to even realize and accept that they have a mental problem in the first place.”

    Did you pull this directly out of Fuller Torrey’s play book…what absolute bull…”Many!” how many in actuality? it’s an extremely low number & percentage of those that have been labeled with emotional/mind problems….that is called using slight of hand nonsensical fear mongering & the same old psychiatric board net casting strategy…it really is shameful…but then psychiatry has no shame…shame is for mere mortals…not Doctors…


    “-Psychiatrists, by our medical school training, are best equipped to make sure that an underactive thyroid gland or brain tumor is not causing one’s anxiety, depression, or psychosis.”

    Actually any MD or trained nurse can preform a thyroid test and sent it out to the lab…no psychiatric specialty needed here…as far as a brain tumor goes…a neurologist and oncologist yes…psychiatrist?…you have to be kidding…


    “-Psychiatrists know best that people with psychiatric illness have much poorer overall health than the general population, and why.”

    This is really laughable…you do know that psychiatry actually causes much of these poor health outcomes & diminished longevity…do you actually think you somehow know best…MD fools leading MD fools….do psychiatrist have some magical crystal ball they are keeping from the rest of us…maybe the DSM is some sort psychiatric Da Vinci Code they have cracked or broken…

    “-Psychiatrists are leading the way in understanding that disorders like PTSD and Major Depression may turn out to be not just brain diseases, but whole body illnesses.”

    Oh really…big statement…now show us the goods…you know, the evidence…or are you saying psychiatrist are better at guessing than the rest of us…I just LOVE blanket statements like “may turn out to be”. Yes, and it may not…psychiatrist are not only incredibly reckless making these kinds of hypothetical propaganda statements…they are dangerous…

    In fact the only usable understanding psychiatry seems to have related to these conditions such as labels MDD or PTSD, is using drugs, newer & more expensive drugs that have shown to be not only ineffective…but a dangerous gamble with many life altering & threatening consequences…..I guess this is what psychiatry means by leading the way..

    “-Psychiatrists best understand the medical language of other physicians.”

    The radicalized psychobabble medical terminology translation for the common man…Phizer Rep offered me a product speaker job…big bucks…signed my name to XYZ study…don’t know who wrote…but big bucks..BMS REP has nice Gams…matrimony soon to follow…DSM5…we include everyone this time around…huge bucks and much more power….once I reach KOL status…who needs to play Doctor for patients anymore…

    In my humble opinion; if psychiatry were banished from the planet today…not only would they not be missed…patients would be healthier, be far better off..recover more often…and have much better long term outcomes..

    • In regards to number six, many psychiatric medications cause the frontal lobe to shrink. And I think that the Anosognosia that’s counted in numbers and is referred to as many going on here could only come from the “medications.” That’s if one is to try to make any sense out of the statement Moffic referred to. Psychiatry so often does this that they cause damage themselves and then say it’s from the disease, instead. This is truly also typical and descriptive of the circular kind of thinking that goes on where a problem is caused, and then they go looking for it as if it has another cause then their own treatments. It’s the same thing with the whole dopamine hypothesis. Dopamine hyper activity comes when the dopamine receptors have been blocked and the brain makes more in trying to make up for what’s blocked. If there is any at all correlation with anosognosia and a deficient frontal lobe, psychiatry with it’s treatment has been shown to shrink the frontal lobe even further. They looked at brains of children with ADHD and found some correlation with those who had ADHD having less white cell matter. Then they gave all these children ADHD drugs and they didn’t magically grow more white cell matter. Then they actually started telling people that they had “compelling” evidence that if you don’t give children ADHD drugs soon enough, they won’t grow enough white cells in their brain. This comes from believing that ADHD medications would help grow white cells, because they found less white cells in a certain group of children who they labeled as having ADHD. And ADHD medications are stimulant drugs and leave the children in a mild shock state which is mistaken for being truly attentive. This has nothing to do with helping to grow white cells and they know it. And it’s a complete lie. It’s propaganda. And this is about children we’re talking about here. in the USA 13 times more kids are drugged with these dangerously addictive brain altering controlled substances mistakingly called medications. There IS something called intoxication anosognosia: see: http://breggin.com/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_details&gid=195&Itemid=37

