Chemical or Psychological Psychotherapy?

Peter Gøtzsche, MD
58
3392

All treatments of mental disorders are about changing something in the brain. Child psychiatrist Sami Timimi has therefore suggested that we call all treatments, including chemical treatment, psychotherapy. We treat the psyche. In everyday language, however, it is only the psychological treatments, we call psychotherapy. Psychological treatments aim to change a brain that does not function normally, back to normal (see the bottom line in the figure).

Chemical psychotherapy is what we usually call psychiatric drugs. They also change the brain, but not back to normal. They create an artificial third state that is neither normal nor the diseased state the patient came from. This creates many problems. Above all, it is a dead end, because you cannot get from this artificially induced state back to normal. There are simply no psychotropic drugs that are capable of this. Their effects are quite unspecific and comprehensive.

Psychological psychotherapy aims to enhance the normal brain functions, thereby creating as normal reactions as possible to the challenges life offers. Many mental disorders involve the patient responding inappropriately to traumas and emotional swings, and it therefore makes sense to teach the patient to think and react more appropriately. It can also make a lot of sense to change the patient’s environment, but this is often overlooked.

Chemical psychotherapy does the opposite. Psychiatric drugs disable a number of important brain functions and can lead to decreased interest in life in general (apathy), withdrawal from social relationships, lack of empathy and care for themselves and others, and at worst emotional numbness. Empathy helps us recognize the suffering we inflict on others through impulsive actions, and thus empathy helps restrain us. 1 A reduction of empathy is one of the mechanisms whereby psychiatric drugs can cause suicide and violence, and at worst homicide.

Psychiatric drugs can lead to loss of important human functions that are associated with motivation, creativity and love. These toxic drug effects on higher brain functions are often interpreted as an “improvement” (the patient is apparently less disturbed or disturbing to staff, family and friends). 2 But they are in fact an expression of brain damage.

Prolonged use of psychotropic drugs can cause permanent brain damage, which can make it impossible for the patient ever to return to normal, and also cause a return to the disease state the patient originally came from where psychotherapy and environmental changes might have had a good effect.

Electroshock works in the same way, namely by damaging the brain, and the damage is often permanent, especially in the form of memory loss. 3

It is no wonder that in all countries where this has been studied, the increasing consumption of psychotropic drugs has been accompanied by an increasing number of disability pensions. 4 Another example that we do it wrongly is the huge consumption of antidepressants. Antidepressants increase the risk of suicide, not only in children and adolescents, which we have known for many years, but also among older people. 5 Psychotherapy reduces the risk of suicide. 6 This is one of several reasons why patients with depression should be treated with psychological psychotherapy and not with chemical psychotherapy. 7

Show 7 footnotes

  1.  Breggin P. How psychiatric drugs really work. 11 Jan 2017. https://www.madinamerica.com/2017/01/how-psychiatric-drugs-really-work/.
  2. Breggin P. How psychiatric drugs really work. 11 Jan 2017. https://www.madinamerica.com/2017/01/how-psychiatric-drugs-really-work/.
  3.  Gøtzsche PC. Deadly psychiatry and organised denial. Copenhagen: People’s Press; 2015.
  4.  Whitaker R. Anatomy of an epidemic. New York: Broadway Paperbacks; 2010.
  5.  Gøtzsche PC. Antidepressants increase the risk of suicide and violence at all ages. 16 Nov 2016. https://www.madinamerica.com/2016/11/antidepressants-increase-risk-suicide-violence-ages/.
  6.  Hawton K, Witt KG, Taylor Salisbury TL, et al. Psychosocial interventions for self-harm in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2016;5:CD012189.
  7.  Gøtzsche PC. Antidepressants increase the risk of suicide and violence at all ages. 16 Nov 2016. https://www.madinamerica.com/2016/11/antidepressants-increase-risk-suicide-violence-ages/.

58 COMMENTS

  1. Unfortunately, “psychological psychotherapy” can still end up causing damage depending on the case at hand, especially in the case of minors or youngsters. This is because the implicit relationship between the “therapist” and “patient” is still that of between a stronger, more authoritative individual and a weaker, more vulnerable individual. One also has to remember the relationships between the caretakers/family members of the youngsters and these therapists (“therapist” could be a “psychiatrist” or a “psychologist”).

    After all, “family education” is thought to be a big thing in these professions, which can actually be quite damaging to the vulnerable individual at hand.

    Drugs have their place. If however, one could obtain drugs VOLUNTARILY, knowing full well the full list of effects they have, without ending up on the charity of the mental health system and its high priests and workers, who will label people with disorders even for side effects of drugs they prescribe, it would be a lot better.

    The system is even worse in countries where people need to be labelled because otherwise insurance won’t cover them.

