Once Radical Critiques of Psychiatry Are Now Mainstream, So What Remains Taboo?


From CounterPunch/Bruce Levine, PhD: “One need not be a Marxist to acknowledge the logic behind Karl Marx’s observation: ‘The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas.’ It is especially important for the ruling class that the general public’s ideas about our emotional suffering and behavioral disturbances be the ideas of the ruling class.

Twenty years ago, one would have been labeled as ‘anti-psychiatry’ for acknowledging that: (1) psychiatry’s treatment outcomes are ‘abysmal’ and ‘not getting any better’; (2) the serotonin imbalance theory of depression is untrue; and (3) psychiatry’s diagnostic manual, the DSM, is scientifically invalid. Yet today, these acknowledgements—which don’t threaten the ruling class—are stated by the psychiatry establishment and reported by the mainstream media.

There are, however, critiques that continue to be too taboo for the mainstream media to report. Such critiques are existential threats to establishment psychiatry, and these critiques are financial threats to both Big Pharma and a mainstream media dependent on Big Pharma advertising dollars. Even more importantly, these critiques are political threats to the ruling class which prefers medical ‘individual defect’ explanations for emotional suffering and behavioral disturbances rather than explanations that challenge the societal status quo . . .

What Remains Taboo Criticism of Psychiatry?

What remains taboo is criticism of psychiatry that calls into question its fundamental paradigm of care. Specifically, this means it is taboo to ask this question: Has viewing our emotional suffering and behavioral disturbances as medical disorders and illnesses been helpful or harmful? Thus, the mainstream media rarely reports the empirical research that challenges psychiatry’s essential paradigm—its so-called ‘medical model.'”

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