What if the Folly is in Us, Too?

Gordon Warme, MD
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Despite the enthusiasm of media reports, there’s not a hint that psychiatric patients have diseases, let alone treatable diseases—not a hint. That means that, since no biological abnormality has ever been found, there is nothing to treat, although there may be plenty to talk about. I’ll let you see the bad news (the good news?) right away—news that may come as a shock for those who want to believe that psychiatry is a bona fide scientific practice (a belief common in the public sphere, even though for many Mad in America readers it is old news).

It will surprise many people to know that the psychiatrists who prepared the DSM-5 have actually admitted that all psychiatric diagnoses are descriptive, that none are to be identified with a cause. Yet almost all of my psychiatric colleagues, especially those who work in a university setting, have not paid attention. More serious than that, they don’t seem to have paid attention to their own patients. The following quotation is a progress report on the DSM-5 planning process, which is an official publication of the American Psychiatric Association.

… the goal of validating these syndromes [i.e., psychiatric disorders] and discovering common etiologies has remained elusive … not one laboratory marker has been found to be specific in identifying any of the DSM-defined syndromes. Epidemiologic and clinical studies have shown extremely high rates of co-morbidities among the disorders, undermining the hypothesis that the syndromes represent distinct etiologies. Furthermore, epidemiologic studies have shown a high degree of short-term diagnostic instability for many disorders. With regard to treatment, lack of treatment specificity is the rule rather than the exception.

The efficacy of many psychotropic medications cuts across the DSM-defined categories. For example, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been demonstrated to be efficacious in a wide variety of disorders, described in many different sections of DSM, including major depressive disorder … twin studies have also contradicted the DSM assumption that separate syndromes have a different underlying genetic basis …1

Were they even more honest, the writers would go beyond an admission; they would shout out these conclusions from the rooftops: Hold your fire, colleagues. We don’t have the evidence we thought would show up. We’ve stumbled and have relied on opinions rather than evidence. It’s time to reboot, to rethink things, to go back to basics and use the scientific method to debunk a lot of what we’ve been saying.

Confessions like this are buried—as is the above passage—among many pages of speculative jargon, hopes, and predictions; a tiny glimmer of honesty in a book whose authors also restate all the old orthodoxies and politically correct pieties. It’s easy to miss such honest admissions. Undeterred by their own confession and equally unfazed by years of futile effort—I neither know nor do I ever expect to know of a single discovery—psychiatric scientists clamour for increased research funding. In homage to this madness, it says on the walls of the psychiatric hospital where I work, The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto: “Research Transforms Lives.” I’m sorry to say that the Menninger Clinic where I trained uses the same slogan.

The obvious conclusion is that if there is nothing to treat, there’s nothing to say except to repeat that there is nothing to treat—although, as I’ve said, a doctor and her patient may well do some serious talking. I find the above fragment of honesty from the DSM-5 committee admirable, but those who wrote it have tarnished their honesty by going further, stating that these purely descriptive diagnoses are reliable and can be identified by many clinicians, a statement that falsely implies they are real diseases.

Not only are they wrong, they are ridiculous; any of us can, with a high degree of reliability, identify geniuses, fools, bankers, homebodies, Lotharios, derelicts, and athletes—categories that are also not diseases. What counts is validity, and without an objective marker, no valid disease can be pinned down. Just the same, biological psychiatrists are determined that a cause, an etiology of mad behavior can be discovered. These psychiatrists, often professors and researchers, ignore what they themselves know—that there are no objective data to study, no signs that would make a search for causes plausible. Psychiatrists are just plain peculiar, a tribe that is stubbornly ideological even though, because there are no objective things on which to do research, there is no way of applying the scientific method to their patients.

