In a guest blog for the Scientific American, a psychiatrist in training, Nathaniel Morris, argues that the field needs a “wake-up call.” “When it comes to reinforcing stigma against the profession,” he writes, “we can be some of the worst offenders.”
From the text: “Psychiatry has come a long way from the barbarisms of lobotomy and the fallacies of Freud. Today, it can be among the most inspiring medical specialties. We stabilize the acutely suicidal and care for those gripped by depression, ensure the safety of the psychotic and save patients from the ravages of addiction.”
This seems optimistic to the point of delusion. (And hasn’t the lobotomy simply been replaced with ECT?)
Truly horrifying hubris. Almost unbelievable to contemplate that a person who is allegedly medically qualified can promote such truly delusional false concepts.
Is this man being “trained” and by whom? Indoctrinated rather than trained surely?
I try to maintain moderation when responding to MIA. These monstrous words beggar belief.
Psychosurgery has a “modern” version just like ECT.
I’m sorry, I do not see the need to save this pseudo specialty of medicine. I dealt with five psychiatrists during my journey through the system. One and one only actually tried to be helpful by sitting down and listening to my story. One seemed to be a nice man but only knew how to give me pills for what was destroying me and became very nervous when I tried to talk with him. A third was very paternalistic and felt that he knew what I needed better than I did. Two were just outright emotionally and verbally abusive. Even the one who actually listened to me wanted me to pop pills and believe that there was better living through chemistry.
I know that there are a few good psychiatrists out there but I believe that they’re good despite their pathetic education, they are the kind of people who would be good at anything they put their hand to because they care and are concerned. The ones I deal with on a daily basis where I work are paternalistic and arrogant and believe that they are the experts on all the “patients'” lives that they control. I have little to no use for any of them and I deal with them four days a week fifty weeks out of the year and I’ve done it for five years now.
Good riddance to most of them with no regrets.
Psychiatry is an inspiring worthwhile profession in theory. In reality it is a sham.
If the drugs actually worked it would be wonderful. They don’t. Antidepressants cause more depression in the long term. Antipsychotics cause more psychosis in the long term. Mood stabilizers destabilize in the long term.
The profession relies 100% on these drugs.
Mental illness is real. Depression and psychosis and mood problems are real. Psychiatrists exacerbate the problem with their pills.
They are so out of alignment that they are beyond help. All they will do is manufacture new drugs and sell them to the public by saying they are better than the previous version.
What we experience is not an “illness”. All the things that we experience are real without a doubt but they are not “illnesses”.
Mental health (itself a misnomer) shouldn’t be defined as a biomedical speciality in the first place, ergo psychiatry *should* be in trouble and in need of redefining itself.
(At most psychiatrists should be neuropharmacological consultants to a team of other professionals like caseworkers, psychologists, nutritional advisors, job coaches, and others; they should have no more standing than anyone else).
(While we’re at it why are dental students (along with psychiatry majors) forced to learn everything medical students are, unless it’s related to the mouth they rarely if ever use it once in their careers.)
We should be educating people to sneer at the notion of “mental health” just as they would at demonology, as a vestige of a superstitious past. We should encourage students of true medicine to look at psych students as interlopers.
Yes, the term “mental health” misses the notion that your mind is a function of your entire body and not something just inside your head, isolated from external reality.
Or is your body a function of your mind? (Or both?)
Good comments above.
As others have stated, a profession that founds itself on the myth that problems of thinking, feeling, and behaving – while they may be reflected in altered brain chemistry – are physical illnesses comparable to diabetes and cancer, and primarily treatable with psychoactive drugs, is not worthy of being saved. It needs to be abolished.
Just as we would not wish to save the “professions” of illegal drug dealing, human trafficking, loan sharking, or underground dog fighting, neither should we try to save the profession of psychiatry, which compares to or exceeds the harms done by of these four nefarious “professions”. As a profession which inherently dehumanizes and deceives people about the nature of their problems, it is rotten to the core.
People need access to legal drugs, so the profession of psychiatry exists ( to write prescriptions to voluntary patients) and will continue to exist as long as adults are considered too stupid or genetically inferior and unable to control their drug habits ( addiction).
“Telling people what they can and can’t take” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6spu2-Pwxc Szasz
I get sick of this “Stigma against the profession” crap. Do they really believe that some bunch of people got together and decided to stigmatize psychiatrists for some mysterious reason? The main reason there is a “stigma” against psychiatrists is because they dogmatically promote “treatments” that often don’t work and even more often are damaging even if they help in the short term.
Are people “biased” against Walmart when they refuse to shop there? Or are they correctly observing that Walmart’s policies hurt their communities and their own employees? Are we biased against a mechanic when we choose not to take our car back after he fails to diagnose or correct the problem?
Psychiatry’s poor reputation is well earned. Time they stopped blaming it on public ignorance. Maybe the public is smarter than they think!
Everyone knows that terms such as “reverse racism” are only used by racists. When they start talking about “reverse stigma” what does that say?
Stigma is a term which describes other people’s prejudice against the psychiatrically labeled; as such, it’s their problem to resolve, not ours..
