I did have a more holistic medical training than most, as I am a DO physician (Doctor of osteopathy, equal to but different from our allopathic MD colleagues in that we have a philosophy placing body mind and spirit as equally important components of a person, and putting it on our shoulders to treat all 3. Also, we learn physical manipulation medicine as well as the same rigorous pharm and procedural care as our allopathic colleagues. We have to be certified by our own medical associations as well as the allopathic ones. Many people have a DO as their physician and do not realize it. We make up a growing 15% of the physicians in the us and can practice in any specialty. We are uniquely capable of balancing allopathic, naturopathic, homeopathic and holistic medicines to create a personalized treatment plan). I want you and others to know that I hear you and am sorry to learn of such troubles. I could envision instances where the physicians were actually providing the best for their patients and still have these poor outcomes, but it is also possible that the physicians were burnt out and not doing their best. It’s impossible to know from this level of separation. Finding the right doctor for you is very important, and our system puts up roadblocks for many. I hope access and transparency improves. As for psyc meds and their adverse effects: the adverse effects of not treating someone should be worse than those likely to result from treatment, or the treatment is not clinically indicated. If the doctor is wrong, it could be a lack of knowledge or incompetence, but it could also be that an individual had a very unusual reaction. It’s really traffic the stories people on this page are telling, but I would urge people to keep faith that there are many good doctors that can provide the care that one might need. Please don’t give up on the medical profession, and don’t give up on psychiatry. Anecdotally, I can say that I’ve noticed different medical cultures with different agreed physicians. The typical Reagan era medical graduate were more business minded, looking to help themselves more than patients; this isn’t true for everybody and again is completely my experience. I’ve noticed younger doctors, especially those like me who were inspired to pursue medicine by the promises of health care reform in 08, are hungry to learn about what makes each patient unique, and creatively use that to tailor the best possible plan for each individual patient. I’ve seen bad doctors, even bad hospitals with nary a good doctor. But I’ve also seen good doctors. And I’d caution a layperson audience for assuming they can determine if a treatment given to a loved one was the cause of a downward spiral, because it may have put off a downward spiral bit couldn’t actually avoid it. As far as schizophrenics getting worse after long courses of therapy, without therapy they wouldn’t function as well for as long. I spend half my days on a ward. I see people brought in after stopping their meds or new diagnoses. Sometimes they’re violent, sometimes so confused they can’t feed themselves or find their homes, sometimes after not bathing for weeks. And then antipsychotic meds bring them to a place where they experience reality, they bathe, they can feed themselves and often even hold down a job. So no study about meds not working long term is going to convince any psych professionals that antipsychotic meds aren’t helpful. There is ongoing study to decrease glycoprotein 3 transporter activity to keep med concentrations in brain at higher levels, as research is beginning to show the reason some long term patients become refractory to therapy is increased transport that flushes the drugs from the brain. People that are more attentive to internal stimuli than external stimuli need help, urgently, or they will die. Before the meds, people would tie such patients up and forcefeed them. The meds have some major side effects, but they are worlds better than the alternative. And on depression being a chemical imbalance: this is not a scientific statement because it’s nearly impossible to ethically prove. Sometimes such oversimplification is necessary when explaining complex medical realities to patients. Sometimes it is just a lazy doctor. But we do have reason to believe that synaptic serotonin in certain neural pathways does play a role in depression. We do have reason to believe this is a major mechanism responsible for the effect seen in ssri meds. We do have reason to believe that ssri meds do work in most people, with a direct correlation between severity of depression and effect of ssri (or snri). So if someone heard that depression is a chemical imbalance from their doctor, that doesn’t necessarily mean that such doctor is misleading. But don’t think that I don’t blame the doctors who have hurt you. It is a doctor’s job to guide a team, including the patient and their loved ones. It seems these hard feelings are borne from a lack of necessary inclusion and education, and I’m sorry that do many bad doctors have touched the lives of people on this forum.