If, as the authors of the above quotation say, all treatments work for all psychiatric disorders, what in the world are we psychiatrists doing? Were it true that laxatives, insulin, cough medicine, antibiotics, and hydrocortisone cream all helped all medical patients, including those with diabetes, cancer, tuberculosis, and hyperthyroidism, all medical treatments would be suspect. But obviously they don’t work for all medical conditions. Contrast this with psychiatry in which drugs, psychoanalysis, every form of psychotherapy, and electric shock do ‘work’ in the treatment of every psychiatric disorder. And, I should add, acupuncture, herbs, astrology, homeopathy, chiropractic, eating seeds and nuts, yogic flying, and being reborn in Christ also work in the treatment of every psychiatric disorder—although a lot of psychiatrists haven’t noticed. But Robert Burton noticed. In his classic book, The Anatomy of Melancholy, published in 1621, Burton said, “1001 causes and 1001 cures.” The repetitive cry of “it works!” makes it obvious that these are placebo cures. This reminder may offend some people, but it is undeniably true.

Coming as it does from the pinnacle of psychiatric orthodoxy, the DSM-5 committee’s admission should have brought the psychiatric debate over diagnosis, diseases, and treatment to an end, but it hasn’t. Few of the psychiatrists I know have even read or noticed the passage I have quoted.

If we want the “truth,” especially when tackling a tricky subject like psychiatry, we have to be careful, because everyday language can lead us astray. Faced with living in a postmodern culture, we have to grit our teeth and admit that the truth—the final truth, the really real truth—is hard to nail down. We therefore need guidelines for what we are to believe, and there are only two:

  • Custom, the day-to-day principles of proper behavior and proper taste: being “normal.”
  • Science, understanding the physical properties of objects.

But be clear that science is pretty well useless for understanding the goal-directed properties of objects: that is to say, the actions, hopes, fears, and fantasies of people. Because the word has a nasty sting, I want to tell my colleagues that they are superstitious—that they’ve fallen into a trap. Even harder to swallow, if there are no truths and no beliefs that can be absolutely pinned down, the word superstition can be applied to any belief.

“Our fellow shrinks have fallen for a bunch of bullshit,” said a friend. “That non-existent abnormal biology, plus all those romantic words: empathy, trust, and so on.”

And he didn’t spare me. “I’m not into what you do either, Warme, that philosophical insight stuff. What we’ve got to do is to help people to be genuine, to get in touch with their true selves which Winnicott wrote about years ago. Authenticity is what it’s all about.”

Well, yes, we all want an answer, but why would my friend decide that “authenticity” is it? I guess it’s the fulfillment of his hopes, his romantic hopes? But my friend is like most people; he is determined that madness must be comprehensible, but it’s not. We know that social injustice, poverty, and persecution are important in some cases of madness, but they are important in your life and mine as well. And privileged people become psychiatric patients as well. We ought only to say that we don’t know why some people live the unconventional life led by the mad. I like the “unconventional” word because it fits the facts and makes no judgment. The determination to find a cause for madness only contributes to the idea that those people who live unconventional lives have a disease. Best to help all people, including the mad, as well as we can.

When living with fellow citizens who are odd, disturbing, and unconventional, all of us feel we ought to “do something.” We doctors, especially, want to do something: It’s what we’ve been trained to do. Faced with behavior different from our own or from our expectations, all of us feel that urge to “do something”—an act that is one of the beginnings of prejudice, a malignant virus that all of us have trouble shaking free of. Here is an example.

At dinner in a small hotel in Cambodia, in a mixture of sign language and gestures, I indicate to the waiter that I want a gin and tonic. Expecting me to follow up with my order for food, he continues to stand by my side. Thinking fast, I realize that, if I do order, the food will likely come with my gin and tonic. A typical Westerner, I want to linger over my drink before my food comes. Finally, I manage to persuade him to get my drink; he returns and puts it in front of me. But he lingers again, expecting that I will now order my dinner. I am irritated and wave him off, a small flick of the wrist which signifies that he should leave, should bugger off, should beat it; a contemptuous and dismissive signal, the memory of which makes me shudder. We are in his language culture, and I act as though we are in my language culture, and that mine has priority. Me, the big liberal, the world traveller, the sophisticate—as ready as anyone to judge difference as stupidity. The waiter’s face is impassive, but he knows exactly that he has been a witness to Western arrogance.

