Friday, August 7, 2020

Comments by Steve McCrea

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  • I’d be interested to hear where you’re saying that people are being anti-scientific. I believe it is very much possible to feel that psychiatric drugs are USEFUL to you without accepting that you have a “chemical imbalance” or that the drugs are actually “fixing” anything wrong with your brain.

    I like your comment that the environment and the brain/body are interacting all the time and affecting each other, and that early trauma does sometimes lead to alterations in the operation of the brain. What most people do NOT know is that the “decade of the brain” was also the time of discovery of “neuroplasticity”, or the idea that the brain can adapt later in life, including the idea that the brain can and does adapt in POSITIVE ways to a positive environment. Psychiatry has grabbed onto only the half of the story that suits them, and portrays that a “broken brain” from childhood can only be “fixed” with their drug interventions. This is NOT science, this is a marketing ploy. Science tells us that brains are not “broken” by trauma, but that they adapt to survive in the environment they are in, so the real key to healthy brains is healthy environments.

    Additionally, the DSM “diagnoses” (I’m sure you’ve been given some of these over time) are also NOT scientifically determined, but are voted on in committees, and are based on subjective evaluations of another person which are ripe for bias and discrimination to enter in. There is no test for any “chemical imbalance” in anyone’s brain, nor even a concept of what a normal “balance” would look like. Mainstream psychiatrists like Ronald Pies and Thomas Insel have acknowledged this, and Pies called the chemical imbalance theory an “urban legend” that no well-informed psychaitrist takes seriously. Yet you have clearly been told that you have a “chemical imbalance,” even though no one knows that such a thing exists. This, again, is not scientific, and opposing it is not anti-scientific.

    So while many views expressed her are not accepted by the psychiatric mainstream, my experience is that folks here are MUCH more interested and committed to science than the psychiatric industry itself, and that’s a gigantic understatement. This may be hard for you to believe, and I can certainly see how the statements made here seem shocking and out of line with what you’ve been told. But I encourage you to read some of the articles, especially the scientific research articles. There is solid scientific research showing that antidepressants increase rather than decrease the suicide rate, that people diagnosed with “schizophrenia” do better in the long run the less “antipsychotics” they take, that twin studies don’t actually prove any genetic heritability of any “mental illness,” and that labeling someone with DSM “diagnoses” increases rather than decreases the “stigma” that they experience, both from their own view and from other people’s treatment. All of these things are scientifically shown to be true. It sounds odd, but to find out what is scientific, you have to start by unlearning whatever you’ve been told about “mental illnesses” and “medication” and “diagnoses” and start over with an open mind, looking at the actual data. You may still draw the same conclusions in the end, but the psychiatric profession has some gigantic conflicts of interest that make them a very unreliable source of information.

    Hope that helps a bit. I’m really interested to hear what parts you find “anti-science.” It should be an interesting discussion if we all are respectful and keep open minds.

  • For me, it gets down to genuineness. A person can use a lot of different ways to express regret that they have harmed you, whether accidentally or intentionally. I have no button on “sorry” per se, but it is often used in insincere ways. Something like, “I’m sorry you feel that way,” isn’t really acknowledging any causal responsibility on the part of the speaker, whereas something like, “I’m really sorry you’re feeling hurt – it wasn’t my intention, and I want to understand what I did that hurt you,” would come off as a person who really regrets his/her action. So the term “sorry” isn’t really the issue for me, it’s whether the person is interested in understanding my experience and making sure it doesn’t happen again, or is just “apologizing” without really recognizing what happened or having any intention of doing anything differently should the same situation arise in the future.

    There is also a very legitimate use of “sorry” in the sense of, “I’m so sorry to hear you had to go through all that shit!” Or “I’m sorry to hear that you were treated disrespectfully.” This works OK for me if the person has taken the time to hear and understand my story and is acknowledging the pain/frustration or whatever involved. But it can be a slippery slope. “I’m sorry that happened to you” or “I’m sorry things didn’t work out the way you wanted” can come across as dismissive or condescending.

    Bottom line, to me, it’s about the sincerity of the message, not the specific words used. But others may feel differently.

  • Agreed. There is nothing more to expose, and they are not interested in “facts.” They want to keep their power and their money, and no number of studies will change that. If they cared about science, they’d have stopped doing it long, long ago.