      • Just to be clear. From above. Because children given something labeled as ADHD medications didn’t grow more white cells; they assumed that they could say there was compelling evidence that they should have been given the medications earlier… And these medications don’t really enhance concentration, they limit a person’s reflexes to input from their senses rather than their thoughts, because they are stimulants and put them in a lengthened sort of shock state. This doesn’t really help concentration. They also can impeded blood flow to the brain. Making up some fantasy that someone who can’t follow their own thoughts anymore, because they are in a simulated shock state, and then can reproduce what they saw or was told to believe; this isn’t brain exercise. This doesn’t stimulate growth. This doesn’t stimulate understanding. And to people who aren’t taken in by a fantasy, a fantasy whose magic qualities have to be removed from reality to give it that special awe; to these people it’s not any kind of surprise that the “medications” didn’t enhance the growth of white cells (if that even has anything to do with the ability to concentrate, which also isn’t known) or enhance the growth anything in the brain; and to these people there is no “compelling” logic that “medicating” children earlier would do anything further… One can only wonder how much of this is actually known to be propaganda by those spreading such lies.

        • Great posts Nijinsky! I am glad you exposed the sordid truth of the term “anosognosia,” which was used for the purpose of obfuscation, a pretense of medical expertise by using such a “big” word with us ignorant peons to imtimidate and keep us in our proper place known to be a “dirty debate trick” per Robert Ringer, author of WINNING THROUGH INTIMIDATION, and to justify the fascist fear, force and fraud to pass laws to increase involuntary commitment, toxic, brain damaging psych drugging, ECT and any other torture psychiatry dreams up to enhance its finances, social status, power hunger, role as flunkies for BIG PHARMA/BUSINESS billions and role as SS police for an increasingly totalitarian dictatorship.

          As you and others have pointed out, many people here have made very intelligent, witty, informative and heartfelt comments that do provide some healing, reality checks, validation and consolation sorely missing in the so called mental health profession for those who have been harmed by biological psychiatry directly or indirectly.

          What Dr. Moffic meant by this “big word” is that psychiatric patients are too crazy to make decisions on their own behalf and too crazy to know they are crazy to create a Kafaesque nightmare for the victim so psychiatry can collude with the legal system to rob the patients of all their democratic, legal, civil and human rights in bogus Kangaroo courts as Attorney Jim Gottstein makes all too clear in his writings and great work on behalf of those violated and mind raped in this way.

          • And I forgot to mention that it wasn’t only the theory that “schizophrenia” or “psychosis” comes from too much dopamine, but it was also the theory that “schizophrenia” causes change in brain tissue that was put forth as erroneous fact, when these problems were caused by the “medications.” Shrinkage of the frontal lobe and swelling in other areas of the brain are clearly caused by these medications not the “disease”. When neuroleptic medications block dopamine receptors this causes the brain to start making more dopamine. This is what causes dopamine hyperactivity not the “disease.” And what do you call this kind of incoherent bumbling!? Causing damage with treatment and then saying that what you maintain you’re treating caused the damage rather than the treatment… And how much of it is conscious lies!? Go around looking at the amount of false information about this. And what kind of dangerous misconceptions has this caused!?

            In regards to “psychosis.” You do have the ability to learn how to recover from trauma. You do have the ability to let go of the fear it caused and move away from investing in the very same anger that caused the behavior that caused the trauma. You do have the ability to reinstate what it is to be human and let go of the insecurities that call on false ideas of control and need paranoia to validate them. That’s all completely natural. And there’s no loss in moving away from fear to reinstate what it is to be human. But disabling your mind to act as if there’s nothing to let go of and in doing so be awarded a seat in a society that runs on guilt…this isn’t how you let go. And all the supposed happiness you get needing something that would make you happy and locking into making deals with a mechanized fantasy of loss and gain in a society that has to see loss and make it real as if this produces gain, which it never will….this isn’t happiness. Looking for insanity in other people rather than letting go of your own fear of it, this truly isn’t how you heal from psychosis. You can spend your whole life running away from letting go of fear — get a job, be part of society, be successful, get rewards from the system, receive it’s approval — and yet, the whole measure of life you have had in years and decades is less than someone who for two seconds lets go of fear….