    It is not necessary that Psychotherapy>Drugs or Drugs>Psychotherapy.

    They both have their place. But in strict limits. In my experience, most “Psychotherapy” is as useless and harmful as most “chemical psychotherapy”.

    “Many mental disorders involve the patient responding inappropriately to traumas and emotional swings.”

    Right, and how is a therapist going to make the “patient” “respond appropriately”, to let’s say, the trauma of a parent that bludgeons their child (these kinds of cases are common in these professions)?

    He can’t. What he may do, is then create a dependence of the child onto a system that can do nothing for the child (but it may provide initial solace in the form of a consoling voice), cannot do anything to actually deal with the creator of that trauma, but can go on to label and prescribe drugs to the child creating further problems. If not drugs, then labelling and an addiction to repeated appointments for pointless sessions of listening and talking.

    True therapy would require the vulnerable individual to have bucket loads of money (to hire lawyers etc). Not psychotherapy, nor psychiatry.

    A few lines from an old friend, Thomas Szasz:

    Everywhere, children, and even many adults, take it for granted not only that there is a god but that he can understand their prayers because he speaks their language. Likewise, children assume that their parents are good, and if their experiences are unbearably inconsistent with that image, they prefer to believe that they themselves are bad rather than that their parents are. The belief that doctors are their patients’ agents-serving their patients’ interests and needs above all others–seems to me to be of a piece with mankind’s basic religious and familial myths. Nor are its roots particularly mysterious: when a person is young, old, or sick, he is handicapped compared with those who are mature and healthy; in the struggle for survival, he will thus inevitably come to depend on his fellows who are relatively unhandicapped.

    Such a relationship of dependency is implicit in all situations where clients and experts interact. Because in the case of illness the client fears for his health and for his life, it is especially dramatic and troublesome in medicine. In general, the more dependent a person is on another, the greater will be his need to aggrandize his helper, and the more he aggrandizes his helper, the more dependent he will be on him. The result is that the weak person easily becomes doubly endangered: first, by his weakness and, second, by his dependence on a protector who may choose to harm him. These are the brutal but basic facts of human relationships of which we must never lose sight in considering the ethical problems of biology, medicine, and the healing professions. As helplessness engenders belief in the goodness of the helper, and as utter helplessness engenders belief in his unlimited goodness, those thrust into the roles of helpers whether as deities or doctors, as priests or politicians have been only too willing to assent to these characterizations of themselves.

    This imagery of total virtue and impartial goodness serves not only to mitigate the helplessness of the weak, but also to obscure the conflicts of loyalty to which the protector is subject. Hence, the perennial appeal of the selfless, disinterested helper professing to be the impartial servant of mankind’s needs and interests.

    • Nothing necessarily wrong with chemical psychotherapy if you use the chemicals already present in the body instead of drugs. This is the 60th anniversary of Mayer-Gross pointing out that all neuroleptic drugs do is replace one psychosis with another, the tranquilizer psychosis.

      • I have heard of anti-depressant psychosis. In the psychiatric literature as well as in the Mad literature.
        And you insinuate that all neuroleptics have an unrecognized, a hidden and unspoken psychosis. I know lots who owe their lives to that state of mind.

        Chemicals in the body? sometimes the genes are turned off. Sometimes they are not downregulated. sometimes the complexity precludes a simple intervention. it is called wholistic dynamics the new age uses the words to sell modern snake oil. science admits the very limited knowledge to date . I will place my money on science.

        • Then please explain WHY so-called “science” is dragging it’s feet on genetic testing and analysis for so-called “mental patients”? If psychiatry were in fact the legitimate science which it can only pretend to be, then such testing would have long ago become routine…. It’s all about maintaining the BIG $$$ profits of gross over-drugging, and the POWER and social control of mass over-diagnosing. After all, ALL the so-called “diagnoses” in the DSM were INVENTED, not *discovered*!
          ~B./ rsvp?….

    • Reminds me of several specifics I have encountered in several months. These are the freudian analysis. There is still a tendency to place onus on the patient, not the immediate social environment. And even then, there is a blame the family stance that is much to reflexive to be good science, let alone good treatment. I see this among may Mad defenders here. In so many words they blame parents. in round about ways they hint the same, through their insistence their family be fully excluded from treatment decisions and any info be kept from family. There are cases where this is the right route. But not always! the conversation needs some nuances here as in so many more ways.

      I like Dr E Fuller Torrey, but the extreme Mad followers seem to think he is devil from big pharma incarnate. They apparently have not read his words on over druging! I find this a shame and I do put some responsibility on the bloggers of Mad to correct the situation. It is your choir singing the tune, sour and off key as it is. Where did they first hear it?