  • “Messaging” is marketing. The public should not be “given a message,” they should be given the truth, in terms they are able to understand and personally digest. “Messaging” is already a move into authoritarian thinking, that we should tell people the things that make them do what we want instead of just informing them of what we know and don’t know and allowing them to make adult decisions about how to proceed.

  • I often use the car accident analogy – if people at a certain streetcorner are being hit by cars at a high rate, and only 35% of them break bones in the process, do we diagnose those people whose legs break with”brittle bone disorder” and try to find out why, or do we put in a stop sign or traffic controls to ensure fewer people get injured?

  • I’d suggest that the American Psychiatric Association and their “opinion leaders” are the ones who are trying to control the narrative, along with their friends in the pharmaecutical industry. That’s an oversimplification, but what it comes down to is that there are people whose salary depends on promoting the label-and-drug model in the biggest possible way, and such people are not the least interested in learning anything about the actual needs of individuals, and in fact will argue in the most intense and irrational ways about how “wrong” anyone is who questions their paradigm. The recent Phil Hickey article critiquing Ron Pies and his associate gives a little meat to that comment.

    I don’t quite get what you mean by “Unselor” still.

  • The fact that you are able to say, “Of course I could be wrong…” puts you miles ahead of many others. I think that humility is the core of being a good helper, because it’s the only antidote to the power imbalance. We have to each realize the potential damage we can do and how possible or even likely it is that we will misapprehend things, so that we are constantly checking and re-checking things to make sure we’re on the right track and continuing to be helpful.

    I am certainly not in any place to say someone is “born with” the ability to connect or if it is learned over time or more likely “unlearned” (I like your point about too MUCH training – people can get very invested in their group’s agreement as to what is going on). There are also financial incentives involved for a lot of people in the “mental health” industry that make the idea of the client having his/her own ideas about what is the right thing to do rather threatening. And there is also internal pressure from those who have such conflicts of interests upon clinicians to maintain the status quo. General education in life can be a big counter to our inappropriate concepts and training, but I have no idea how to specifically train someone to be compassionate.

    A good example would be “cultural competency training.” There ARE people who benefit from such training, but these are generally people who are already oriented toward wanting to create that kind of environment. Those who are committed to NOT being culturally competent, for whatever reasons, tend to avoid such trainings like the plague. And if they are forced to go, they go under protest and generally make fun of the process. There may be one or two here or there whose eyes are opened by the process, in which case, I’d say it’s well worth it, but the bulk of people attending are going to trend they way they’ve always trended, because they’re not motivated to do differently.

    Can you “train” a person with deeply-held racist views not to be racist? Most of the time, no. Can you train a person who sees “the mentally ill” as someone beneath them on the scale of life, who doesn’t understand what he needs and requires the pateralistic wisdom of his/her counselor/psychiatyrist, to see that person as a person instead of “a schizphrenic” or “having ADHD?” I’d say usually not.

    So training for sure has value, but only if some preconditions are met. And if those preconditions are NOT met, training people on techniques or skills or whatever is going to have a limited effect. I wish there were a way to train people to be more sensitive. Perhaps the only real answer on that line is for the person to do his/her own healing to the point where s/he can recognize when his/her own issues are getting in the way, and can differentiate between the counselor’s needs and those of the client. But the person would have to recognize that need before such healing could even begin.

    Or another way to say it: disempowered counselors are not going to be able to empower their clients. As long as we have to subordinate ourselves to some control system, whether external or internal, that tells us how we have to do or think about things, we won’t be able to be flexible and sensitive enough to know what will be helpful to the client.

  • It very much sounds like the right idea (see my other post). However, you already have seen at least one person who can not process whaet you’re talking about. I don’t think it’s likely because they lack training. I think it’s likely because they lack the perspective and strength of character, or have not done sufficient work on their own issues, or come from a strongly authoritarian viewpoint, such that the idea of the client finding his/her own path seems impossible to imagine. I could be wrong, of course – maybe a round of training in IFS would open her eyes. But I would bet you a whole bunch of money that if you took 100 psychiatrists and put them through intensive IFS training, at least 95 of them would be completely unmoved in their views on what the human mind is capable of. Fixed ideas don’t yield to training very easily, and people’s vulnerability is generally their first and most important concern. Given the ability to use one’s power to protect oneself vs. opening up one’s mind and being vulnerable to feeling confused and wrong and hurt, etc., the vast majority of folks will choose protecting themselves every time. I think this is particularly true for the field of psychiatry, which pre-selects people who already see their roles as “fixing” other people’s brains. Maybe if you could get to them when they’re still undergrads, you’d catch a few more, but most of the psychiatrists I’ve known over the years would die on the hilltop of “drugs are the answer” before yielding to any counseling concept, let alone one which emphasizes empowering the patient to make his/her own choices.