  25. “Maybe plumbers was [sic] a bad comparison. If only the brain was as simple as toilets! No, take that back; our brains are amazingly complex and interesting, though there is always room for improvement.” – Psychiatrist Steven Moffic

    I could not conjure up a more denigrating attack on psychiatry than this quote. Is this the kind of insight that “8 years of training” gets ya? Seriously, Dr. Moffic, I sincerely suggest that you start your education over. Forget about what you “know” to be true about the field of psychiatry and “mental disorders.” Instead, start earnestly studying compassionate healers and independent thinkers like Loren Mosher MD, J. Sanbourne Bockoven MD, and John Weir Perry MD, etc, etc, and then FOLLOW THEIR EXAMPLES!!

    Break away from the herd, Dr. Moffic! As psychiatrist Allen Frances has suggested, the next DSM is taking psychiatry off a cliff. Break away from that herd, Dr. Moffic, before the herd goes over the cliff!

    • 8 years is not much at all when considering the complexities of life. One could study for 100 years and ‘know’ nothing. In fact it has been studied for eons and we are getting further away.

      There is no breaking away from the herd, or rarely.
      Try convincing anyone that their belief is wrong. Now psychiatry or medicine wants to say that science is now proof. But they have to try to find science to back up belief.
      We are then still stuck with the views of the elite that there is something to treat.
      When a social structure starts medicating young, when everything becomes a ‘disorder’, when the construct involves affecting people in every social area such as medical care or the legal system, one cannot with any rationality defend it.
      It seems psychiatry loves to focus on the MI, not how having a simple label like depression along with a few lies from a disgruntled spouse can actually prevent the other spouse from seeing their kids.

      What “disease” or “illness” has this effect? This ostracizing effect?

  26. Dr. Balt’s history also exposes the interfaces of state power and psychiatry (licensing boards, mandatory treatment, forced reporting, etc.) does not just lead to a lot of pain to patients, but also binds some of doctors in difficult positions. I think it’s at least not hypocritical for a medical establishment to require what reads like pretty debasing and punitive measures to its own if it maintains that non-doctors receive similar, though often much harsher treatment for similar situations.

    I can’t speak for Dr. Balt, his experiences as a patient, his experiences as a physician, and how they inform his current thinking and practice. He writes quite a bit about it himself. While he is upfront about some of his conflicts of interest (and less so with others), I have compassion that he does offer space to raise/voice some concerns despite his inner life and freedom having been violated and put under such scrutiny by folks who I’m sure are willing to do so again given the chance. While I believe (and I don’t know all the details and my knowledge of such things is limited so my belief is tempered) Dr. Balt had the luxury of having the option of refusing much of his forced treatment (by agreeing to give up practicing medicine), the punishment for criminal acts seemed lighter than others who perhaps are seen less favorably by the courts (for all sorts of sociopolitical reasons), and that his prognoses and treatment were viewed as much better/hopeful/valuable due to his profession/education, he does have a unique experience the vast majority of doctors/psychiatrists don’t have. Keeping to the limits of comparing his experience to ones of folks to engage in the mental health system in the more typical way, I still think Dr. Balt’s perspective is unique and interesting. It does not mean it is not open to the same criticisms anyone else’s perspective is here, but I have valued engaging with Dr. Balt and believe Dr. Balt is willing to engage (I may be wrong though).

    He has to make his own choices about why and how he practices and be ok or not with the ethical dilemmas he faces. We are allowed to view his actions/writings and make our own choices/perspectives about his practice and make them known.

  27. It seems as if this website experienced an infiltration of the “enemy” with this blog or post. Once again, in very subtle ways, these two psychiatrists tried to feed us the lies that their profession spouts. Very few readers fell for their tactics and exposed them for what they are; shills for the system, parrots for psychiatry and Big Pharma. Kudos to most of the readers who posted, with the exception of Alix and her attempt to bully people into not posting things she’s not comfortable hearing. Psychiatry has no conscience. It continues to harm people even as we post here. The world would be a better place if psychiatry disappeared off the face of this earth.

    • Exactly, Corinna. Like it or not, we need people who can prescribe to help people get off medications. Until other disciplines have prescribing privileges, we’re dependent on MDs.

      I am not a defender of psychiatry. I do defend doctors who are making an effort to help patients, in the way I define help, which is to question the medical paradigm and minimize medications.

      Dr. Balt, Dr. Nardo, Dr. Healy, Dr. Allen — all prescribe psychiatric medications, yet they openly question the direction of psychiatry. Doctors like these will lead the change. None of them is ideologically perfect — go ahead and define your ideology — but they deserve our appreciation and support.