I want to say that my reaction is merely a “hint” of prejudice, merely the “seeds” of something bad, but it isn’t. It’s the real thing, leakage of an attitude that is full-fledged cultural prejudice, The Full Monty—full cousin to racism and the intolerance of difference that springs up when we have to deal with psychiatric patients, those citizens whose actions don’t fit with what’s usual in our culture.

Terrible questions come up when we think about this: if we call them psychiatric patients, have we taken the first step toward judging them, assigning them to a category lower than ours, suggesting that they are pathetic compared to you and me? And if we stop calling them patients, are we ready to treat them as full citizens, make them face the consequences of their behavior like everyone else, including being hauled before a court if they break the law?

Such awful questions make all of us want to “do something,” to solve the problem. Maybe science is the answer, we’re tempted to think. Because there are no scientific data to study, science can never be the answer. It’s hard to accept that there is no solution apart from the human decency that we already have ready at hand. Best to struggle with problems as they come up, case by case. No wishful thinking allowed, no thinking that we are the ones who have the answer.

Just about all of us think we have the answer, and that’s when trouble starts.

Show 1 footnote

  1. D.J. Kupfer, M.B. First, and D.A. Regier, eds., A Research Agenda for DSM-5 (Washington: American Psychiatric Association, 2002), p. xviii-xix.
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Gordon Warme, MD
Gordon Warme is a medical doctor specializing in psychiatry. He trained with Karl Menninger at the Menninger Clinic in the US and at the Universität Heidelberg in Germany, and has been a faculty member at the Menninger Clinic, the University of Kansas, and the University of Toronto. Dr. Warme has been the director of many programs including Clarke Institute of Psychiatry and the Kansas Treatment Center for Children.

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62 COMMENTS

  1. Good and bad. I like where you’re going with this piece, in some respects, but it’s not like your interests don’t show through. Were you to “reboot”, to return to the roots, where would you be? I imagine it would be a dungeon-like environment pretending that if we treated folly and deviance as a medical problem rather than as a practically criminal one that treatment would be preferable. It was the locking up of the mad that got the medical profession involved in this matter to the extent that it is in the first place. Now that medical profession, of which you are a representative, has become a problem in itself. The problem in fact has not diminished one iota, it has instead exploded unto epidemic proportions. Folly is in all of us, and the proof is in the pudding, the pudding, in this instance, being the wonderland of mental health treatment. Alice eventually woke up, of course she was only a literary creation, based upon a real child at that, who may, or may not, have been learning. I can’t help but be very aware of the fact that with the present mental health system a great deal of unlearning must be taking place all the time.

    • Frank, you’ve touched on a very good point. Before psychiatry was taken over by the medical field, it was perfectly fine to lock up and forget about the mental defectives. But medicalizing distress has also led to it’s own kind of prison because it provides a legitimacy to the notion of a broken brain. Both methods allow those who do harm to others to continue to get away with the long-term damage they’ve done. However they became that way, the traumatized person is funneled into “care” and effectively silenced.

        • “By the mid-eighteenth century, the common method in the United Kingdom for dealing with the insane was either to keep them in the family home, or to put them in a “madhouse”, which was simply a private house whose proprietor was paid to detain their residents, and ran it as a commercial concern with little or no medical involvement.”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madhouses_Act_1774

          At one time you had physicians who specialized in madness, but this practice later developed into a medical specialty, this specialty we call psychiatry–a word that didn’t exist before the 19th century.