    That’s my experience, anyway. It sounds like IFS might be a wonderful thing to learn and develop from, but it would be profoundly threatening to the psychiatric establishment, and would be rejected out of hand by a large percentage of those in control of the industry.

  • I am saying that training in and of itself is neither necessary nor sufficient to make someone a competent counselor, if that’s the term we want to use. Naturally, a person who has the gifts/understandings necessary to connect with someone else can benefit from some wisdom and experience that others have gleaned from their own efforts. But no amount of training can teach a person how to connect emotionally and safely with another person. Someone can use all the “I” statements in the world, and to do “active listening” and to follow all the precepts of DBT or CBT or whatever and still be incompetent or totally destructive as a counselor. You can actually use the skills taught in your training to give someone the idea you CAN be trusted, and after they share with you their deep secrets, you find your own issues get engaged and you get annoyed or bossy with them or turn cold or send them off for antidepressants and you have SCREWED them over. A person would be MUCH better off seeing right up front that a person doesn’t really care about them than to have the person learn “skills” that make it seem like they care more than they do.

    So sure, one can train in skills. But it doesn’t make you a counselor/helper, and it can make you more dangerous. And a person who has zero training and excellent empathy can actually CREATE skills and approaches or help the CLIENT create such skills and strategies him/herself! Becuase they start with UNDERSANDING the person in front of them rather than seeing the client through some clinical “lens” or applying some “evidence-based practice” in a mechanical or robotic fashion without being able to observe the needs of the client or the effect of the intervention on him/her.

    Setting up a patient/client relationship sets up a power imbalance automatically from the word go. The number of people who can operate in such a situation without taking advantage of their power is, in my experience, pretty small compared to the number of people selling “clinical services.” I recall a study telling us that a person is just as likely to experience relief/improvement talking to a good friend than to a counselor. I find this very easy to believe, because the degree and training confer no assurance that the person is competent or caring, and a caring friend is a far better resource, however untrained they may be, than a supercilious or insensitive “counselor.”

  • I have to agree with you. I don’t think anyone can be “trained” to be a counselor/advisor/mnetor in more than the most rudimentary way. There is a presence that a person can adopt with me that is healing, and that presence has mostly to do with being willing to be there and accept who I am and genuinely respond to me as one person to another without putting me in the position of having to edit or explain or justify my own thoughts and feelings. There is no “technique” involved, no “method” that one could emulate, no “treatment plan” involved – it is simply the proper mindset and attitude of being present and caring and being willing to experience whatever is coming up and in fact NOT knowing or deciding what all of it means or what the helping person should DO with it. I think this has to be experienced directly, and some people are not really able to do it for whatever reason, no matter what training they receive, and others seem to come by it naturally without any training at all. I’m not saying it can’t be learned, but it’s not something you can teach someone else, like how to repair a car or make a recipie. It’s not some kind of “program” you can put in a manual – it requires genuine outreach of one human to another and a willingness to be vulnerable and to NOT know ahead of time “what to do.” We need to ditch the idea that getting a PhD or whatever makes anyone any better than anyone else in the realm of caring!

  • I am amazed that they can write this stuff seriously! Especially the stuff about how “anxiety disorders” are shown to CAUSE anxiety and are not mere labels, yet in the same sentence state that the anxiety could be caused by any number of very different things. It seems they disproved their own statement by the end of the paragraph, yet did not seem to notice.

  • I agree – removing the incentives for lying and minimizing adverse effects and overblowing “positive” results is the real game here. If you pay people more when they lie, a lot more people will lie. Also, taking away Big Pharma’s power to influence academic research is very “do-able” but would require a lot of piggies to remove their snouts from the trough, and we’ll hear a LOT of unpleasant squealing if we do that!