    • I think you know that we are not criticizing reform psychiatrists like Dr. Peter Breggin and others I have defended and praised many times here, who have helped people get off psych meds and exposed the dangers as well. But, they are pretty rare. In fact, I have tried to refer to biological psychiatry or mainstream psychiatry in my assessments and critques and I believe that is assumed when anyone else is making honest assessments and criticisms of psychiatry based on their reading and/or personal experience. Others have praised Dr. Breggin and others of his kind as I have done whenever possible.

      Mainstream, biolgical psychiatrists would hardly help people get off medications, but rather, may have them involuntarily committed or subjected to some horrific PACT home imprisonment to push/force their lethal drugs for life by court order no less.

      That’s why reform psychiatrists and other advocates have published books and guides to help people get off these poisons gradually so they won’t be at risk for withdrawal symptoms psychiatry will use to give them an even worse stigma like bipolar to add to the original offending drug into a deadly cocktail.

      You have both contributed much to this web site, but I think you are being unfair in this case.

    • Now that is just too precious…really!! I can’t seem to stop laughing at the complete absurdity of this comparison; Altostrata is actually placing Balt & Allen in the same sentence as Nardo & Healy…WOW..

      Yes…effective change is really going to happen by embracing APA members…the Psychiatric power grab…the DSM5…corrupt & criminal doctors….maybe Altostrata will also write a few touching love letters to all the major pharmaceutical CEO’s…join a NAMI walk…hug a drug pusher…talk about avoiding any & all conflict as long as they think exactly as she does…

      How did that “can’t we all just get along” strategy work for you over at Paxil Progress….seems as if you talk the talk, but can’t walk the walk…sounds like a familiar psychiatrist we know doesn’t it…

      Have A Nice Day 🙂

    • Corinna,

      MDs who are NOT psychiatrists could do the same. In fact they may be more willing to develop experise, and help in the area of psychiatric drug withdrawal.

      I’m all for psychiatrists who are ready to do so, but so far only a few have stepped up to the plate.

      I say, “Why wait?… Move forward without them.”


  28. stan, I support a debate of issues. Attacking someone personally — an ad hominem attack — is out of bounds in healthy debate.

    Ad hominems are very common in Web exchanges, when some participants are overeager to undercut others. Ad hominems always derail an interesting conversation. This kind of backbiting often appears late in the thread, when participants can’t think of anything new to add.

    I am expressing my opinion. I’m not preventing anyone from adding their own, rabid or reasonable.

    Onlookers can decide which is which. This is what Web reputations are made of.

    • Alstrata, I feel attacked by you and feel I did nothing to deserve it for simply saying the truth! So, I guess attacks are in the eyes of the beholder!

      We have agreed on many things, but I don’t think it is appropriate for psych survivors to attack each other for expressing their views or feelings.

      I am sure we could find much to criticize in every post, but this type of infighting has destroyed movements like feminism, etc.

      I believe that anyone practicing mainstream psychiatry in any way regardless of so called good intentions is a menace to society. It allows them to prosper and keep their jobs while destroying the careers and lives of others with their junk science passed off as truth. You do not know what any individual here has suffered or lost due to their unfortunate encounter with psychiatry, so I don’t think it is your place to judge.

    • I get it now Altostrata!!!…that was only your opinion! not close to a statement of evidenced fact correct…just one of your “personally focused ad hominem attacks”….lol

      I openly challenge you refute or disprove any of the information I provided in the Balt comment….any of the 26 pages of California medical board report…you may not like the facts I have shared…not liking something doesn’t make it untrue or an ad hominem attack…

      Does the truth somehow scare you Altostrata?…or are you just here playing your friendly neighborhood psychiatric establishment apologist…good luck with that one 🙂

    • Donna, if it seems I have attacked you, I apologize. I’m not sure where that might have been, it was never my intent.

      You bring up good points about Breggin, etc. (and let us not forget Joseph Glenmullen). Unfortunately, their advice about tapering has not reached doctors.

      A lot of people still get very bad advice from doctors about quitting drugs and withdrawal. We still need MDs who will prescribe to help people taper medications.

      If you know of any, I’d like to hear of them, I’m collecting contact information for a list.

