Terry Lynch: Why Psychiatry Has Pursued a Purely Medical Approach to Distress


This week, we interview Dr. Terry Lynch who is a GP, psychotherapist, author and mental health educator. Ten years into his career as a GP, he became very concerned about the medical approach to emotional and mental suffering and was not prepared to remain silent. In 2001 he released the book Beyond Prozac: Healing Mental Distress, a best-seller in Ireland in 2001 and shortlisted for the MIND (UK) 2002 Book of the Year Award. Terry has worked tirelessly to expose the myth of the chemical imbalance and other psychiatric falsehoods. In 2015, he released The Depression Delusion: The Myth of the Brain Chemical Imbalance. Dr. Lynch spoke to me and helped me understand why modern psychiatry has pursued a purely medical approach to distress with terrible consequences.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How Dr. Lynch trained as a GP but became disillusioned when he started comparing patient experiences with his medical training.
  • How these experiences led to his first book, Beyond Prozac; Healing mental distress, published in 2002.
  • How doctors are still justifying treatment with psychiatric drugs based on the myth of the brain chemical imbalance.
  • That there is no scientific evidence whatsoever that there is any brain chemical imbalance, it is a concept manufactured by the Pharmaceutical companies in order to market their drugs.
  • That myths like the chemical imbalance legitimise prescribing.
  • That there is no pathological difference between the brain of someone who experiences mental illness and the brain of someone who does not.
  • That there is no physical diagnostic test that confirms a biological abnormality that would explain mental illness.
  • How patients are told that an antidepressant is like insulin for a diabetic but that this is also completely untrue.
  • That it is unproven that depression, bipolar disorder or the other psychiatric diagnoses are brain disorders, there is no difference in pathology that would result in these issues being classified as a brain abnormality.
  • That psychiatric drugs can calm people so they do have effects but patients are not able to make an informed choice about their medications.
  • That much of what we are told is fact by medical science is actually just a belief.
  • That we don’t give enough attention to emotional distress and trauma.
  • How the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) the key diagnostic tool for psychiatry is created.
  • The unnecessary focus on medication distracts completely from a persons life and the issues that have resulted in trauma or wounding.
  • That the term ‘depression’ isn’t very helpful because it reduces rich experiences to simple diagnostic language.
  • The shocking fact that in the UK we prescribed 63 million antidepressants in a single year.
  • Dr. Lynch’s courses that help people understand the true nature of depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other psychiatric diagnoses.
  • When you take an antidepressant, make sure you are fully informed, make you own enquiries.

Relevant links

Doctor Terry Lynch

What is Bipolar Disorder