      Dr Torrey in his own words:
      That all changed when Big Pharma took over. At the congress, I counted 15 major displays on the way to the lunch area, including an artificial garden (Janssen-Cilag), a brook running over stones (Lundbeck), and a 40-foot rotating tower (Novartis). Almost all offered free food and drink, T-shirts, or other inducements designed to get psychiatrists to pause so that an army of smiling sales representatives could give their sales pitch.

      Eli Lilly’s display included two large, walk-through tunnels set up like funhouses. One tunnel, labeled “Zyprexa,” included a mirrored room with dozens of telephones dangling from the ceiling. Was Lilly trying to convince me that God was calling, telling me to prescribe Zyprexa? The sales representative said no, the phones were meant to illustrate the communication problems common in schizophrenia, which Lilly claims Zyprexa improves. The other funhouse, labeled “Prozac,” featured a 10-foot mouselike creature sitting in front of a blank television screen. I asked whether Lilly was recommending Prozac for mice. The representatives said no, the creature was really a depressed man who needed Prozac.

      My favorite display, by the Dutch firm Organon, advertised Remeron, an antidepressant. It featured a small, multihued tent with purple doors and the painted head of a genie. Inside, a red-robed young woman with sprinkles in her hair was taking Polaroid pictures, one by one, of psychiatrists who had waited patiently in line for 20 minutes or more. This was no ordinary picture but rather a snapshot of one’s aura, taken, as the Organon brochure noted, “with advanced biofeedback equipment.” The equipment consisted of two small machines, on which I placed my hands. The result was a picture of my head peering out of a red, orange, and yellow cloud.
      http://mentalillnesspolicy.org/media/eft/big-pharma-funding-psychiatrists.html

      this is the bedmate of big pharma???

      Comes now the deconstructionism of pro Szasz (a social and cultural critic more than a doctor it appears from his legacy, the fountainhead of all the ridiculous, overblown Libertarian balderdash, all which is a hard match to make with caring community, being so uber individualistic .)

      Lastly the stuck mid century representation of science. Re: It is noted in the psychiatric literature, did you miss this “downside of long term drugs.” issue being across the board? Why the agrssively A OR B headline to start your argument for wrap around services. And “which side” of the drug issue came up with “#treatment delayed is treatment denied? ” hint… not your followers! So please get off the righteous stool, join hands over common issues so we can get at least a start of services in time. And then we can work on the nuances like how long for whom the drugs are beneficial (legal stability for court is not the same as the theraputic line of stability, it takes longer to gain self awareness, and it works ONLY wit talk and handholding, not just drugs , not just rational cognitive blabber to the psychotic ears)

      • In the “Time” magazine obituary for Dr. Thomas Szasz, the ONLY quote was from E. Fulley Torrey. Until and unless Torrey ceases & desists from promoting Medical Fascism – forced treatment – he will remain a minor demon. Nothing more. Psychiatry is a pseudoscience, a drug racket, and a means of social control. It’s 21st century Phrenology, with neurotoxins. All of the so-called “diagnoses” in the DSM were invented, not “discovered”. So-called “mental illnesses” are exactly as real as presents from Santa Claus, but not more real. For your linking to Torrey & Jaffe’s “mentalillness-policy-drugs-promotion-propaganda”, I’m only tempted to report your comment….~B./

  2. Yeah. The narcotics are toxic. That message can’t be said often enough, and people will HEAR IT when a doctor says it. You’re right, though, when say call BS on “responding inappropriately to trauma”. We don’t call people “inappropriate” when physical assault breaks their bones. So, why should we call people “inappropriate” when a psychological, assault breaks their desire or ability to live in a toxic “consensus reality”? Looks like this piece needs some heavy-duty editing! But, otherwise, it’s right-on.

  3. But why would anyone ever want to deal with their experiences of distress, by any kind of psychotherapy?

    A woman goes to a police station to report that she was raped. What she hears is,

    “Well we can offer you the options of chemical or psychological therapy. We can even offer you life coaching. You should be happy about this because not too many years back we used to try and turn the blame back on the victim. And when the victim is a child suffering from familial abuse, we still always try to turn it back on them. But when it is an adult victim, we try to offer them a medical route or a self improvement route. This way we make sure that there will never be any reduction in the number of rapes.”

    Nomadic

    Stop supporting the mental health system. All it is, is just more abuse for survivors of abuse. Please Join:
    http://freedomtoexpress.freeforums.org/fighting-to-eradicate-the-mental-health-system-and-incarcerate-the-practitioners-f2.html

    • and f the rape victims, nothing we can do. our hands are clean, not our sperm in her, not our crime. “there is no society, just individuals” ( Marge Thatcher). How sad to see advocates going down that neo-liberal blackhole!

      as for those ones now relieved of stigmatic labels and unwaranted interventions by state. kindly return to your alleys, your jail cells. report to the e.r. if you really need service, but any presenting symptom will be attributed to your mental state. You are not sick. you malinger, now get out there and get employed. you do not have no stinking disabilities. you are blessed by autism, by agoraphobia listen to the voices and let them guide you
      …go forth and flourish!