    • Altostrata,

      Per your request here is a hyperlink to THE HARM REDUCTION GUIDE TO COMING OFF PSYCHIATRIC MEDICATIONS published by the Freedom Center and The Icarus Project which includes medical experts. I was quite impressed with it and maybe it could help others here too.

      I had loved ones threatened by psychiatry which is why I am fiercely loyal to Dr. Breggin who helped me rescue them from a life of psychiatric hell thanks to his brave whistleblowing as far back as 1990 in TOXIC PSYCHIATRY and many other great books.


      Sorry to hear about your ordeal with psychiatry, but you sound quite intelligent to me.

      • “-Psychiatrists by far have the longest and most comprehensive education, with at least 8 years of graduate school.”

        It is so hard to be rational about this profession(?) even when you try. This writer’s experience: destruction, followed at last by true remediation with simple, well tested meds.
        I am happy to know that psychiatrists are so well trained. How many can spontaneously stand up and give a two hour lecture on neurology, if you can’t you don’t belong in the profession. How many can give a one hour summary of the applied statistics on which they base their research judgement, if you can’t you don’t belong in the profession. How many know the precise chemical desriptions of the top 25 drugs they use and their hypothesized mode or action, if you don’t know this you can’t practice your profession. How many know the real and plausable side effects of their medications, if you don’t know these you can’t practice your profession.
        As for precisely defining mental illness, forget it, doing this is important, but the fact that mental illness is ambiguous is a creative challange and something that calls for recruitment of the best and the brightest.
        Psychaitrists who measure up to the standards expressed in the article are welcome to medicine. How many do?

  29. Allostrata supports the debate only when the agenda is controlled by her. She has her own members only forum she can boss around, why waste your time here? Your promotion of the psychiatrists that are full blown pro-psych med is opposite of what you promote on your withdrawal help site.

    The facts remain that Moffic is not here to support *you* he never said he was.

    • You’re right, Webby. This is my evil agenda: I have a lot of suffering people on my site, some of them suffering terribly, much more than the occasional brain zap, for years and years. I’m trying to find help for them.

      Some of them see doctors who tell them to do stupid things that make them worse.

      Occasionally, I find a doctor who gets it, who wants to help people get off drugs, and who will pay attention to adverse reactions. I try to build bridges with that doctor, psychiatrist or not. Sometimes they agree to be listed on my site as friendly to tapering.

      In my own lame, misguided way, I’m trying to get as many people safely off psychiatric medications as possible, to keep them from being harmed. I’ve been suffering from severe neurological damage from Paxil withdrawal myself for going on 8 years, and I don’t want that to happen to anyone else.

      I am hardly pro-psychiatry. I think Dr. Moffic’s essay is misguided. But I want to hear what else he has to say, after he’s learned from us.

  30. Altostata,

    I felt attacked when you accused others of attacking doctors, which I felt included me. I guess I am a bit confused in that you have criticized the practices of psychiatrists and then you seemed to change gears. Perhaps you didn’t mean it to come off that way.

    I do not see myself as attacking doctors or any specific individual. The problem is the bogus paradigm of biological psychiatry to push lethal drugs and ECT at the cost of people’s lives which includes their children and families. They are militant about maintaining the “company line” and viciously attack anyone they see as stepping out of line within their own profession never mind so called patients as I said in an above post. Therefore, I have deep admiration for the courageous few who have put their careers on the line like Dr. Peter Breggin, Dr. Joseph Glenmullen you cited and others cited on this web site as have others, so I think we need to show some solidarity and be less judgmental about the views of survivors who have endured far more than any doctor here except maybe Dr. Balt for whom I do have compassion for what he suffered. Not everyone has the same reaction to such information.

    Thanks for your concern and response. Have a nice night!

  31. I’d be curious what Dr. Moffic thinks of the themes of Anatomy of an Epidemic: that the highly-educated psychiatrists have been prescribing drugs that (sometimes) seem to help at least in the short run, but actually tend to make people’s conditions more chronic.

    I’d be curious what he thinks of journal articles like “Effectiveness of antidepressants: an evidence myth constructed from a thousand randomized trials?” http://www.peh-med.com/content/3/1/14

    I’d be curious what he thinks given that most psychiatric drug research is short-term / single-drug / narrow criteria, but most psychiatric drug prescribing is long-term / multiple-drug / broad criteria. So what exactly did they teach him in medical school is the evidence base for this kind of drug prescribing? And how well is that evidence base holding up these days?