          • I see two upsurges in numbers and institutionalization taking place here, first, when they “ran it as a commercial concern”, a business, and thus the “trade in lunacy” took off, capitalism in action, (little bump) before, as you can see above, there was so much medical interest in the subject. Prior to this point, about all you had in England was Bedlam (St Marys of Bethlem). Then there is this age of madhouses. Then when medical doctors started getting involved, and you had the asylum building movement of the 19th century (big bump), mental health “reform” before the mental health movement started up (20th century). Recently, we’ve had a third great upsurge with the impetus of the psych-drug industry. (Now we’ve got an entire industry capitalizing on psychiatric cynicism– ‘chronicity’ and ‘non-recovery’.) You can add to this the institution extended into the community psychiatry business, the “alternatives” excuse, that is, we can’t close these big Victorian monstrosities (Kirkbride buildings and their replacements) without community supports being in place first. Those community supports also manage to up the numbers as the person who wants to be mollycoddled (have “medical” attention bestowed upon him or her) ‘forever’ now has that option.

    • You’re right there. In their eagerness to prove their mental illness categories are real diseases, our main line shrinks seem to have totally forgotten that there are numerous “ordinary” diseases that have a profound effect on mental functioning that can’t be alleviated with psychiatry or its drugs, but can be alleviated or even eliminated with real (ordinary?) medical treatments. Of course, when this happens, the ailment in question is immediately drummed out of psychiatry, like the Lion and Unicorn being drummed out of town (if you remember the nursery rhyme).

    • The point I was trying to make is that the subject was a prisoner before he or she was a patient. The idea was that, given such imprisonment, medicalization would result in “kinder, gentler” imprisonment. Picaresque prisons hidden away in the countryside have their points, but they’re still prisons. The problem is not and never was the prisoner, it was the prison. So long as the wards are closed, and the “patients” are not free to come and go as they please, you don’t have a hospital, you have a prison. Of course, this is where we stash “unacceptable” people, but doing so is a form intolerance, of “non-acceptance”. You should read the likes of E. Fuller Torrey, D. J. Jaffe, and Pete Earley talk about how because somebody is homeless, goes on dumpster raids, and talks to him or herself on a park bench, that somebody must “have a mental illness”. This is the tradition, demanding that people fill a certain cookie cutter mold, or else we send them to the place where we stash “unacceptable” people until they are deemed “acceptable”. Before that tradition, people were more accepting of folly, but once that tradition had become established, folly is taken for a form of illness, a lack of health, rather than what you’ve actually got, that is, a lack of wisdom. Certainly, as much as they fail at the endeavor, our healers can’t be said to be any wiser than their, and a growing number at that, foolish patients. Or is it, patient fools?

      • I’m not sure I would describe those who don’t fit the norm as having a lack of wisdom. Some of the brightest and wisest minds I’ve come across have been among the homeless. What’s wrong with dumpster diving? My stepmother used to drive through Beverly Hills on Christmas Eve to get free Christmas gifts for her kids because the rick folk would put out all the barely touched toys from the previous year on the curb to be taken when they bought new rooms full of toys for their kids for Christmas. People used to call her a scrounger and a dumpster diver, but it seemed pretty smart to me then and still does. People have lived outside the margins of social acceptability for a long time but that has no bearing on their wisdom, intelligence, or mental health. It simply makes the establishment uncomfortable to see them because they want to pretend we live in a fair and just world. If you hide away the misfits, the scenery is nicer. Or so it seems they think. Yes, it is a prison, regardless of how fancy it is. I’ve been on some pretty swanky private hospital wards. They’re still locked and the treatment is still coercive. They are still a prison.

        • We live in a very wasteful society. I’m not out to pathologize homeless people or anybody else for that matter. When I mentioned E. Fuller Torrey and company it wasn’t to agree with them. Quite the opposite. Certainly those who don’t fit the mold must lack conventional wisdom. There is, of course, much folly to conventional wisdom though. I’ve been on some pretty swank wards myself, and, yeah, they are still a prison.