  4. I think if I had a kid and my kid was having problems in school, my first course of action would NOT be to take my kid to a psychotherapist. In fact, this would most likely be one of my last choices. Number one might be to examine the direct complaint of the child. What is bothering you? The class? The instruction? The other kids? I might also look at the home environment. I would not have a TV at home, but I’d ask if the child has been exposed to a lot of TV at another location, say, at his day care center (if he attends one) and if so, that would need to be changed. is the child exposed to too much noise? What about nutrition and what are the kids eating at school? Sometimes a good solution for some children is an older child to act as mentor, especially for those who do not have an older sibling. I’d try new activities such as new types of sports, crafts, new social outings, maybe a church group, new play group, drama club, skating, computer club, math team, taking up a musical instrument or singing, art lessons, a job working as apprentice at a lab, and basically whatever the child is good at and feels he would like to pursue further. What do you dream of and what do your really want to do? A therapist would be a last resort, unless the child specifically wanted one, and a few sometimes do. You mean you really want to be a shrink? Well, okay, but the profession is kinda crooked…..Why don’t you run for president instead?

    • trauma informed care, not “what is wrong with you?” but “what happened to you?” is the opening of dialogue. Sometimes it is a real insult that was meant to be insult and trumatic. the bully who trips one who is not graceful.
      Sometimes it is not from outside but from wrong underrstanding of the ear. That IS a reality, but a fa;se one. different solutions. there is no map to all the worlds places.

  5. “All treatments of mental disorders are about changing something in the brain.”

    I’ve seen quite a bit of this kind of thing recently, but I don’t think you will find a great deal of agreement on the subject even within your own field. I see yours, as put forward above, as somewhat of a biological reductivist outlook. You would, similar to many psychiatrists with a biological bias, resolve the mind body problem by declaring mind body. I, on the other hand, to use a metaphor in describing activity within the brain, would not want a violin confused with the music it produces.

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head regarding the actions of psych-drugs, however I would not call the brain damage incurred chemically a result of “chemical psychotherapy”. If anything is achieved through talk therapy, or psycho-therapy proper, that anything is seldom brain damage, and I question whether the brain itself is altered in any significant fashion through talk. Insight may be gained, but this insight is of a different variety than that which would be achieved through ingesting a chemical substance with, as must always be the case with sedating agents, a certain degree of toxicity.

  6. “It is no wonder that in all countries where this has been studied, the increasing consumption of psychotropic drugs has been accompanied by an increasing number of disability pensions.”

    This is correlation not causation. Who is to say that the cause of increasing number of people filing for disability has to do with the problems in society at large, such as few job opportunities for people with disabilities, lack of a sense of community, unhealthy diet and lifestyle choices (pushed on society by big business), etc.?

    • or mission creep of the parent/state? of the agencies paid to connect “clients” to “services” and do so on a “5 million served” model. a society without pensions is probably one where few have the spare capital in hand for psy drugs. which is cause of the correlation, if there indeed is a cause to be seen in the two isolated constructs.

    • I’d say the circumstantial evidence for causation is pretty abundant.

      Westernized medicine (psych-drugs) reaches the 3rd world, and afterwards chronicity and government health expenditures are on the rise. Dramatically so. We’re talking the impoverished world. Their mental health was much better than ours until psych-drugs arrived on their shores. Funny thing, is this relationship, this correlation, directly linked to cause, and why wouldn’t it be? The developing countries had fewer problems than the developed world before the advent of psych-drugs? Come on. I don’t think so. You’ve done a little bit of speculating, but I would say without evidence (of declining job opportunities, lack of community, unhealthy lifestyles, etc.), you’re alibi for the most probable suspect just doesn’t hold water. They were doing things differently, and had much better “mental health” as a result, they adopt western methods and health declines start to match those in the west. 1 + 1 = 2. If you don’t have a better alibi for western med, we’re busted, sorry.

      • reports from the remot 3rd world is tht villag herb itches brew their concoctions and theen, to giv them the added kik of modern west, the use hypodermuics to inject when in old times the patient drank.. No, before they had one way to deal with psychosis. in a shed or to a tree to keep them segregated, but after we got there the big white doctor go to do the work, the numbers reported went up, not the cases extant. remember the forensic s on pre psy drug tissue? same degeneratin as is tody blamed on the drugs was there…before the drugs. Are drugs harmless? certainly not. Is all the damage due to them? not by a long shot. Is there genetic predictability? there is. reality dies not need alibis. it needs honest reconing.