    I’m wondering if the mainstream psychiatric researchers are ever going to research why so many people are angry at mainstream psychiatry. They could learn a lot by actually asking us directly.

  32. Those of you who want to abolish psychiatry, do you really think that Bob would have had the success that he has had with his book, if he had had that attitude?

    By the way, psychiatrists aren’t the only doctors who have a med first and let’s pathologize the patient attitude. Should we ban all of them?

    Go to alternative health professionals? You mean the folks who are generally clueless about med withdrawal and want to load you up on supplements that aggravate the hypersensitive state?

    And before anyone thinks I am a psychiatry apologist, I feel that being on meds for several years destroyed my life in many ways. I also feel that being on meds is interfering with a current medical treatment I need for a regular medical issue. Unfortunately, my chances of getting any doctor to believe that are slim and none.

    Go ahead, flame me. But I won’t be responding because I am too bleeping tired in trying to deal with my current medical condition that I feel psych meds contributed to.

  33. Some posts have been removed at Bob’s request. He will be writing soon to address the issues in the hope of nurturing a fruitful discussion on these pages. He is currently on the road, and will post his comments as soon as possible. Meanwhile he wanted you all to know that he does not take the removal of posts lightly, and also that it is he who invites bloggers on the website.

  34. I know that my experience is limited, but after dealing with psychiatrists on the psych ward in the hospital where I was a chaplain, and after dealing with the ones I was forced to deal with as a patient in a state hospital, and after dealing with the psychiatrists on the staff of that same hospital where I now am on staff as a peer guide, all that I can say is that I’ve dealt with only one who was worth his salt as a human being. I had an appointment with a psych on the day after receiving information that my sister had been murdered in New York City. I told him that I felt that my life was unraveling and without looking up (he never looked at me during the entire 30 minutes I spent with him) he told me that was a stupid thing to say and he wanted to know why I felt that way. When I told him I’d jest been told of my sister’s murder his response, without looking up was, “That’s interesting.” I have no use for psychiatrists, no matter how much education they have or whatever. We can live without them. If their profession disappeared tonight, they would not be missed.

  35. I’m going to quote just one part of this post. I shouldn’t have to comment further, but I will.

    “I have worked in leading academic medical centers where interns and residents persevere through rigorous education and training to become psychiatrists and am convinced that this process is worthy of respect for the degree of self sacrifice involved. I strongly disagree that money and power drives and motivates those doctors in training to endure the rigorous process of becoming board certified in their specialty.Yes, they take the Hippocratic oath- but, once they begin to practice psychiatry, they assume responsibility in a system that holds them accountable for upholding the principles of the 1%, powerful, elite ‘ruling class’. The scope of their responsibility in this regard is beyond the understanding of the posters here who suggest ALL psychiatrists( excepting Breggin, Glenmullen and Szasz, of course ) are inherently evil.”


    To begin with, where do you begin?

    Anyone who has had to deal with withdrawal symptoms from psychiatric medications, who has had to deal with being further traumatized by psychiatry and having more emotional baggage rather than less emotional baggage; and anyone having to deal with trying to figure all of this out with a traumatized and/or chemically disabled brain: these are the people that are worthy of respect and have persevered. And they have had training and have had education that is rigorous because they have actually had to find solutions, not just follow the rules to get a degree and a license. THESE are the people that have truly worked hard, have overcome almost impossible obstacles, have discovered true knowledge, and are an asset in society. The respect that they have truly earned can not be replaced by the pity anyone would have for the fools errand “psychiatric training” has become and still is, something that is to be accorded some “respect” here as if that will change the fallacy of it’s most basic tenet: that there’s a disease going on which hasn’t been proven to exist, although the treatment given this disease, causes the very symptoms (emotionally and physically) of this disease. And mind you, this is to honor people who have worked hard to supposedly “attain” something, while those simply working much harder to IN REALITY attain a health which was stolen from them by these people we are supposed to be respected for working hard to have attained this ability to have the right to take away a person’s health… To say that ANY of these people IN THIS BLOG, who dare to VERY ACCURATELY point out EXACTLY what psychiatry does, has done, and when you read this will still be doing, in all but a tiny fragment of what they do; that these people pointing this out, show some lack of understanding and stand to be accused of saying that all psychiatrists are evil is an insensitive attempt in trying to overlook what they have said! It’s also quite curious that all of a sudden the behavior of what psychiatry — not “all” psychiatrists, but psychiatry as a profession — does, can be excused because of some mumbo jumbo about them having to uphold the principles of the ruling 1%. In fact, you could excuse just about any insensitive fear based idea of adaptation to a non-working society this way. And mind you, not all of the 1% are “evil” either, or causing all of this. Further more, this isn’t about “motivation,” or distracting definitions of “evil” or “you-are-calling-them-all-evil-and-they-aren’t,” this is about results. Siting a bunch of historical philosophies which “might” point out a cause and effect, or a bunch of books which said proponents have written which are helpful to one distracting with historical interludes from what the cause is; this changes nothing. In fact it’s like psychologizing something to make up some mental “you-don’t-have-to-take-responsibility-yourself-even-though-you-could-at-this-point,” in order to excuse what needs to be excused to not let go of something which isn’t a loss. It’s the same fear based mumbo jumbo! There’s no loss when it’s gone because it never added up to being anything, or even added up, or was capable of being used for addition….