  • I like that example and have used it myself. What if we dianosed kids who aren’t good at sports with “athletic deficit disorder.” It would be “treatable” with stimulants, too! Stimulants would improve athletic performance, speed, quickness, concentration, intensity… what would parents and teachers have to say if stimulants were recommended “treatment” to make kids better at sports?

  • Repeated failed attempts to prove something scientifically is the definition of DISPROVING that very thing. If these psychaitric “professionals” were truly scientific, they’d realize their experiment was successful – they have successfully proven that none of these “diagnoses” have a physiological cause or even correlation. Convincingly proven.

    Which leaves us with the sad conclusion that they are not scientists at all. I think they are mostly either dupes or marekting agents.

  • And “progress” includes reducing lifespans by 25 years on average for the “seriously mentally ill.” More “treatment” seems to lead to shorter lives. Where else in medicine would this be remotely acceptable?

    Just for the record, though, the “medical model” has deep roots that go back at least to Kraepelin and probably long before. I think the DSM III just codified the ‘medical model’ and launched the most complete takeover of the “mental health” industry by doctors in history. But doctors back in the 19th century still had an investment in the idea of biological causation, which meshed very tightly with the eugenics movement, of which psychiatry was always an integral part.

  • “Fritz et al. propose transdiagnostic interventions that can “correct” these disruptions.”

    If interventions need to be “transdiagnostic,” then what is the point of having a diagnosis? Isn’t the whole point of a diagnosis to figure out what’s going on and what plan to make to address the cause? If a diagnosis doesn’t tell you how to intervene, it needs to be trashed! Which pretty much means the entire DSM.

    This whole set of ideas is ridiculously complex! A good scientific theory should make things easier to understand. It seems like a very complicated effort to “explain” the DSM “diagnoses” that really don’t merit explanation. There is no need to do intense gymnastics to try and make these false concepts “work.” Just admit they don’t, and start over, preferably by ditching the whole idea of “mental illness” and “psychopathology” for starters.

  • If I had to gamble on psychiatrist vs. library assistant on helping me with my “mental health,” I’d definitely start with the library assistant. At a minimum, they are trained to help people find what they want rather than deciding what book the peson “needs” to read and trying to force or manipulate them into reading it.

  • Commenting as moderator:

    I do see some importance in this line of discussion, but I also do see things getting a little personal on both sides, to the point that I was considering how best to intervene. I think we need to stick to the concepts and move away from more personalized comments that seem to accuse the other commenters of insincerity or mean-spiritedness. There is plenty of room in the general concept of “socialism” in our society for lots of confusion and different viewpoints. Perhaps if each person can simply discuss what definition they are operating from, it would be more productive than trying to state or imply that the other person’s definition is “wrong?”

  • This is one of the most extreme dangers (of many) regarding the idea of DSM “diagnoses.” Once they decide on a psych label, they stop looking, as if the label somehow explains anything relating to WHY you are having these difficulties. The book itself says it makes no representations as to cause, and yet, once that label comes down, they think they “know” all about it and stop looking for anything else. It is incredibly destructive, as you unfortunately now know from direct experience!

  • Sadly, and predictably, no one really ever studies the long-term effects of these drugs. So it’s hard to say. But most people I’ve talked to who take these drugs, especially if it’s not for a long period of time, report at least some significant recovery after stopping. There are exceptions to that, but most get back to some semblance of “normal functioning” over time.

    What issues are you struggling with that you think may be related to the Zyprexa?

  • Gotta watch the psychologists, too. Many are wannabe psychiatrists who believe fully in the “biological brain disease” concept, especially for “schizophrenia” or “bipolar” diagnoses. If you are looking for a therapist who might have a chance of being really helpful, start by finding one who firmly believes the DSM is a useless doorstop and is more interested in what YOU think you need than in slapping some label on you. Just being a psychologist is no guarantee you won’t be routed down the same label-and-drug pathway!

  • “Forced” and “help” in the case of mental/emotional issues are contradictory. The presence of force belies any purported intention to “help.” At best, you are stopping someone from doing something that you don’t think they should do. But many other and worse things happen as soon as you decide that you get to decide what “help” another person should get. There is no such thing as “involuntary treatment.”