        • FeelingDiscouraged, this seems like an obvious truth, right? That being homeless is unpleasant and that simply giving people housing will fix the issue. This is true of those who are experiencing temporary homelessness in crisis. Unfortunately, the chronically homeless often find the “help” that goes along with the housing to be coercive and return to the streets leaving empty apartments behind. This is a complex issue with many causes and it can’t be fixed with the patriarchal methods currently employed of coming in and taking over people’s lives to “help” them. That help usually involves medications and job programs that the homeless individual doesn’t want. It is a complex issue and our current methods do not come close to being enough to address it.

          • Well stated. Speaking of “help” when it comes to the homeless. There is a lot of coercion that goes on in the homeless shelters in the city where I live. All but one of them are Christian based and require attendance at chapel or prayers and going to prayer groups. Your discussions better contain lots of references to Christian beliefs and biblical teaching. This is “help” with a stick or club.

          • Steve, as a Christian I oppose these coercive techniques for “converting” people. Jesus never forced people to follow Him. Sometimes He would deliberately preach sermons to weed out the people who weren’t 100% sincere about following Him.

            I also despise prosperity hucksters who make absurd promises about leading “your best life now.”

            If people need housing they should have it offered to them. Whether they attend Bible studies or not should be up to them.

          • FeelingDiscouraged

            I agree 100% with you. People should be given housing without being forced to pretend to believe in something that they don’t. I wouldn’t let my cat live in any of these shelters.

          • I wouldn’t oversimplify. I imagine for some people, myself included, there are fates worse than “homelessness”, and, sometimes, “homelessness” might be considered a way to avoid those more dire fates. Also, if you’re in survivalist mode, surviving “homeless” can be very instructive. I know there is no urban wilderness survival show on the Discovery Channel, for instance, but maybe there should be. “Nomads” are “homeless”, too, in a way, but they do have mobile “shelters”. (Of course, you could also say the entire world is their ‘home’.) I would imagine for a very few, too, “homelessness” might represent a preferred mode of existence. Of course, that’s not the typical view, and “homelessness” is generally seen as being “down and out”, in general, or as suffering from victimization through misfortune and impoverishment.

          • There are some unique individuals who actually choose a homeless lifestyle. If they honestly prefer that and don’t hurt anyone, where’s the harm? For those forced into a homeless lifestyle, keeping it illegal will not help. Maybe if they made cancer illegal folks would quit dying from it…duh! Bureaucratic control freaks!

  2. “Research transforms lives.”

    An exquisite example of our family’s entanglement with CAMH. As recently as 2003 we were told that my son’s brain was settling [into concrete–the “plastic” brain theory was looming on the horizon] and that if we wanted to help him we needed to “protect his brain” with antipsychotic drugs. That line of thinking was repudiated by Nancy Andreasen’s admission in the New York Times in 2008 that the longer you are on antipsychotics, the more brain tissue you will lose.

    • Yes, good old CAMH. How many lives have they ruined with their backwards, ignorant, and dangerous approaches to “treating” people suffering from any variety of emotional distress.
      They actively advertise ECT, misleading potential victims by revealing nothing about brain damage, cognitive dysfunction, and permanent and extensive memory loss. They even advertised on Craig’s List looking for volunteers for an ECT study!
      Your son is lucky he didn’t get ECT instead of antipsychotics, terrible as they are..

    • I respect Andreasen’s decision to talk about this since she is the Grand Dame of the Bio-Bio-Bio psychiatry. She stated this in 2008, and yet two months ago I heard a young psychiatrist state that she was so happy because she’d convinced a young man who didn’t want to be “medicated” (I called it drugged) to take the antipsychotics because it would keep his brain from being damaged any more than it already was by the schizophrenia! I was so angry that before I thought I said, “Give me a break”! After everyone at the meeting looked at me they ignored me as if I’d said nothing at all. Here it is 2017, nine years later and Andreasens’s message goes ignored and unheard!