    What is all of this circular thinking about? Everything has to be what it isn’t:
    It’s not about results it’s about history and books.
    It’s not about what people actually accomplish, it’s whether or not they have been “self sacrificing” getting nowhere, which is a pretty accurate concept of the self and what it would need to be sacrificed for, and why this doesn’t work….

    Or it’s about, as it says above: “psychiatrists are part of the grand and far reaching delusion that has poisoned us all;”

    And ending with “Thank you Dr. Moffic ! I applaud your courage and I respect your statements that reflect your seeking mind toward improving the care of the growing number of people who are suffering in our warped and inhumane society.” which he does in a blog which is entitled how it’s entitled: “Why We Still Need Psychiatrists!”

    I can’t waste my time reading this stuff anymore.

    I’m not even interested in making a career in having learned how to slice Balony…

  36. The best use I think society can make of psychiatrists is for them to help the multitudes of people who are hooked on mind-numbing, body-killing psychiatric drugs to come off them safely. There is no shortage of people desperately looking for this service.

  37. First off, the point he makes about the age of ‘moral treatment’ is nonsense. ‘Moral treatment’ was actually immoral, yeah, because legally authorised coercion was still used by these great moralists. There is nothing moral about ‘treatment’ when it is administered, coercively, by a bunch of moral idiots, because that is what people who trample on your rights and feelings are. Methinks Mr Moffic has been reading his triumphalist versions of psychiatric history. Coercion was still being practiced, just not on as great a scale.

    No wonder Mr Moffic looks back to the age of ‘moral treatment’ as some sort of prelapsarian age of psychiatry, because it was when the idea started to gain traction that psychiatric coercion and brutality is treatment. As Szasz trenchantly observed in ‘Coercion as Cure’, “Pinel created modern psychiatry not by demonstrating that mental diseases are diseases, but by defining coercion as treatment.” Pinel was a huge advocate of psychiatric coercion, yet the legend still flourishes that he was the heroic liberator of the ‘mentally ill’ from their chains. Yeah, from the chains of liberty. From Szasz again, “Pinel was, literally, an employee and agent of the Jacobin state and is an appropriate exemplar of the torturer as treater.” Yeah, and Mr Moffic is one of his epigones!

    Is there any age of psychiatry where the patient escaped the scourge of psychiatric coercion? The answer is no, so let’s dispense with any talk of the glory days, it is a delusion.

    The way in which he refuses to bracket ‘mental illness’ in inverted commas is particularly annoying. If he is so moved along by the winds of compassion and philanthropy vis-a-vis his slaves, then surely he would realise that that particular verbal and social construct is a term pregnant with disastrous implications for the person designated, by psychiatric fiat, ‘mentally ill’. He even likes to talk about reducing the stigma associated with ‘mental illness’, seemingly oblivious to the fact that it is people like he who set the process of stigmatisation in motion and maintain it.

    He even mentions that great conquistador of the mind and all round base rhetorician Sigmund Fraud, admiringly. Hardly surprising considering his similarly Goebbelsian disdain for the truth and obvious love of power.