It would be nice if they actually practiced medicine instead of following some strange pseudo-medical discipline under the pretense of practicing medicine, in which pedestrian things like real exams or lab tests are never done.
In all sorts of places you get people complaining that they’ve got too few psychiatrists. Not here. I don’t think it very productive to make much of this sort of melodramatic pretension. The problem with psychiatry is that people pay for it. Stop paying for it, and it will wither, and die. This is a loaded perspective though because their are people being treated against their will and wishes, and the money to do so is coming from the taxpayer. The treatment as well is predominately pharmaceutical treatment, and questions as to it’s medical value are never far from the surface. What we’re listening to is mostly all “sound and fury signifying nothing”. The APA has 36,000 members according to Wikipedia. The “mental illness” factory is chugging away as usual. You’ve got estimates of approaching 1/4 of the population contracting a “mental illness”. The very thing psychiatry is selling (along with drugs to treat it). With “mental health” parity, who’s selling “mental wellness”? Nobody. There’s no money in it. This is the illusionists trick that we’ve really got to consider. “Mental illness” is a business, big, big, big business, and it is big business in desperate need of a saboteur, otherwise, as is, health suffers all the way round.
I’m reminded of an experience my dad told he had during World War ll when he led 60 men ahead of the main push toward then Nazi Germany from the Russian side . He was a Polish soldier who after some time after the Nazi blitzkrieg of Poland was left with the choice to fight on the Russian front or go to work in the coal mines of Siberia . He chose to fight . He told me that along the way an old woman approached his men offering them wine to drink . My father insisted she drink first . It turned out to be poisoned .
If we had the power as individuals to make these psychiatrists “imbibe” first what they offer and have offered us in the way of “treatments” the various neuroleptic poisons etc. over endless time duration and in deadly mixtures plus electricity, the psychiatrists themselves would in short order bury their own beloved “profession” psychiatry along with their DSM’s , deep within the dustbin of history where it has belonged since it’s inception .
“If we had the power to make these psychiatrists “imbibe” first what they offer and have offered us in the way of “treatments” – – -, the psychiatrists themselves would in short order bury their own beloved psychiatry along with their DSMs, deep in the dustbins of history – ”
Inarguably correct Fred Abbe.
We should be unrelenting in demanding this experience as the most scientific component of alleged “specialist training” in this failed medical (ill)-discipline in order to facilitate the demise you envisage.
The egregious fantasy: “We stabilise the acutely suicidal and care for those gripped by depression, ensure the safety of the psychotic and save patients from the ravages of addiction” has echoed in my mind for several days now.
A cascade of disbelief that such self-deception can form the foundation of “training” in psychiatry. Clearly trainees are deceived as blatantly as those unfortunate souls who fall into the hands of this dustbin fodder-in-waiting as patients?
One often quoted man-of-history from the war which lead to your father’s pertinent action and your so-relevant recollection, J. Robert Oppenheimer observed:
“No man should escape our universities without knowing how little he knows.”
Clearly not only are medical students escaping from our universities in this vulnerable state, some are destined to complete psychiatric training without knowing how little they know.
As I will soon have studied and practised medicine for half a century, may I attempt to apply what limited knowledge I regard as fact in correcting this ill-advised paragraph?
For accuracy and integrity I believe it must read as follows: –
“Via our ever-closer union and symbiosis with the ruthless marketing of the pharmaceutical industry, the sharing of ghost-written, serially discredited clinical trials and our denial of harms, –
We de-stabilise the acutely depressed and take care to ignore the iatrogenic akathisia we create in those gripped by depression, as well as in those who were never depressed.
We ensure that there can be no safety for those we label as psychotic by poisoning them with drugs that cause progressive irreversible intellectual impairment, and worse.
We cannot save patients from the ravages of addiction as we refuse to recognise that which is caused by ourselves, via our desperate lack of awareness of psycho-pharmaology and ignorance of pharmaco-genomics.”
Good point about compelling psychiatrists to have a dabble in antipsychotics if they should be so bold as to recommend or compel others to take them. I first made this point in 1998 to a psychiatrist although at the time I lost the argument as I had already willingly popped them like smarties as I was desperate to shut my mind down. The fact it also shut my genitalia down (literally shrinking them to two little peanuts with a hazelnut on top) was of little consequence either. It’s only in retrospect that I understand why I gave myself over to all that.
It was only when I was depot injected once a month that I became acquainted with the real torture. I think what made it worse was this was court-ordered and went on for 11 months.
Nearly 20 years later and I still have problems with akathisia, a word I believe I continue to misspell. And yet haven’t taken antipsychotics for over about 15 years.
It was about 4-5 years after getting off the antipsychotics that I was able to read a novel again. Priorly I was reading (and absorbing) 4-5 novels a week at my peak. That first post-antipsychotic novel took a week to read and while the act itself was something of a personal triumph, the lack of emotional or intellectual connection came as quite a disappointment.
Once you’ve been ruined by antipsychotics you don’t really get it back. You might be fortunate like I was in getting your genitals back but the intellectual verve once lost, remains lost.
