the daily doyle

I Despise Psychiatry – Like to Know Why?
April 28, 2011, 1:10 am
Filed under: Human rights stuff

Fraud. Harm in the name of help. Rape. Destroyed lives. Perversion of science. Creating drug addicts. Ruining education.

That’s about it.

Any questions?

Many of my friends are with me on this one; they despise psychiatry too. But I’m really writing this to appeal to those who aren’t quite so sure, to those who think psychiatry is kind of ok or who think psychiatry is just plain awesome and even, maybe to the odd psychiatrist who may wander into this blog.

Maybe I can explain this better by looking at the situation in a microcosm. If you don’t know, that’s when you take a single example of something and then try to understand a larger picture based on that single example.

Here’s the microcosm. A person in today’s society can, for various reasons, have a hard time. He (or she) may feel on some days sad and lonely. Or he may have trouble concentrating. Or he may have highs and lows, being alternately very active and on top of the world one day and down in the dumps the next. He may just be plain defiant and refuse to listen to others and authority, like teachers or his boss.

All these things are troublesome, no doubt. When they happen to someone, the person himself, and his friends and relatives, want to do something about it, to fix it, to make it better. In the search for this “fix” many things can happen. These things (let’s call them symptoms) have causes. Something causes each and every one of them. That’s pretty obvious right? And there is always something that can be done. Often a person can be brought right out of it by embarking on a new exercise program, getting a different job, getting away from people who cause him stress all the time, or in the case of children, sometimes a miracle cure called “growing up” happens.

In today’s world though, it’s likely that someone experiencing these symptoms could end up in the office of a psychiatrist, or even a medical doctor trained in psychiatric methods, trying to find a solution to one of the troubles listed above, or any number of 100+ travails that a human being can run into. And in front of one of these psych-oriented “doctors”, it’s quite likely that he will be told he is suffering from a psychiatric “disorder”, something perhaps like Clinical Depression or Anxiety Disorder.

Here is the first trouble with psychiatry. There is no valid science to back up calling any given list of symptoms a “disorder”. Putting a label on it is not helpful. The person has a real difficulty in life, which could be the result of any number of causes, including allergic reaction, toxicity, overactive or underactive thyroid, nutrient deficiency, troublesome persons in his life, or dare we say it, his own moral failings. In the case of children, their symptoms are often caused by the poor education system which again, has been largely brought to us thanks to psychiatry and psychology.

Obviously the solution to any of these troubles is to locate the cause of it and do something about it. But that’s not the psychiatric approach. The solution offered is almost certainly going to be a drug. No worries though, the drugs are safe and effective, just ask any psychiatrist or drug company sales person. Safe? Not really. With potential side effects like sudden death and suicidal ideation, safe is probably not a good description. Effective? Maybe. Certainly it depends on what you consider effective. Drugs can definitely change the way you feel. Some people feel great for a short time on just about any drug – cocaine, marijuana, LSD, Prozac, Ritalin, Paxil and on and on. But if a drug “works”, the best it can do is cover up the person’s real problem and, factually, create a whole new set of problems. Impotence and lack of sexual interest is a very common adverse effect of the psychiatric drugs by the way.

Maybe somebody should be allowed to take a drug if they want. At my core, I value freedom, even freedom to do something stupid, beyond just about everything else. The trouble is, in most cases, the patient is never fully informed about his condition, his alternatives and the dangers of the drug.

People deserve to know the truth, always. We should be able to safely seek help for life’s difficulties without being endangered by the treatment itself and stigmatized for a lifetime by a label that has no meaning.

I don’t hate psychiatrists. I don’t. I simply object to psychiatry as it’s largely practiced today. The psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists and the like should really be cleaning up their own field, getting rid of fraud and harmful techniques and getting rid of the “bad apple” practitioners who have raped and abused patients and committed various crimes.

I wouldn’t say “some of my best friends are psychiatrists” but there are certainly psychiatrists who are not drug pushers and who really do care about what happens with the patient and the society. A great one is Dr. Thomas Szasz, Psychiatrist since 1940 and Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the State University of New York Health Science Center in Syracuse, who said, “Psychiatry is probably the single most destructive force that has affected the society within the last sixty years.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.



2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I’m on your side with this one. See sometimes I agree with ya.

Comment by morena

Thanks Morena. I think we agree pretty often. And even when we don’t, I respect your opinion. I think you’re smarter than me but I’m a whole lot more outspoken. Looker over this article again, I should have been a bit more concise, oh well, I’m learning.

Comment by doylemills

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