    He infers the importance of psychiatrists from the fact that psychiatrists are the most learned and trained in issues of mental health and illness, exhibiting his myopic though probably self-serving faith in his education. He believes there are many advantages accruing to this. He is wrong.

    He says we should know the answer to the question of who is best suited to the needs of the so-called mentally ill. Sadly for him, history protests, as well as many of the wiser patients who, if we are mad, have been driven mad by our oppression, much like the character in the Chekhov short story ‘Ward no.6’! What transparent propaganda for psychiatric slavery.

    On further ocular inspection of this tendentious tract I am, as was the case with the preceding paragraphs, left in a state of awe at this man’s self-serving detachment from reality. The mention of the Great Bard is completely lost on me. Maybe if he were to read Macbeth and King Lear he could better understand his own incipient madness, or at least where he may be in five years if he doesn’t cease in his despotic, abusive, power-mongering ways!

    He alludes to the supposed reverence of psychiatrists expressed towards the Hippocratic Oath, despite their ritual contravention of the injunction, ‘First, do no harm.’ Such Tartuffian imposture reminds us of the folly of believing that psychiatrists have a monopoly on sanity.

    No Mr Moffic, psychiatrists have not studied the brain extensively, at least not without viewing it through their own eisegetic-interpretative framework.

    As for the point about anosognosia, you don’t even have proof that these people have a veritable medical condition, so why should we take your neuromythology seriously? Typical psychiatric-totalitarian, recasting his own ideology as scientific fact, like a disciple of Benjamin Rush!

    I simply can’t read anymore.

  38. I’ve been abused by psychiatry in so many shapes and forms since 1991. Lost career opportunities, infertility, financial stress, and other health issues. I’m thankfully waking up to decades of arrogance and ignorance at the hands of a profession that labelled me as permanently ill without any verifiable biological testing. . The nightmare is over.

    What society really needs and is sorely lacking is caring and empathic people who can listen to one another, validate past traumas and help one another to heal from emotional pain and suffering. This is what I believe to be the root cause of most ‘mental illnesses’ barring confirmed medical issues like thyroid dysfunction, allergy sensitivities, diet deficiencies, etc. Non- judgmental caring relationships may take shape through working with a professional therapist or might come through informal supports (friends, groups, spiritual advisers, etc.)instead.

    It’s time to take back my life.I’m done with seeking out “help” from anyone working in the current mental health system – that includes psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers. I’m actually a graduate level trained social worker consciously choosing to leave this ‘helping profession’. Even though most non-psychiatrically trained therapists cannot drug you, there are many that remain indoctrinated into seeing mental health patients as victims who suffer from a chemical imbalance (bipolar label in my case). They might be open to working with you to process emotional/life challenges, but my experience has been that many still saw me as compromised in my coping abilities because of this alleged and unproven chemical imbalance in my brain. I felt stigmatized by metal health professionals in general – not just psychiatrists. Feeling stigmatized does NOT help one to to emotionally heal and get on with their life.

    To me the formula for wellness isn’t found in a pill (no kidding!). It means learning to love and accept yourself, eat truly healthy organic whole foods to nourish your body/brain, exercise and learn stress management skills (deep breathing really does go along way!). When you start to feel like a whole person again – not a drugged up machine – reaching out to others and building a meaningful life just becomes a bit easier.

    I’m not there yet … still trying to taper off Paxil 60 mg (yeeks) for the second time and lithium and some others. Paxil is the true culprit, but I’m hoping that mindful meditation, and good diet will help this time around. Wish me luck 🙂

    Everything that we need to heal lies WITHIN us – not outside of us. If a therapist/counsellor can help you to navigate this journey to wellness,then that’s wonderful. But a good friend or support group or caring family member can do just the same if you’re fortunate enough to have these people in your life.

  39. Oye…
    “otherwise the profession would not have developed and continued to serve a societal need in the first place.”

    Christianity and many beliefs, cults all develop to fulfil a need? A niche? Was it sound?
    Freud was neurotic

    No need to defend the practice, since you might as well just practice and not worry about naysayers.

    You can read comments and opinions by naysayers, evidence and proof, highly insightful observations by naysayers, and the rest, (whether you continue to believe, stand by, practice your construct) is up to you.

    My question is this. Why do you know me better than I know you.
    Does this mean we both have anosognosia?
    If I think your beliefs are deluded, does that mean anosognosia for you or myself?