        • I was referring to the World Health Organization studies conducted in the 1970s and 1990s showing better outcomes in the developing world than in the developed world. Those outcomes have begun to change. One of the reasons given for the good outcomes was the absence of psych-drugs used there. This situation has changed as well. 1 + 1 = 2. There has to be a reason. Genetics doesn’t explain this difference. It would seem that the alibi you are giving is full of holes.

          • you better have some specific studies in mind, as the reviews i am reading note that this wqs just the beginning of valid measurement tools. just the beginning, and it continues to day but that period is noted for the hodgepodge of interview tools and second hand reports. the categories were hardly in place for the reporting agents and combining this data set with that data set (who did not do its own data creation , but used data sets already made, by whomever was in a location) a fever dream. so. citations first and i will gladly deconstruct your sure stance upon reciept.

          • If you haven’t read Mad In America, please read it. The WHO research is included therein. This is not about sloppy data collection. This is about how psychiatric drug use effects treatment outcomes. The evidence shows that outcomes have not improved, they’ve gone downhill, and that this downhill progress is related to the primary means of treatment, psych-drugs. Chronicity has become a growing problem. Chronicity and the disability tab that goes along with it. There are numerous studies contained within the pages of Mad In America. Read the book, and get back to me with your defense for your defendants–psychiatry in bed with Big Pharma. I personally don’t find them to be very defensible.

          • sartorius. paragraph 2 admits non representative samples, later the bias of initial input to clinics may reflect outcome prognosis. a 77% unavailable for followup…half assed inter rater consistency across languages? and this is hard science? this is a preliminary study not to be considered anywhere near conclusive.AS USUAL, WHITAKER FAILS TO READ THE BIG BOLD PRINT ADVISORY NOTICES, THE SECTION HEADINGS FOR INSTANCE in this case he goes with the author who cavalierly dismisses his own warnings with absurdist assumptions!

          • I don’t know what you’re talking about. Plain English, please, if you’re going to talk about anything. I don’t think the problem resides in Whitaker’s cherry picking of the data, although perhaps that’s where it resides with you. As for hard data, most of the research today is directed towards getting drugs approved by the FDA for market. You’ve got a chemical gusher in drug research and development. Doing so, in order to profit from it, is fraught with its own biases and shortcomings. This makes such studies short term and of dubious value. Whitaker is looking at the data from long term studies.

          • we were talking about 1970 -1990, not todays paid in full pseudo science which is all about cash, read my words again. and still, the old studies re full of errors too . long term means little if the measures are poor measures. it could be a million years!

    • shaun f,

      You are right, causation doesn’t equal correlation. But if this situation was occurring with any other medical issue, it would be investigated pronto. Unfortunately, every adverse effect regarding psych meds is always blown off. I am really getting tired of this BS and seeing people’s lives destroyed.

      Funny you mentioned unhealthy diet since many people on psych meds have reported intense food cravings and the lack of motivation to engage in exercise. And of course, “lovely” antipsychotics like Zyprexa have cause diabetes.

      • AA, adverse effects occur with all kinds of medical treatments. Many people die from chemotherapy, for instance, but it is the best option for trying to treat cancer. Heart surgery, or most serious surgeries for that matter, sometimes lead to complications and/or death.

        You are correct that low motivation is associated with mental health conditions; however, we observe this phenomenon both for people on and off of psych drugs. I am in full agreement with you that some drugs like Zyprexa are problematic for people who gain weight, develop diabetes, etc., because this does lower life expectancy. We still have a long way to go to develop better treatments which produce no harm. I can say, however, that in my decade or so of experience I’ve seen most of my clients improve on psych drugs and the ones with very serious mental illness got worse when they did not receive these treatments. That is my experience and most of my clients would say that they would be worse off without these treatments. Sorry that goes against the grain here on MIA but it is my truth and the truth of thousands of others who attain treatment on a daily basis in America.

        • Shaun,

          Please stick to the topic as we are talking about whether taking psych meds long term are responsible for the increased disability rate.

          And thousands of people would say differently regarding their effectiveness and side effects. You don’t have a monopoly on the truth just because you are a mental health professional. In fact, I find that every condescending.

          • AA,

            My points are relevant but you can chose to ignore or minimize them if you wish. I am not condescending at all. I know that some people are very harmed by current medical treatments. What I find on MIA is that most of the posters are dismissive of the tens of thousands of people who find relief and benefit from current psych drugs.