  • You’d have to be in denial to take up the sword for psychiatry. The “mentally ill people commit more suicide” trope is easily debunked, because most every trial ever done removes suicidal people from the pool before starting the trials. So there should actually be FEWER suicidal people in the trial than the general population, and an increase in suicide rates is even MORE condemning of the drugs. Besides, that’s the whole point of the control group. They are “mentally ill” too, and commit suicide at a lower rate. That’s all you need to know, except if you don’t WANT to know.

  • In fact, there are many situations where the emotion involved is quite logical and necessary. If one is being chased by a bear and does NOT experience fear, absent a VERY powerful shotgun or other effective weapon, NOT feeling fear would be quite illogical!

  • It helps temporarily to drink a couple of beers after work, but I don’t think we can call it “healing” quite!

    You’re absolutely right – in the realm of the mind, there is no “healing” through drugs. The idea of using drugs rests on the hard materialist assumption that the only thing “wrong” with a person must be a physical thing, and the elitist assumption that anything that doesn’t indicate full agreement with the current status quo is de facto a ‘disease’ that needs “healing.” Both assumptions are extremely dangerous!

  • I agree. It is only a “controversy” because certain people continue to make money from this destructive and barbaric act. Seizures aren’t good for you, folks. Why should anyone have to “prove” that fact? Those proposing intentionally invoking seizures by electrocution better have some pretty AMAZING data proving what wonderful benefits exist to justify damaging someone’s brain and life in this way. And we know they don’t. So where is the “controversy?” Whether or not we should harm our patients for profit?

  • Well, of course, there are medical issues that affect someone’s mind/behavior/emotions. These ARE real medical problems that a physician should deal with. Equally obvious, the system of “disorders” prevents the differentiation between actual medical issues and mental/emotional/spiritual issues which have little to nothing to do with any kind of medical problem at all.

  • It is aimed very much at detecting Romantic Jerks. But a lot of the principles do apply to other Jerks, particularly the tendency to blame others for one’s own shortcomings, the tendency to charm someone into agreement before altering the terms unilaterally, and the tendency to group people into those who are above or below each other in the hierarchy of life (not to mention a strong need to make up or blindly follow the rules of such a hierarchy and enforce them on those the person sees as “beneath them” on the ladder of life.) And perhaps the most important – we get a kind of a sick or uncomfortable feeling around such people, which we often try to explain away to ourselves. Lots of it is very applicable, though hopefully their sexual behavior doesn’t come into play!

    Thanks for the words of support!

  • I think the psychiatric industry is deeply threatened by anything that actually has a chance of working, and the more it humanizes the “mentally ill,” the more threatening they seem to find it. Their response to “Open Dialog” is pretty solid proof of this. 80% success without drugs should be considered a miracle, but it is relegated to a fringe approach that no serious psychiatrist can take seriously without being attacked by his/her compatriots. I think that says a lot about the actual purposes of the psychiatric “profession.”

  • Well, certainly. It is not the individuals per se but the structure that is abusive. I have worked with these folks and know well that there are some sane or at least semi-sane individuals who do this work. And I’m not opposed to the concept of “healers.” I just don’t think that it has much if anything to do with medical “treatment” in most cases. But I think you’ll agree with me on that point.

  • The answer to the question of “what happened to ‘radical psychiatry'” is contained in the question. It was, of course, rubbed out by “real psychiatry,” which could no more be “radical” than water can be dehydrated. Psychiatry is based on oppressive assumptions, and the only “radical psychiatry” possible would be to oppose psychiatry itself. Now that WOULD be pretty radical, but would it any longer be “psychiatry?” I would say not. Why not be a “radical empowerer of the downtrodden” instead of a “radical psychiatrist” and eliminate the inherent contradiction in the terms?

  • True words. Unfortunately, we have mostly been exposed heavily to indoctrination most of our lives and are pretty used to it. Plus, stepping outside of the “normal” viewpoint can be dangerous, including being labeled “mentally ill” and being punished for diverging too far from “acceptable” emotions or behavior, even if nothing you say or do is really a danger to anyone else’s rights. The entire school system is pretty much all about indoctrination from start to finish. Why it is that I somehow escaped the worst of it remains a bit mysterious to me, but I now realize that the “problems” I had in school were mostly due to me maintaining my integrity and not going along with the crowd. It takes courage to educate and empower, because we have to have faith that the other person has the capacity to think and reason sufficiently to observe reality with reasonable acuity. Certainly, schools lack that courage in the overewhelming majority of cases.

