Monday, December 5, 2022

Comments by Planxty

Showing 12 of 12 comments.

  • Psychiatrists and their guild organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association need to advocate for the release of the remaining prisoners there also. Psychiatric involvement with the torture of Guantanamo prisoners and at secret CIA interrogation centres will be added to the sad history of psychiatric atrocities such as lobotomy, spinning chairs, insulin coma and shock “treatments”.

  • Johanna Moncrieff is the transatlantic conscience of psychiatry who has pioneered the Critical Psychiatry Network ( to counter the dominant paradigm about psychiatric drugs. As outlined in her books and blog the evidence for the limitations of psychiatric drugs is now irrefutable. She joins an impressive list of truth tellers including, Peter Breggin, Peter Gøtzsche , David Healy and Robert Whitaker who have followed the science about psychiatric drugs rather than the myths perpetuated by academic psychiatry in cahoots with the pharmaceutical industry.

    I am a retired psychiatrist and I found the first edition of her book “Straight Talking Introduction to Psychiatric Drugs” to be a most useful clinical guide, accordingly I highly recommend the second edition. It should be required reading for trainee psychiatrist residents.

  • John Read and Irving Kirsch have debunked the paltry evidence for the efficacy of ECT. However orthodox psychiatry still promotes ECT largely because it supports the flawed belief that “mental illness” is a brain disease and should be “treated” by concussing the brain with electrical shocks three time weekly for several weeks typically.

    Dr. Dainius Puras who is a psychiatrist and is the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health in his 2017 report states :
    “The history of psychiatry and mental health care is marked by egregious rights violations”
    “We have been sold a myth that the best solutions for addressing mental health challenges are medications and other biomedical interventions.”
    “For decades now, an evidence base informed by experiential and scientific research has been accumulating in support of psychosocial, recovery oriented services and support and non-coercive alternatives to existing services.”
    Not uncommonly ECT is still given involuntarily without informed consent and mandated by regressive involuntary commitment laws. It is high time this procedure was declared redundant and legally banned. ECT should behold be cast into the archaeological history of psychiatry along with lobotomy, insulin coma, rotating chairs and wet packs.

  • As outlined in Anne Harrrington’s recent book “Mind Fixers” psychiatry has lost its way with its primitive reductionistic biological theories of mental distress. Bob Whitaker in his analysis of empirical psychiatry as a failed paradigm outlines the problem clearly. Few have come up with solutions or new directions for psychiatry as clearly as Pat Bracken suggests in this interview and in his publications.

    Unfortunately few orthodox psychiatrists are open to new paradigms but as Pat suggests there is hope coming out of the survivor/consumer movements that may compel orthodox psychiatry to move away from the psycho-pharmacological paradigm that currently dominates psychiatric practice and research.

  • Peter, your integrity and courage will last long after the Cochrane Collaboration is discredited. Your work on psychiatric studies is particularly enlightening. As Michel Foucault said ” “The medical authority of the psychiatric profession functions as power well before it functions as knowledge.”
    Good luck with the new institute.

  • Thank you for your defence of Peter Gøtzsche Bob, his deconstruction of contemporary psychiatry will become seminal documents in the history of psychiatry. Interestingly Fuller Torrey wrote a book called “The Death of Psychiatry” in 1974. The following summary is from the back of the book:

    “This revolutionary book shows why psychiatry in its present form is obsolete and why it must die. Dr. E. Fuller Torrey maintains that most of the so-called mentally ill are suffering from problems in social adaptation, not from diseases of the mind. Upholding his contentions with numerous case histories, he proposes that the few patients with real brain dysfunction be given back to neurology and that the others be taught to handle their difficulties through a new system of education and social support.”

    This makes his transformation to a psychiatric bioreductionist oracle is all the more surprising. Unlike St. Paul, clearly something sinister happened to Fuller Torrey on the road to Damascus.

  • Freud did not always practice what he preached. Princess Alice of Battenberg, mother of Prince Phillip the Duke of Edinburgh, was hospitalized involuntarily for a couple of years at a Swiss clinic with religious delusional beliefs.
    Freud was consulted and recommended that she be sterilized by having her ovaries radiated to kill off her libido, which he suggested was the cause of her delusions. She would have a legitimate complaint in the litany of Freud’s betrayal of womens’ grievances in the #MeToo era.

  • Joanna,

    Thank you for challenging the orthodox ideology that establishment psychiatry attempts to present as science. Their behaviour is a classic demonstration of Thomas Kuhn’s paradigm theory. He pointed out that established thinking in any scientific discipline will doggedly hang on to old ideas until anomalies and inconsistencies build up to an almost ludicrous degree.

    Then – often forced by some new and apparently incontrovertible piece of evidence – the establishment will undergo a “revolution : a sea change, after which trend setting scientists will start believing ideas that, sometimes only months before, they had been contemptuously deriding.

    As you have previously noted with your rejected attempts to inform the British Royal College of Psychiatrist’s annual meeting of this new evidence, the establishment don’t want to hear the evidence.

  • Meaghan,

    You are a very courageous woman to pioneer psychedelic treatment, hopefully it will help slay your demons and open another option for trauma survivors.

    A further anecdote on Humphry Osmond, he supplied mescaline to Aldous Huxley, which resulted in his book “The Doors of Perception”. The book was also the origin of Jim Morrrison’s choice of ‘The Doors’ as his band’s name.

    Thank you for sharing your healing journey!

  • Hi Sandra,

    Thank you for your lucid description of the outcome of your epiphany from reading Bob Whitaker’s “Anatomy of an Epidemic.” I have followed the development of your thoughts on your MIA blogs and I admire your acceptance of the need for a paradigm shift as a psychiatrist. As a retired psychiatrist myself I struggled with similar issues with the profession and was met with frank hostility and censure when attempting to change the standard orthodox approach to human suffering. I have not had any desire to continue swimming against the tide.

    A possible incarnation of “slow psychiatry” described as “Postpsychiatry” has been proposed by MIA bloggers Pat Bracken & Phil Thomas (1) which may provide a theoretical paradigm out of the blind alley of bioreductionism which currently prevails in psychiatry. The demise of the “medical model” of mental distress is long overdue.

    Good luck with your work !

    (1) “Postpsychiatry: a new direction for mental health” Bracken, P., Thomas, P., BMJ. 2001 Mar 24; 322(7288): 724-727