A conversation with Dr Terry Lynch (From “Beyond Prozac” to “Selfhood” and Beyond)

Dr. Terry Lynch says that “Long ago I began to question the whole categorization of normal and abnormal, which is what doctors tend to use as their standard, I suppose… I found that actually if you listen carefully to the context of the person that every story is normal, every story makes sense, and all experiences made sense, and that’s my starting point with people.”

Youtube →


  1. The categorizations of the normal (adjusts to norm) and the pathological (quantitative and qualitative deviations from norm) is a discussion that goes way back to Hippocratic/Galenic medicine, Pinel, Bernard and everybody else. It was beautifully put together in the philosophical realm by George Canguilem in his 1943 book “The Normal and the Pathological” (published in English by MIT, with a preface by Foucault.)This Dr. Lynch here has rediscovered gunpowder and lollipops. Please, gimme a break!

    • mah3md, care to elaborate who you are, why have decided to post in this forum, etc? I think there are many people here who are pretty traumatised by psychiatry, so it’s not necessarily always easy to get in. I’ve personally found your few writings quite interesting and useful, and I wish you’d write more.

    • What a nasty mean spirited comment! Dr. Lynch is not about elitist medical babble. He speaks directly “with the client”, not “at the patient”. I think you could learn a lot of humility from this gentle giant if you could part with your white coat. Get real.

      • I think Dr Terry Lynch has real insight and describes the situations brilliantly. I can  identify with him.

        Mainstream treatment  is no treatment at all, as problems don’t get dealt with, they get extended  through the  misuse of drugs. This is why people remain unwell.

        I like the way Dr Lynch   keeps an open mind on medication but mentions low dosage. How many ‘Specialists’ understand  prescribing.

  2. Thank you for your considerations. Well… let me see if I can satisfy your healthy curiosity. I am an MD/PhD with degrees in Medicine and in Physiology/Biophysics. For many years I did research in membrane physiology/ biophysics (water and urea permeation, N/K ATPase, K activation of Ca transport, bioelectricity, amnion permeability, and the like) and in the 90s I became a psychiatrist. I was the chief of a medical-psychiatric ward in a large city hospital (while there I took a keen interest in the the treatments of the mentally ill AIDS patients and the elderly demented) and the medical director of a VA Methadone Clinic. I am currently fully retired. I consider myself a Biological Psychiatrist with interests in human rights and the history of Science, Medicine and Psychiatry. I do not believe that the problems of psychiatric abuse (which certainly exist) lie with Psychiatry (in the abstract) but in the way that Psychiatry is practiced, particularly in the USA. The treatments in the hospitals are largely in the hands of rookies with nary an experience in treatments (psychological and biological) and their supervision is largely in the hands of experienced people that barely supervise the residents and also have little understanding of the basis of Psychopharmacology and follow the dictates of the unholy Big Pharma-Psychiatry alliance (the dark side.) Of course, there are genuinely outstanding exceptions to this “rule” and I was fortunately enough to have received training by these “exceptions” and I tried to transmit it to my trainees. I am a firm believer of the great capacity of medications to help in the healing of severe mental illness, when they are judiciously applied. I write (sparely) in this site exactly because its participants and audience are the most vulnerable and sometimes they become easy prey of the mirror image of Big Pharma: the “natural health” practitioners (nutritionist, naturopaths, and the like) that eschew Science in the pursue of big bucks, as much as Big Pharma and its coterie of venal Psychiatrists do. I am NOT an anti-Psychiatrist and I defend diagnostic practices and medication of the disease, when needed, but I do think that Psychiatry, its ridiculous DSM V and the willy-nilly application of psychotropics must be thoroughly revised. And there are serious, honest and intelligent people with a keen interest in the welfare of patients doing so. Psychiatrists like Allen Frances, psychoterapists like Gary Greenberg and jurists like Joel Bakan, to mention a few, are waging a non-strident scientific and well thought out war against the excesses of Psychiatry and Big Pharma and the alliance between them. This “warriors” are not in the “antipsychiatry” movement, like Szasz et al. And I fully support them to the best of my abilities.

    • Thanks for your explanation, mah3md. I like your knowledge and frankly opinionated style. However, I think I’ve personally succeeded in transforming my body, brain and mind with most happiest results through things such as nutrition (low carb, real food), exercise, meditation, etc. Just few years ago I had a bunch of diagnoses such as bipolar, severe depression, psychosis and schizophrenia. I had all the worst diagnoses psychiatry has to offer and here I am, totally out of the system, med free and doing pretty damn well in my own opinion. Nutrition has been a huge thing in getting my body and mind healthy, I think my body is soon close to ideal weight for my age, and I can feel pretty good well-being most of the day. Pretty amazing I should say. In a way, it seems I’ve figured out the rules for transforming my body and mind to something pretty good, and good nutrition is part of it. To get back to diagnosis and drugs of psychiatry would be total torture and insanity for me. But I still appreciate what you’re saying and find it interesting, mahm3d.