            I have never said I have a monopoly on the truth. I don’t. But I also know that thousands of people are helped by the current system, something which gets readily dismissed here on MIA. The MH system and medical model are far from perfect, but it can and does help people recover and live meaningful lives. MH treatment, particularly with non-medical interventions, has been expanded over the years to include recreational activities, social activities, vocational and educational supports, and so forth. The goal is always to help people recover to the point they no longer feel they need us or government assistance if possible. Most of my clients want to work and we do everything we can to support this goal of total self-sufficiency.

  7. As a victim of psychiatric treatment I want to explain the comment, why it is no longer possible to get back to ‘normal’ after extensive drug treatment. After only one year of treatment and a successful complete withdrawal (9 months med free) I can say that my whole personality is gone. The brain areas you use for the personal evaluation of things, the strength they provide to iniate actions or make strong personal decisions are gone. So is the joy of of sharing your personal views with others, integrate new experiences and develop a self determined way of life. What’s the point in psychological treatment when there is no personality you can deal with? My life is ruined.

  8. +Shaun your are right that there are other factors to contribute to a social decline. Still there is a causality between continuous antipsychotic exposure and disability. Antipsychotics damage brain parts That you need to live an independent life. E.g. Your general orientation in a foreign town, your ability to make conclusions, loss of motivation and general attachment to the world etc. That is why there has to be more focus on non-med support, withdrawal and natural recovery.

    • I hear what you’re saying here. And, I’ve been 20+ years “shrink-proof”! Yeah, I still live on Social security Disability, but my life – *ME*, is soo much improved from where I was 20 years ago. I’m NOT contradicting what you’re saying, but I am ADDING that things WILL improve for you, especially if you work for that. Yeah, I’m making a long, hard process sound maybe too easy. It’s a whole lot of little things, that add up to bigger things.

    • Andy, the disability is present before psych drugs are started. Yes, some drugs make it worse, but we also need to look at other factors that produce stress in individuals’ lives, such as being sent to jail, homelessness, substance abuse, domestic violence, etc, all of which occur in higher numbers for people with diagnosed conditions than in the general population. There are many risk factors here. To blame it all on “psych drugs” is ignoring the obvious realities which also cause pain, suffering, and early death in some individuals.

      Someone pointed out that in developing countries mental health outcomes are different. Well, of course that is true. The whole society operates differently than ours. We know that people are a product of nature and nurture, so it is clear that environmental factors weigh heavily on outcomes. Why do you suppose the demand for illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine are so high in America, especially compared to developing countries? Some of these issues might explain why people with different emotional states than what is considered “normal” in America have poorer outcomes than in other parts of the world. People in America aren’t generally communal in their thinking, unless you are talking about smaller rural areas. We are generally individualistic and Darwinian. This, of course, leaves many people isolated, lonely, misunderstood, judged, etc., which we know negatively impact health outcomes.

      • i’m having that conversation with frank above. I took a look at some of the literature claiming better outcomes, I find it fraudulent, premature and misdirecting. a 77% rate of “unavailable at followup” is dismissed as no problem because that group did not differ fro the cohort in demographic and diagnostic criteria at intake. talk about true believers not willing to investigate!

        As for the wholistic approach these anti meds champion. so wholistic that they refuse to consider other causality for the condition(s). how convenient a switch off that must be. I wish my rational processes came so well defended.

        I wonder if the WHO people ever did the intake and follow-up on their own, separate from the clinicians in all those places . I think I am looking at apples and oranges…. and figs and mangoes. I think its already mincemeat and baked in a pie. But its sciencey enough for some eyes.

  9. Mental Illness mystery mongering is still going on MIA.Me and few people here knows,that human hormones
    are main and only one real biological reason,for havoc in human brains,which 21st century science sadly still
    name as *Mental* Illness or Disorders.We only need meds,which will deal with hormones in our brains and this will be the very death of Mental Health System and collapse of manipulative professions-Psychologists and Psychiatrists will be undone and their rebellion against biology and evolution,will be finnaly over!Sadly the very *audience* here is,(un)aware victim of Psychologists manipulation,which sadly *turn* them towards so called
    anti-psychiatry activism.You lost your mind here,my crazy brethren from USA!We have only one enemy and
    this is Mental Health System!Start with new movement Occupy NIMH.Your endless argue on MIA blogs won’t
    change anything,but such occupy movement will change everything!

    • too late, the revolution has already begun. it came from NIMH, and will spread from there. RDoC for one. btw, they are NEURO-Hormones to be precise. there are also b lial regulators, sodium and potassium channel regulaters, fatty acids that line the cannabinoid/opiate/other regulation systems in cell membranes, these contriibute to a wholistic array of events, not just “mental events.” The revolution begins with rejecting reductioinism in all its forms.

      Welcome aboard?

