Comments by sgold200c

Showing 2 of 2 comments.

  • From Steven Goldsmith, MD: In order for any treatment to help mentally ill people become truly well, it must address symptoms as potential strengths, as experiences to be respected and utilized. Open Dialogue and basal exposure therapy exemplify such approaches. Other such treatments in my clinical experience are forms of systemic and strategic family therapy, e.g. the Milan school approach, and homeopathic medicine. Long-term psychopharmaceutical treatment does the opposite, viewing symptoms as adversaries to be obliterated with chemicals and depriving patients of the opportunity to discover their disguised strengths.

  • From Steven Goldsmith, MD:
    My profession’s wholesale medication of people diagnosed with personality disorders reflects fundamental errors in its models of illness, health, treatment, and what it means to be human. These errors have fostered the clinical and philosophical bankruptcy of contemporary Western mainstream psychiatry. The list of these errors is lengthy, so I will cite but a few:
    1) DSM labels and equivalent diagnostic epithets are abstract nouns and not reality. Instead, the reality that confronts psychiatrists consists of whole, unique individuals with their particular symptoms, strengths, histories, and quirks. No treatment can help people get well by targeting their diagnostic labels or the symptoms these reflect. Rather, treatment can help people get well only by strengthening the individual self-healing resources of the whole person. In other words, you cannot help someone get well by suppressing perceived sickness, only by utilizing strengths.
    2) This is a corollary to 1). Psychiatry views symptoms as the bad guys that must be eradicated or at least lessened. However, in most instances, psychiatric symptoms reflect actual or potential strengths, which must be respected and utilized to enable healing. As a result, those whose symptoms psychotropic meds suppress are often weaker, not stronger. And I haven’t even mentioned side effects yet.
    3) Psychiatry is wedded nowadays to a biologic reductionist model in which most symptoms supposedly reflect biological derangements that must be suppressed. Though obviously all human experience is associated with inner physiological/biochemical changes of some sort, there has never been any evidence–none!, zero, nada–that any of the major mental illnesses have a specific biochemical cause. Big Pharma has perpetrated this myth of “chemical imbalance” and psychiatry has swallowed it. (By the way, this is not a controversial assertion.) But we are more than our neurotransmitter molecules.
    4) For the above reasons and others, pharma-psychiatry is unable to cure almost anyone of anything (cure meaning the complete and lasting resolution of problems without the need for further treatment). If you doubt me, check the statistics. For instance, no more than 15% and perhaps as few as 3% of depressed people treated with antidepressants get well and remain well. (From the NIMH-sponsored Star*D study.)
    5) There are many non-pharmaceutical forms of treatment that can help people with psychological problems get well–CBT, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), orthomolecular psychiatric treatment, chronotherapy (light and sleep therapies), Open Dialogue, EMDR, strategic and systemic psychotherapies, homeopathy, etc. (Over the years, for example, I have seen a number of people diagnosed with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, OCD, etc. get well with homeopathy so they were able to get off their meds and remain well.) And DBT, while not curative, can be enormously helpful in teaching coping skills to some diagnosed with personality disorders as well as others.
    6) Unfortunately, most psychiatrists are not well-trained in any of these non-pharmaceutical methods and don’t utilize them. According to statistics, most psychiatrists no longer even provide competent psychotherapy worthy of the term.
    These grim tidings notwithstanding, the good news (as indicated in point 5) is that if you are suffering from a psychological disorder, it is quite possible for you to get well.
    Be well.