    Glad to know there are some of us working for the same goals, though!

  • I tend to focus on a person by person effort to educate and empower, attempting to consolidate and group together with people of like mind. I think we’d both agree that people have a right to make their own decisions about things, as long as that right doesn’t run afoul of the rights of others. So trying to indoctrinate people into any “right way of thinking” is ultimately doomed. The only effective approach appears to be to help each person see things in a new light and to assert their own truth and follow the path that seems rationally and spiritually right for them to follow. But it’s a lot of work, and it takes time, and the opposition has no compunction about indoctrination and brainwashing! I suppose we have got to find each other and support each other in expanding people’s understanding of people and of sanity, and to build a stronger and stronger base of rational and respectful group ideals, but society is improved in a pretty gradual manner, while it can be wrecked quite precipitously. I get discouraged sometimes!

  • ““To this day we continue to disproportionately incarcerate black people and coerce them into treatment. Moreover, if you are black you are more likely to die under restraint whilst receiving mental health care than if you are white.”

    Maybe the first action should be to look in the mirror and see how your profession is structured to maintain oppressive conditions and excuse the oppressors while “diagnosing” the oppressed. Or would that be too simple?

  • This is so utterly blatant and predictable. And I don’t believe it is a choice of “easy” vs. “effective” in most cases. It is a choice of “making money” vs. “makinig a lot less or no money,” at least in the USA. Providing “no treatment” not only makes doctors feel less valuable, it means they can’t bill for their continuing “services” to their drug-dependent patients. Hence, WORSE outcomes mean MORE MONEY for the doctors, so the science has no impact, because improved outcomes (consciously or unconsciously) don’t appear to be the goal of many if not most psychiatric practitioners. Otherwise, they’d be excited to learn about this kind of thing instead of pretending it doesn’t exist.

  • Yeah, it doesn’t really mean anything to be “diagnosed” with a “personality disorder.” I’m just saying that it has no more meaning than calling someone an “asshole.” I’ve actually been very fond of a lot of people who have gotten “borderline” “diagnoses” in the past. I put no weight on them. I’d be more inclined to say things like, “This person has a hard time trusting others” or “he likes to exert power over people arbitrarily.” This is a more realistic way to talk, such that others could compare notes or agree or disagree or work together to come to a better understanding of a particular person and his/her motivations. Labeling stops the discussion at the label, and I don’t like any of them, whether you say “asshole” or “narcissistic personality.” It’s all just opinion posing as fact.

  • I agree that we can all do a PERSONAL evaluation by talking to someone, but obtaining agreement in a society as to who is considered “antisocial” and who is not is a more challenging process. There would have to be agreement as to specific acts which are taken that qualify someone as a danger to society, which should, of course, be enshrined in rational laws and social mores regarding behavior. The unfortunate fact is that “antisocial” people, as you describe them, are often part of creating said laws, which means that people who are genuinely productive get attacked, while those creating havoc are too often rewarded, particularly if they are privileged in the power structure. Our current national government is proof of this point. “Narcissistic” people are grossly overrepresented in US CEOs, according to my research.

    Additionally, some “antisocial” people are pretty crafty, and you and I may be trained to recognize them, but others less savvy are too easily taken in by their “charming” behavior. (That’s what my book, “Jerk Radar,” is all about.) To teach everyone to recognize them is a Herculean task. I think it is more realistic to expect those who are able to detect them to work to rid the world of their influence by education and collective action and leadership. But it’s a tough row to hoe!

  • Saying someone has a “personality disorder” is very similar to saying “he’s an asshole.” It has exactly that degree of scientific validity, but it’s certainly possible to look at someone and observe that s/he commits a lot of criminal acts and decide that s/he needs to be removed from society or stopped in some other way. It’s the conflation with “mental illness” and “diagnosis” that creates the problem.

