Friday, November 22, 2019

Comments by Gavanshir

Showing 3 of 3 comments.

  • Hi Ted,

    Can you please refer me to a good article(s) in regards to the dangers of shock treatment as you word it. I’m a medical student considering a career in psychiatry and I’m a bit surprised by some of your claims. In fact my father underwent shock treatments many years ago and they may have saved his life due to the drastic improvements that we saw in him following years of severe depression. Anyway, I would love to hear more about your point of view or if there are any other objective viewpoints in regards to this.

  • Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I could not agree more that psychiatry, particular in the US, has a problem with pharmaceutical corporations exerting an influence beyond what is medically and ethically acceptable. There are many conflicts of interest and there are psychiatrists at the top who have a hand in sustaining the field’s pharmaceutical ties.

    Having said that, I believe your message about the practices of “mainstream” psychiatry and in this case the ex-president of the APA, is clouded by your other arguments as well as other voices from the anti-psychiatry movement that disparage the field as a whole. Psychiatry is a noble profession that few physicians choose to pursue, in large part due to the psychological and emotional weight involved in working with patients suffering from mental illness.

    I understand your point in regards to having an honest discussion about the science, but everybody outside of the APA knows the science. We know that we have a very limited understanding of many mental illnesses and the current treatment modalities are far from perfect treatments, in fact, in most cases they can only provide symptomatic management. The APA as a political body has a job which is to promote their interests, and their interests and views don’t always represent the interests of all American psychiatrists. Perhaps some of the attacks from your camp should be directed at the APA and not at the entirety of the field because medical students like myself are now faced with a rather difficult decision to pursue psychiatry in the face of much public misunderstanding of psychiatrists’ intentions and what it is that they do.

    In regards to your comment about the FDA, I am under the impression that drugs are approved by the FDA because large randomized controlled trials demonstrate (through the very lengthy process that is drug approval) that they have shown to be at least superior to placebo. I believe this was the case for Risperidone as well. Unless the assumption is that the FDA’s methodology is flawed or that they too suffer from conflicts of interest, please enlighten me.

    Some of the arguments that you brought up in the article are interesting (ie. historical spontaneous remissions) and I will do further reading to inform myself before forming an opinion.

  • I’m a medical student exploring my interest in psychiatry ahead of the upcoming application cycle. I’m trying to better understand your position and some of the arguments in the anti-psychiatry movement. I certainly wouldn’t want to embark on a career where I may be doing harm or raising the anger of of people unknowingly where my only intention is to help those in our society who have become marginalized and have no advocate. I agree with some of the concerns raised in regards to the safety of psychiatric treatment, let us assume that they are correct, but what is your proposed alternative??

    If we did not have Risperidone on the market, we would have to increase the size of our prisons tenfold and lose many friends and family members to suicide and homicide. There is no better alternative at the present time, it’s not 100% safe and it has side-effects, but guess what? So do every other drug on the market that save millions of lives. Risperidone doesn’t work for everyone but when it does work, it’s miraculous and gives people their life back. With time, better medications and further advances in neurology and psychiatry WILL allow psychiatrists to better cater their treatments. 50 years ago, many of the current treatments for cancers, diabetes and heart disease may have been viewed as medieval and diabolical, yet today they are accepted as standards of care. I just don’t see the point in this method of criticism as it’s not constructive and no better alternative is being proposed. Join medicine and help progress of psychiatry because there are people who truly need help and modern medicine currently does not have a solution for them. Psychiatry is our only hope and needs a united front.