Even if The Lancet‘s attempts to forge a new vision in response to the crisis of confidence in medical psychiatry work (previously reported in MIA), it may not change much, argues University of Liverpool Health and Social Policy professor David Pilgrim in The Conversation.
Pilgrim reviews the history of modern psychiatry, psychology and social psychiatry in the UK, and concludes that the social conflicts and issues that brought these practices into their respective positions of power and authority still run rampant through society.
“These matters of coercive social control, of the necessity or otherwise of ‘mental health law,’ of ineffective and iatrogenic drug treatments (ones that actual cause illness or disease), of the shaping role of big pharma and of the choice between unique psycho-social formulations and creating categories of diagnosis, are unresolved and may be irresolvable,” argues Pilgrim. “These incorrigible features of the mental health industry will be there for the foreseeable future, whether or not the psychiatric profession succeeds in retaining its medical dominance.”
“Whoever runs the show, the central question remains: what is the point of the mental health industry?… is the industry in the business of healing or social control, or both?”
‘Physician heal thyself’ may be impossible task for a psychiatry profession in crisis (The Conversation, September 9, 2014)