  10. waltinseattle , Don’t quote Margaret Thatcher to me. That goes no where. Our SOCIETY, meaning our collective or aggregate culture, takes those who seem to have no place in the world, the Survivors of the Middle-Class Family, and labels them as Mentally Ill.

    This is nothing more than a second layer of abuse, very much like what anti-rape activists have long categorized as second rape, acting like the victim is wrong or has something wrong with them.

    And people are made into malingerers by our mental health system, because if not drugs, then it will be talk therapy, recovery, or life coaching. But never justice for the survivors of abuse. Our Mental Health System, and therapy and recovery, exist to convince people that they have something wrong with them. Our society no longer needs very much labor. But our Capitalist system all the more needs scapegoats.

    Here, look at a more extensive post I recently made.
    http://freedomtoexpress.freeforums.org/not-asking-for-pity-t420.html

    Nomadic

    We Need To Discuss How To Make An Anti-Mental Health and Anti-Recovery Forum. I Offer This As A Safe Place For These Discussions. Reclaiming our social standing will never happen in the office of a Therapist or Life Coach, or in a Recovery Group either. It has to happen out in the open, and this means engaging in open conflict. So there will be no moderation of posts; all views will be welcomed. Please Join:
    http://freedomtoexpress.freeforums.org/index.php

    • im sorry you had such shits fir parents. mine were not very good at it either but they tried to seem nice at least.. you should be doing well and hapy with the trauma informed essages of today. no need to pretend you are broken, no need to say there is no reovery, but hey, trauma is a bitch, sometimes you have to admit to being run over by that nack truck called mom and dad. pretending it never happened, or pretending it didbt hurt,,, both are denial and that a big hurdle for the human ego. let go and let it be done. Wouldnt you rather be free from yesterday and not figuring hos to get even?

      • waltinseattle, you don’t know anything about me. And you have no business lecturing to me, or telling me what sort of therapy is good for me.

        Psychotherapy is always based on taking advantage of survivors, talking them down. You are tying to do the same thing to me here on this forum, and it is not going to work.

        Nomadic

    • Nomadic, I have never received life coaching from the Mental Illness Industry. You have me scratching my head. Psycho-therapists are totally different from life or career coaches. Medicaid will not cover coaching; just drugs, psychotherapy, etc.
      Life coaches aren’t required to have MSW’s or certification as therapists. Ironically they can earn more per hour. There is no stigma attached to seeing a coach. Wealthy executives often consult with them to help achieve better work/life balance and other stuff.
      If professional coaches acted like some of the psychotherapists I have been forced to see they would starve. No one would hire such egotistical, patronizing jerks.

      • Discouraged,

        Anyone offering something to ameliorate Psychiatry and childhood abuses, who is not offering a path to redress, reparations, and vindication, is just taking advantages of the survivors of abuse. No difference, Psychotherapy, Life Coaching, or anything else directed at survivors, but without redress. Just more abuse of survivors.

        Only way one gets to have a validated biography again is redress, vanquishing foes.

        Nomadic

  11. Shaun,

    A common tactic you and mental health professionals deliberately engage in is to detract from psych meds having side effects by claiming others do also.

    Speaking for myself and no one else on this board, I have never doubted that people benefit from psych meds. I just think the percentage is significantly less than folks who have been harmed.

    • AA,

      So am I wrong that other medical treatments also have side effects? I don’t disagree with SEs being a problem. Actually, yesterday I gave a talk to my colleagues about many of the concerns that folks on MIA bring up, such as that there are no biomarkers for mental illness and that we have no ability to determine if any prescribed drug is going to benefit or harm a client. I just don’t believe throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

      • No, you’re not wrong that other drugs have side effects but you and other mental health professionals make the point to detract attention from the fact that psych drugs have some of the worst side effect profiles. I am glad you agree they are a problem.

        • AA,
          I’m not doing it to detract attention. I believe it is a valid point. Posters on MIA demonize psychiatry but the truth is that many types of medical treatments make people sicker. I think we still have a long way to go before we really understand how the human body works and why some people get x condition and others get y. We need more longitudinal studies. I do believe we are doing mini experiments on people when we give them psych drugs, and I am personally uncomfortable with much of this. I think humans have been experimenting on humans for many generations and med mgmt. is another iteration of this. 75 years ago we were doing lobotomies. Now we give people pills. The difference is I think more people are helped than harmed, but I can see how not everyone views it that way. I’ll also suggest that we ought to stop prescribing pills like they are candy. Doctors should not practice this way.