  • As often happens, the authors are way too careful in their analysis. The title should not say “misleading” but “false” beliefs, and the attribution of responsibility to drug companies belies their own data that doctors who are fully aware of the science about both placebo and withdrawal effects continue to prescribe despite their knowledge. This suggests that the problem is not merely with pharmaceutical companies nor with academic interests alone, but that many individual psychiatrists are themselves corrupt, most likely receiving either direct kickbacks or gifts and perks provided for prescribing sufficient numbers of a particular drug, or else establishing some kind of prestige in their profession for supporting this kind of narrative, in contravention of the facts. It is apparent from this research that knowing the facts does not deter psychiatrists from believing whatever belief serves them best. So it is a much bigger problem than insufficient medical education. It comes down to an entire profession committed to a false narrative, and knowing on some level that backing away from full support for these beliefs that they KNOW to be false will lead to the collapse of their profession and their personal prestige and wealth.

  • I agree with you, stigma and discrimination do emanate from the society at large, and the society needs correction. Unfortunately, psychiatrists, on the whole, rather than helping demystify and normalize emotional distress and behavioral difficulties, appear to have doubled down on labeling and stigmatizing those who don’t “fit in” to our society. There is scientific proof that assigning biological causation to “mental illnesses,” as you are clearly promoting, INCREASES stigma and discrimination, while framing them as reactions to stressful events DECRASES stigma and increases empathy for the victims of trauma and social stresses.

    GIven that there is not one “mental disorder” that has a physical cause or even a physical CORRELATION associated with all or most “cases,” and given that these “disorders” are all defined by social criteria which are based on the very social assumptions and stigma you are trying to elminiate, it seems a lot more sane to frame “mental disorders,” if we need to define them as such, as common reactions to stress and trauma.

    Since we know that the current system supports and increases stigma and discrimination, what do you suggest be changed in the system to ameliorate that? Can you see ways in which psychiatry itself is contributing to the stigmatization?

  • Appalling! Very much like Kindergarten, except we didn’t have to take drugs and weren’t labeled as malfunctioning. They at least recognized that we were children, not robots.

    It seems particularly ironic when they tell you on the one hand that you have no control over your symptoms, only the drugs can help, and yet they punish you for failing to participate or to control your behavior in the way they want you do. Which is it people?

  • You really think that any drug that has an effect is somehow neuroprotective???? Improvement is not a sign of neuroprotection. Look it up. Alcohol is very effective at reducing anxiety. Does that mean drinking alcohol is “neuroprotective?”

    I’m not doing your research for you. You obviously don’t have any research to hand and have simply swallowed up what someone wrote or said in your training classes. I’m not interested in hearing quotations from your “abnormal psych” professor. Come up with some real data or drop it.

  • Once again, your views are equated with scientific truth. Just saying things don’t make them true. If we want to have dueling personal experiences, I have helped people who have “severe suicidal ideations” to huge turnarounds in their lives with no assistance from any drugs whatsoever. I’ve also talked to many people who have taken drugs and become MORE suicidal, or suicidal for the first time ever in their lives, and it went away when they stopped.

    The scientific evidence is strong that antidepressants DO NOT prevent or reduce suicides, and they likely increase the probability on the average. Perhaps you simply lack the skills to help these people, which is not a black mark for you, just a fact. But claiming that the fact you can’t help them means that nobody else can is very much an arrogant and self-centered viewpoint. A little humility might be a good starting point, rather than simply stating your opinions louder and louder when actual scientific data goes against your viewpoint.

  • That is an interesting statement. You understand that scientific analysis of the data from multiple studies has shown that there is an increase in suicide for those on antidepressants over placebo. Perhaps you don’t understand that the people in these studies are screened for suicidality before the studies begin. So these are people who were NOT suicidal who BECAME suicidal during the study. This was so clear that the US FDA demanded that a black box warning be put onto the label. And yet you state your BELIEF that suicidality is not caused by antidepressants? How do you expect to have the slightest credibility when making such statements of faith that directly contradict scientific data? Because of your personal observations, you get to invalidate actual scientific studies?

    Don’t bother responding if you’re going to continue just telling us you’re right because you say so.

  • They are also frequentely accused of assault and sometimes charged criminally, especially in institutional settings, when they react defensively to what is actually an assault by the staff. Any time a staff person lays hands on a person, any defensive reactions should be considered expected and understandable efforts to defend one’s person from attack. It is a manifestation of the power imbalance between patient and staff that the staff can assault patients with impunity and yet any attempt by a patient/resident to defend him/herself is automatically considered an assault.