      • An old friend of mine had a daughter who did just fine until she entered the public school system. Her father had a history of schitzophrenia and all it took was one classroom meltdown in first grade before the school decided to refer her to psychiatric care. It was assumed this meltdown was schitzophrenia manifesting at a young age and she was put on antipsychotics at seven years old to “prevent” brain damage. Over the next ten years, I watched this child and the unrelated child in the same household go in two different directions. The medicated girl often looked completely vacant as if nobody was home. The other girl was praised for being exceptionally bright and given every opportunity to succeed. When they reached college age, the medicated child was spoken about in terms of lifelong disability while the other child went off to our state’s premier technical university. What was even sadder was that I ran across these girls and their mothers several times a year at parties and the differences in how the mothers spoke about them – right in front of them- was heartbreaking. Whatever the medicated child had in terms of intellect had been completely diminished after ten years on antipsychotic drugs. This is criminal from my view.

  3. If medicines interact withy neurotransmitters than they would only benefit those with a medical challenge. Like if the central nervous system and firing of transmitters was out of whack psychiatric medicines may help feel better. Seems this thinking is logical for depression and psychosis.

    If the endocrine system and regulation of hormones was out of whack these medicines likely wouldn’t aid because its much different medical challenge. If mental health challenges were due to any number of environmental factor like trauma pharmacology wouldn’t aid as its not a medical challenge ….but a emotional/spiritual challenge…, but pharmacology would alter neurotransmitters … leading to consequences from the medicine.

    • I don’t agree that a drug “working” is evidence of a medical problem with neurotransmitters or anything else. Alcohol is widely used as an anxiety-reducing drug, and is very effective for that purpose. Does that mean everyone who takes a drink or two to relax has a medical problem? Coffee is a stimulant that helps increase alertness, especially if sleep is somewhat lacking. Do people have to have a neurotransmitter problem for coffee to keep them awake? You can’t use reaction to a drug as evidence of a medical problem.

      It should also be noted that changes in brain chemistry and PET scans happen when people talk to someone about their issues, or even when they change what image they are thinking of. Brain chemistry is very fluid and changeable. The idea that there are such things as “neurochemical deficits” is pretty much delusional.

      — Steve

      • My observations happen to align with Dr. Niall McLaren Mainstream western psychiatry article where he discusses how he still prescribes medicine to same percentage os people e did in 1980s. He believes that the use of medicine has increased but mental illnesses have not.

        It’s therefore probably true that those with issues with central nervous system unusual functioning present as more sick and those with the other two onsets I mentioned do not have illnesses as profound ….may be able to find better treatment than pharmaceutical meds or may not even need medicine.

        Well there has yet to be a cause for psychosis and so it is only logical that there are several reasons for etymology or onset. I’ve decided of all the theories out there that much of the time psychosis root is from endocrine system (hormones), central nervous system (neurotransmitters), or a specific environmental root cause such as abuse.

        Out of the three I mentioned medicines only help one being that of issues with central nervous system.

        • If there is indeed an issue with a patient’s CNS then the doctor should be able to discern this through reliable tests. There are no physical tests for psychiatric diagnoses. Just check off lists of unquantifiable symptoms that may vary from day to day. And they must check off some arbitrary number of these symptoms for the diagnosis to “stick.” Say 6 out of 9.

          • I realize this is bizarre , however there is an indistinguishable trait when central nervous system is the cause.

            This is actually that the wiring and firing of neurotransmitters that causes psychosis happens to be the reason for the emergence of spiritual or supernatural phenomenon.

            The other onsets (environmental, hormone) do not allow one to have this psychic or spiritual connection. But very few individuals are psychics… are in the void and in need of help.

            The Dr. or other professional must use instincts. Most of the time individuals would not talk about this with their voices or delusions if psychosis is due to environmental or hormones. This is psychology after where observation and talking are a specific element of treatment.

          • You are right Pat. It is bizarre and makes no sense. If the central nervous system is at fault but shows no evidence of failure how is anyone able to determine the role it plays? It’s like saying “An invisible cat is sitting in that chair over there. Because he’s invisible you can’t see him. Ergo, he must exist.”