It was probably because I was ahead of the game that even now, not having the fullness of my intellect available, I can still pass off as clever-enough in most circles. But it’s a sad lament, even still.
TRM and al
lWhen I was working on the “other” side before I dwelled in the land of shrinks, we had an aware and on target psych doc who challenged us to try a antipsychotic – not one of us did – And I still took the cool aid when I was dealing with multiple issues. It was also forced on me in ways that things are forced despite my knowledge and this background. They – the docs -now or in the past who were accidents waiting to happen could not care less who you are as a person or human being.It was known in our community mental health center the drugs were not great. There also was the issue of stopping. It was apparent the docs had no idea what to do and were aware of withdrawal issues though it was – looking back- ignorance more than anything else.They had no idea what to do!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The huge problem is there are some – and others would say many psych docs who are trouble with a capital T for us. They have no empathy, no listening skills, no heart, and I would venture to say are of little mind and shallow humanistic depth. They should be outed from medicine. Put and keep them in a lab – sorry for the ethical researchers out there but life behind a microscope or imaging machine would be much better for all. The worst part is because of their personality traits they would have a very hard time with a Reconciliation and truth process. They could not handle the anxiety, the stress, and I wonder if they can actually feel guilt. That or they are so messed up emotionally they have suppressed the ability to see themselves as capable of error.
I think that is way we have a fault line or lines in our movement. Some of us are extremely and justifiable angry. Others of us have been through sheer luck or grace been able to let go of some of the anger though not of the intense and painful memories.We need to be able to identify docs that are able to listen and acknowledge our trauma. I would guess a few may still be out there. More old then young but maybe I am too cynical.
I would identify , find, and talk to the ones that are at least willing to listen then tone down some of the justifiable anger and work on getting a dialogue going. What I hope would happen is that the docs could have new eyes and then do something about their impaired colleagues and I mean impaired with all my heart and soul. They never should have been given a white coat.
And fyi some docs do take meds but generally it is a guilty secret and I would guess some take out on their patients. Other times they become a laughing stock of the department and there is no grace in that and I think wounds them more than we can ever know.
How to open the gate is still problematic and at times I feel huge. We need both justice and mercy on both sides. I think it may happen some day. I sure hope so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I understand the no go folks and disregard my comment if it doesn’t work for you. I will understand.
There doesn’t have to be “two sides.” Just walk away.
CatNight in Shrinkland. I hope eventually you woke up, and rejoined the living. Moving among the living dead, as well as creating bad drama, gets old real fast.
Thank you, I value your reply and your insight.
What to do about “impaired colleagues” who should “never have been given a white coat”?
Yesterday, the UK was assured that our General Medical Council “exists to protect patients”.
It seems that in order to achieve this protection, our regulators may be dependent on the duty of doctors in all disciplines to identify any members of our profession who might potentially pose a danger to patients.
You recall “impaired colleagues – – ” — “so messed up emotionally they have suppressed the ability to see themselves as capable of error”.
It seems to many, who have themselves been, or have had loved ones so terribly injured by misdiagnosis, enforced drugging and deprivation of freedom that there is an absolute denial of fallibility. This in turn, by the denial and rejection of any potential challenge to psychiatry as practised by the majority.
Good medicine cannot exist without humility and empathy in its practitioners.
Whilst supporting a positive dialogue with those who possess these qualities, surely it is also appropriate for the public to expect these same psychiatrists to identify from within, those whose dogma causes such unquantified human injury and devastation?
Our regulators may then at last begin to “protect” the public from mainstream psychiatry.
Easier said then done but yes that is a very good option
Stigma is a *false* projection, an illusion. It’s not “stigma” if the allegations are true. And I think it’s more than obvious that psychiatry has failed us all, that is not an illusion. Calling it “stigma against the profession” is simply yet another tactic of manipulation. They are taking it personally, rather than seeing that these are legitimate complaints. So here we go–we offer reasonable criticism and as a response, they become “victims.” Typical gaslighting crap.
What we are offering are poor evaluations, bad reviews, and justifiable grievances, based on evidence. No way is that stigma. It is, however, a wake up call. So the real question is, “Can the mental health field WAKE UP?” I’m afraid when it does, it will not like what it sees about itself, but that is when healing begins.
It’s apparently very difficult for the psychiatrists to WAKE UP to the reality that everything they were taught is incorrect, that what they had delusions were ‘genetic mental illnesses’ are actually iatrogenic ‘mental illnesses.’ The antidepressants and ADHD drugs create the ‘bipolar’ symptoms. And the ‘bipolar’ treatment guidelines:
Especially combining the antipsychotics and / or antidepressants create ‘psychosis,’ and the other positive symptoms of ‘schizophrenia,’ via anticholinergic toxidrome poisoning:
And the antipsychotics create the negative symptoms of ‘schizophrenia,’ via neuroleptic induced deficit syndrome, as well:
The entire psychiatric industry is one big, gigantic iatrogenic illness creation system – which is a hard pill to swallow for those who are profiteering off of murdering and destroying millions of human lives, with the psychiatric drugs.
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
Then I guess those who simply cannot see nor hear the truth will go insane from it. Denial can only go so far. How’s that for justice?