I Am a Psychiatrist and I Am Horrified by the American Psychiatric System

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From Medscape: “Today my outrage is inspired by this report outlining the horrific treatment of patients hospitalized at the Psychiatric Institute of Washington (PIW). PIW is a hospital in the District of Columbia, where I live and practice. And I shudder to send my patients there when they are in desperate need of safety from psychiatric emergencies.

. . . For the record, I am not the only one who lacks faith in our mental health system. To name one of the many surveys out there about reasons people don’t seek treatment for psychological problems, this one included 45,000+ respondents across 10 countries and showed that Americans felt the strongest lack of confidence in their mental health services.

. . . How many reports like this must come out before change happens? How many more patients have to be neglected, abused, or refuse to seek help because of their lack of confidence in the quality of behavioral care?

So, what are we (including any psychiatrist readers) going to do about the atrocious and horrific state of our country’s mental health system? . . .

Each time I am confronted with the incredible shortcomings of our system, I lose part of my hope, optimism, and drive for becoming a psychiatrist in the first place. I cannot put into words how much it hurts to see people who look like you have no other options besides substandard care; where they can physically die when they should be mentally restored.

. . . What do you think you can do to bring awareness or change to the atrocious and horrific parts of our country’s mental health system in your area?

Will you report substandard — even if it is usual — mistreatment you see in the hospital where you work?

Will you file a complaint about substandard care at your local public health department?

. . . Will you make that phone call or send that email to another provider to investigate the questionable abuse a patient shared with you?

Will you email the local newspaper, radio station, or media source in your town to increase awareness?

Will you do more than you are already doing, whether or not the patient asks you, and whether or not the patient looks like you?

Please share any advocacy efforts you have been involved with around this issue. We need to start somewhere.”

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4 COMMENTS

  1. “. . . What do you think you can do to bring awareness or change to the atrocious and horrific parts of our country’s mental health system in your area?

    “Will you report substandard — even if it is usual — mistreatment … ?

    “Will you file a complaint … ?

    “. . . Will you make that phone call … ?

    “Will you email … ?

    Will you do more than you are already doing, … ?”

    Dr. Cyrus and Medscape might want to take some time to read and digest the scientific psychopharmacological research that those of us on the scientific truth telling side have been exposing for decades … scientifically valid information, that’s seemingly still largely being dismissed as “anti-psychiatry.”

    But I’m glad to see some psychiatrists honestly speaking out about the “atrocious and horrific parts of our country’s mental health system.”

  2. Thank-you, MiA, for this. Even though it’s behind MedScapes sign-in wall, it’s a start. Psychiatry needs to be recognized as the pseudoscience that it truly is, and then ABOLISIHED. ABOLISH PSYCHIATRY. That one change right there would bring a new world order at light speed, to the DARKNESS of the current “mental health system”…. Damn psychiatry & psychiatrists, may they rot in the Hell they don’t believe in, but they sure do help create it here on Earth for people…. The crumbling edifice facade of the pseudoscience drug racket of psychiatry can’t be done away with fast enough, IMHO…. May God help us all if it’s not!

  3. It’s good to see a psychiatrist that doesn’t simply complain that psychiatry has a “public relations” problem.

    Of course mistreatment is an important aspect to the mental health treatment crisis. But of course the more important point to make is that the drugs and therapies themselves don’t work, which is reflected in how patients are treated by practitioners.

  4. this…honestly, is somewhat painful for me.

    Reading things like this…from well-intentioned psychiatrists…makes me realize: the system really is the problem. That is -not- to excuse the many, many sinister individuals I have encountered (and I imagine many, many others have, too) over the years. However…

    this sort of material humanizes “the other side” of the guild vs psychiatrized divide.

    I cannot imagine why someone would complete an MD or DO, and then go into psychiatry. I’ll write that here, because…its true. Honestly. Other specialties seem to provide decent care without the non-stop destruction that the mental health industry unleashes, all over the world. And yet…

    -some- people in the mental health industry are well-intentioned. Sometimes, I think others start out well-intentioned, young-ish and perhaps idealistic or…something…

    and then…the system gets them, too. That’s the best, most compassionate explanation my survivor mind has been able to come up with. And then, what? masters degree, phd…in the talking section…DO/MD plus residency for the shrinks…

    money and time and years and years and…what to do? where to go? Can’t escape the industry, try to revamp it? speak out against the worst crimes, sometimes? of course…

    again, speaking as a survivor…I do my best to extend compassion to the human beings who are in a position to label, drug, shock, and destroy human beings and families…

    the system is -far- worse for the labeled, for the drugged, for those who survive only to find a world turned ever more hostile towards them/us…

    -because- of the mental health industry. so, there’s that.

    Perhaps going into family medicine would be a good option? Honestly, I think just about any and every specialty -except- for psychiatry contributes to the common good.

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