            As far as a defective CNS being responsible for all spiritual phenomenon, I guess you subscribe to the materialist worldview. You may believe in your Dad, if he’s also a materialist, but you don’t take the Bible literally.

            I left the Church of Psychiatry when I realized its claims were not only unscientific, but clashed with my Christian beliefs.

        • I’d like to point out that the vast majority of the body’s stores of neurotransmitters like serotonin are actually located in the bowels, not in the brain (which is likely why psych drugs have such nasty GI side effects.) I think we can lay off blaming the brain and just say the asshole is appropriately named.

          FeelingDiscouraged, I agree, the Church of Psychiatry is unscientific. This means it also clashes with those of us who consider ourselves religious skeptics. Just like other churches, it’s high priests (psychiatrists) are guilty of longstanding abuse… Eve n when the message is pure, those delivering it can (and do) corrupt it.

  4. if we call them psychiatric patients, have we taken the first step toward judging them, assigning them to a category lower than ours, suggesting that they are pathetic compared to you and me

    Who are “we”? Who are “them”? This differentiation itself I would say is the first step and more, and is implicitly judgmental.

  5. “Falsified Research Results Damage Lives.” That’s my slogan.

    The defectiveness of the chemical imbalance theory and the fact that most shrinks don’t believe it must be psychiatry’s best kept secret.

    I don’t trust psychiatrists because they lie all the time. Whatever degrees they have are irrelevant if they won’t tell the truth.

  6. The folly is in you, today’s psychiatrists are harming people for profit, killing millions, and covering up child abuse en mass. Please stop doing this, it’s illegal and morally repugnant.

    Today “the prevalence of childhood trauma exposure within borderline personality disorder patients has been evidenced to be as high as 92% (Yen et al., 2002). Within individuals diagnosed with psychotic or affective disorders, it reaches 82% (Larsson et al., 2012).” Child abuse is a crime, not a brain disease, as is covering up child abuse by defaming massive numbers of child abuse victims with made up “mental illnesses,” and then creating the symptoms of those “mental illnesses” in these child abuse victims with the psychiatric drugs. This is the primary “folly” of today’s psychiatric system, according to your own medical literature.

    And the DSM treatment recommendations for “borderline” and the “psychotic or affective disorders,” which call for combining the antidepressants and/or antipsychotics, can create what appears to the psychiatrists to be the negative symptoms of “schizophrenia”, via neuroleptic induced deficit syndrome, and the what appears to the psychiatrists to be the positive symptoms of “schizophrenia,” via anticholinergic toxidrome.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroleptic-Induced_Deficit_Syndrome
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxidrome

    And since neither of these psychiatric drug induced illnesses are listed in your DSM, out of sight out of mind, you almost always misdiagnose, and thus further harm, your patients. I highly recommend you add these two psychiatric drug induced illnesses to your DSM, if the psychiatric industry’s primary goal is not profiteering off of covering up child abuse en mass and harming your patients for profit.

    A pastor confessed to me that that was the faustian bargain the psychological and psychiatric industries made with the religions a long time ago, however. He called it “the dirty little secret of the two original educated professions.”

    And this deal with the devil has empowered the child molesters and traffickers, resulting in what’s now known on the internet and twitter as #Pizzagata or #Pedogate.

  7. ” And if we stop calling them patients, are we ready to treat them as full citizens, make them face the consequences of their behavior like everyone else, including being hauled before a court if they break the law?”

    You got it backwards. We first stop calling the psychiatric medicines , medicines. The chemicals psychiatry prescribes are just drugs, for there is no physical illness in the patient.

    Then with no “medicines” to issue to your patient, who are you doctor? Are you a doctor? How do you differentiate yourself from a religious leader who also uses words to treat his congregation?

  8. Frankly, I think we should do away with the get out of jail card for criminals. People who murder, rape, etc. should be held accountable for their actions. Whether they hear voices or think they’re Buddha is irrelevant.

