Saturday, September 18, 2021

Comments by Henrik

Showing 5 of 5 comments.

  • There is huge difference of the psychiatry in US compared to Europe. Maybe you could use the experience from the organization of the European psychiatry to improve the situation in the US:

    Employees in psychiatry at the limit
    For today, 10 Sept. 2019, the trade union Verdi (2nd largest union in Germany with 2m members) has called for a nationwide action day for better staffing in psychiatry. The results of a survey among employees are alarming. Employees consider the situation in psychiatry to be completely inadequate. The situation is dramatic with regard to violent incidents and coercive measures, among other things. 60% of respondents believe that almost all coercive measures could have been avoided with better staffing. The inadequate personnel resources are at the expense of the employees and the patients. Workers in psychiatry and their trade union Verdi have long been calling for a successor to the Psychiatry Personnel Ordinance (PsychPV), which is still in force until the end of the year, with significantly better staffing levels.

    Translated with
    (left party Nordrhein-Westfalen)

  • “What is psychiatry? Etymologically, the word psychiatry means the medical treatment of the soul.”


    -mid 19th century: from Greek psukhē ‘soul, mind’ + iatreia ‘healing’ (from iatros ‘healer’). source: Google

    -1846, from French psychiatrie, from Medieval Latin psychiatria, literally “a healing of the soul,” from Latinized form of Greek psykhē “mind” (see psyche) + iatreia “healing, care” (see -iatric). source:

  • I guess there isn’t “one” psychiatry. For instance, the European psychiatrists don’t understand the US-psychiatrists when they are talking about bipolar disorder in childhood. There isn’t such thing in Europe. I have the idea, that the American psychiatry seems to be quite different in some aspects compared with the psychiatry in Europe.
    Psychotherapy is at least in Germany and the Netherlands obligatory (I worked in both countries) and the first method of treatment of many psychiatric disorders, as it is described in psychiatric guidelines. In the Netherlands for instance, people with schizophrenia have been taken out of hospitals into little publicly funded houses in the communities, accompanied by social workers about 20 years ago.
    By the way, there is no opioid crisis in Europe as it is in the US with about 70.000 dead people per year. In Germany are about 1.000 fatal victims of opioids per year.
    There was recently published a survey about the situation in the psychiatry in Germany. The biggest complaint of nurses and psychiatrists was the lack of money and staff to avoid coercive measures and high doses of psychiatric pharmaceutics.

  • I don’t like the term antipsychiatry at all. When I was a resident in psychiatry in a German university hospital in the beginning 90s, the director of the psychiatry defined himself as social psychiatrist. It was good working, there was always the option of psychotherapy or drugs or both. He soon was replaced by a biological psychiatrist. Drugs, drugs, drugs, patients weren’t desperate, they had just genetically wrong brain receptors. Borderline disorder is nonsense, it is all schizophrenia, people with schizophrenia are in principle not trustworthy, they are every time mad, they just have periods without psychotic symptoms. I fled the psychiatry, went in the psychotherapy and became a psychotherapist too. A couple of years later, I found a job as a psychiatrist in the Netherlands in an outpatient department. I worked together with psychologists, system therapists, nurses, creative therapists… It was a nice working again, we made offers to the patient according to his needs. Honestly, I don’t understand, why under these circumstances a movement like antipsychiatry is necessary, because I’m not the only psychiatrist working this way. In many European countries the training of psychiatry is combined with a training in psychotherapy, so you will be a consultant of psychiatry and psychotherapy.

    I don’t think that we need an antipsychiatry. What we do need, is firstly more knowledge about the origin of psychiatric diseases. There have been a lot of insights in the last decades. About 50% of schizophrenia is caused by multiple and severe trauma’s in childhood and adolescence. Psychic traumas are followed by brain damage, associated with psychosis. There are a couple of cognitive schemes, learned in childhood, elevating the risk of depression (scheme therapy of depression). Developmental disorders of brain networks in association with adverse environmental factors are risk factors for addiction. The funny thing is, neuroscientists have confirmed the Freudian concept of repression recently. Secondly, we have to adjust rapidly prevention and therapy to the last scientific results, including social, psychological and pharmaceutical (psychiatric) interventions. Guidelines in many European countries for the treatment of depression call for a psychotherapy as first method of treatment. I’m very happy about this.

    The antipsychiatry is actually fighting against the fraction of rigid biological psychiatrists, claiming that psychiatric disorders are due just to the (genetically) disfunctioning of brain receptors. This is evidence of a lack of knowledge (sorry, for both of them, antipsychiatrists and biological psychiatrists). This view can no longer be maintained for long because of the many new findings proving a link between the social environment, biology and psychology in relation to psychiatric diseases. Biologistic psychiatrists will die out.

    I wish you a lot of fun in your work. I think, you are doing a good job, but the label antipsychiatriy is just misleading and unnecessary.