          • could not agree more. compare this issue to the over writing for anti-biotics because patient demand something for their time and money of the visit. and look where thats got us. pushy patients want darling baby to not have sniffles, manipulable doc writes. GRRRR!

            some of us call them the “worried well.” this is not to say they do not suffer, sometimes greatly, even to the point of resorting ti suicide. However, the great majority are “well” in that they are not suffering from what the 4% have to deal with. 4% SMI is the best estimate , but the prescriptions are nearly 10times or more widely spread. That is malpractice by off-label carelessness & no different than giving junior pennicillin for the cold. Mostly it is g.p. doing the psychiatric drugs also, with no expertise. How do some people take them for a year or 2 before ever meeting a psychiatrist!!!

            the MIA minions act like they are the single champion to correct it! they lump it all in one giant “my story” and pull the “youre not hearing me” whenever the story is examined. Some are not the minions. i find them a pleasure to converse with.

            Biomarkers: yes there are. They are not sufficient , they are far from even necessary in many ways. and to use that lovely line from th RDoC big data study on genes …”they don’t respect the DSM category boundaries.” What has been found is that these antiquated signs and symptoms thing called behavioral medicine got its categories wrong and we are just starting to correct that. Meanwhile as peoples, brains mature and maturational deficits become evident, diagnoses of behavior shape shifts like the behavior. This is great ammo for the mia critics. for the scientist its data. Meanwhile it is a sad history of well but depressed people being dosed with antidepressants and over reacting because…they had no problem there to correct, just a misunderstanding between them, the doc and the chemical reactions that spell headline tragedy.

          • shaun,

            Once again, you are missing the point about psychiatry being demonized. The difference is with other medical professions, concerns are usually treated seriously although sadly, there are exceptions.

            But many people who complain to their psychiatrists about drug effects and other issues are treated as if all their complaints are due to mental illness. Many times, they increase the dose which makes things worse.

            And god help the person with a psych med history who goes to regular doctors for treatment. Many of us have found that we had to lie to doctors about our psych med history to make sure we received optimal care. Unfortunately, that is getting harder to do with electronic medical records.

  12. Proxy agents of NIMH and Mental Health System are allowed to comment on MIA?Anyone have a right to say
    whatever he/she wrote here,if he/she don’t violate posting *guidelines* here.But this people in general all
    violate rights and even lives of *crazy* population.Please *re-think* their comment ability here,MIA.

  13. I don’t talk to NIMH or SAMSHA,much less I belong to any anarchist group.And I don’t violate anyone
    human rights and lives,like most of mental health experts do.Psychologists even more value human
    rights of captured and *tortured* terrorists suspects,then rights of any crazy person who was tortured
    inside mental institutions!Who is here proxy isn’t a problem.But who supports torture and murder inside
    mental institutions,it’s clear to all who will read our-leveling,but it won’t happened,because I don’t get into
    leveling with my *racial* enemies-psychologists or psychiatrists.

  14. All I ask from shrinks is that they stay as far away from me as possible. I started out with depression and anxiety. Went to see psychiatrist; he put me on an antidepressant. For the three weeks I was on it I could not sleep. I called him repeatedly, telling him my hallucinations had begun since I went on the pill.

    The LIAR denied that the pill was to blame–he said it was all my fault because I was a defective, crazy schizophrenic. I found out afterward that everything I experienced was a known side effect. The creep was gas lighting me!

    For over 20 years I was held hostage by the system and told how worthless, sick and crazy I was.

    Finally I escaped. Because I have suffered damage to every organ in my body–especially my brain and nervous system–and my reputation was ruined from my “diagnosis” I have never been gainfully employed. No one has ever wanted to date me.

    Who could ever love someone the psychiatric “experts” demonize as a monster? Torrey does it all the time on television, then whines because not enough people are getting “help” from his profession. Puhleeze! Who wants to be disabled through brain damage and defamed on national television by Torrey and his ilk?

    • So find ME an attorney, “Nomadic”! You know I’ve read your comments here for a year or 2 now. I’ve gone to the website you ALWAYS link in your comments. There is much truth and validity in what you say.
      **BUT**, I cannot, and will not, let it go un-responded to. When you use that simple word “recovery”, you’re using it to mean something VERY different from how I mean it. I’m a RECOVERED alcoholic, with 25+ years of one-day-at-a-time RECOVERY, using the A.A./12 Steps model of RECOVERY. I continue to work on my RECOVERY on a daily basis. Writing this comment, in fact, is an act of RECOVERY for me. I have had several years of excellent PSYCHOTHERAPY, from some very excellent licensed clinical psychologists. The pseudoscience drug racket and means of social control known as psychiatry damn near killed me! “Life Coaching” is about as specific as “financial advising”. I do see where you’re coming from, and up to a point I agree. But I do think your thinking needs an UPDATE. And please my friend, keep up the good work. We’re simply using some of the same words, to mean very different things….