    On the other hand, we should not be locked up for crimes we never committed. A lot of psychiatrists think they’re Tom Cruize from The Minority Report with the power to see into the future and predict violent crimes ahead of time. Talk about delusional. What’s their new state-of-the-art scientific equipment? A crystal ball?

    • Our penal system as it currently stands functions to keep the “have nots” without and protect the “haves” from losing their status.

      It’s ridiculous that someone can commit a nonviolent crime (like simple drug possession) and end up doing far more time than someone who hurts people (assault). And what about when the prescription drugs actually cause a breakdown in thinking and behavior as happens to so many of us on psych “meds”? I agree we need to stop calling them medications but most people don’t react well when you call them what they are – poison.

    • “On the other hand, we should not be locked up for crimes we never committed. A lot of psychiatrists think they’re Tom Cruize from The Minority Report with the power to see into the future and predict violent crimes ahead of time. Talk about delusional. What’s their new state-of-the-art scientific equipment? A crystal ball?”

      Nor should we have basic constitutional rights taken away on the premise that mad people are violent. The whole premise of restricting guns from those with supposed SMI is predicated on the idea that violent behavior can be predicted. If you look at the actual studies on those who’ve been in psychiatric hospitals, less than 1% go on to commit acts of violence, while the vast majority of gun crimes are committed by those with no history of mental illness. And in fact, it is highly correlated with prior acts of domestic violence.

  9. “Hold your fire, colleagues. We don’t have the evidence we thought would show up. We’ve stumbled and have relied on opinions rather than evidence. It’s time to reboot, to rethink things, to go back to basics and use the scientific method to debunk a lot of what we’ve been saying”

    Dr. Warme, I sent to Bob Whitaker a copy of Dr. Steven James Bartlett’s book “Normality does not Equal Mental Health” in January of last year in hopes he would review it (or someone he knows would be willing to) I believe this book was made for MAD. I still have an extra hardback copy I can send you should you be interested in writing about it on MAD. I have not found any reviews of this book yet I believe it has profound insights and meaning as to how our mental health institutions have lost their way. I offered this book to the psychology department at the University where I work but they won’t touch it because it most likely puts into question their profession. One which, you would think, should be an antecedent to the truth and even to the future of humanity.

    • Hmm. Peace Pilgrim, Francis of Assisi, and Gandhi weren’t normal. We all know what violent sociopaths they were!

      Too bad. Because they never received psychiatric “help” and all those “safe and effective” treatments in the form of mind disabling drugs, lobotomies, and electroshock they never were able to lead full and productive lives and integrate into society. If those had failed they could have benefited from long term impris–uh–care in an institution.

      Their lives were not normal. What a pity! 😛

  10. Thank you so much for your article. I have been trying for decades to show that psychotic patients can be treated and helped to become well with insight oriented psychotherapy. Perhaps because I had many years education in science, I think it was science that helped me to compare psychotherapy with drugs and prove to myself, as least, that therapy seemed more efficacious and human.
    I quit psychiatry in 1982, and psychoanalysis in 1992, because neither group showed the slightest interest in my presentations of our work showing how psychotic patients could escape from long term abuse by drugs, ECT, and hospitalizations, and become healthy.
    I discovered that early traumas had caused these conditions in the first place. I have suggested strongly the financial gains we could achieve by helping people to recognize and get help with their traumas, rather than try to hide the symptoms with drugs.
    I tried to follow the symptoms to their roots, which any good physician does with a physical disorder. This seems scientific to me. Remember that science becomes uncertainty and probability.
    I will gladly send you articles I have written on this

  11. From what I have seen, many clergy members, philosophers and novelists know much more about the human psyche than the bumblers we call “soul doctors.” They know nothing about human thoughts, feelings or motivations. All they do is drug, fry and cut apart healthy brain tissue under the pretext that they are doing something necessary for society–sometimes even their victims.

    What’s next? Wooden ball bats applied repeatedly to the skulls of “mentally ill” people? A great low-tech solution! And every bit as safe and effective as the cruel experiments these mad scientists are already using!