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Psychiatry Is Little More Than A Combination Of Cluelessness And Corruption

haidut

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This article reviews a recent book that deliver a devastating verdict for psychiatry as a profession. At best, those practicing the profession are clueless and administer therapies almost on a whim, simply because they have no clue what is causing any of the mental diseases categorized in DSM. At worst, those doctors are nothing but pharma shills, performing large scale experiments on the public using drugs of either questionable efficacy or directly fraudulent trials.

Psychiatry’s Incurable Hubris
"...In 1886, Clark bell, the editor of the journal of the Medico-Legal Society of New York, relayed to a physician named Pliny Earle a query bound to be of interest to his journal’s readers: Exactly what mental illnesses can be said to exist? In his 50-year career as a psychiatrist, Earle had developed curricula to teach medical students about mental disorders, co-founded the first professional organization of psychiatrists, and opened one of the first private psychiatric practices in the country. He had also run a couple of asylums, where he instituted novel treatment strategies such as providing education to the mentally ill. If any American doctor was in a position to answer Bell’s query, it was Pliny Earle. Earle responded with a letter unlikely to satisfy Bell. “In the present state of our knowledge,” he wrote, “no classification can be erected upon a pathological basis, for the simple reason that, with slight exceptions, the pathology of the disease is unknown.” Earle’s demurral was also a lament."

"...Some people really did emerge from an insulin coma without their delusions; some people really are roused from profound and disabling depressions by a round of electroconvulsive therapy or by antidepressant drugs. But in every case, the treatment came first, often by accident, and the explanation never came at all. The pathological basis of almost all mental disorders remains as unknown today as it was in 1886—unsurprising, given that the brain turns out to be one of the most complex objects in the universe. Even as psychiatrists prescribe a widening variety of treatments, none of them can say exactly why any of these biological therapies work."

"...It follows that psychiatrists also cannot precisely predict for whom and under what conditions their treatments will work. That is why antipsychotic drugs are routinely prescribed to depressed people, for example, and antidepressants to people with anxiety disorders. Psychiatry remains an empirical discipline, its practitioners as dependent on their (and their colleagues’) experience to figure out what will be effective as Pliny Earle and his colleagues were. Little wonder that the history of such a field—reliant on the authority of scientific medicine even in the absence of scientific findings—is a record not only of promise and setback, but of hubris."

"...As Harrington ably documents, a series of fiascoes highlighted the profession’s continued inability to answer Clark Bell’s question. Among them was the 1973 vote by the American Psychiatric Association declaring that homosexuality was no longer a mental illness. The obvious question—how scientific is a discipline that settles so momentous a problem at the ballot box?—was raised by the usual critics. This time, insurers and government bureaucrats joined in, wondering, often out loud, whether psychiatry warranted their confidence, and the money that went along with it."

"...The DSM-3’s gesture at science proved sufficient to restore the reputation of the profession, but those discoveries never followed. Indeed, even as the DSM(now in its fifth edition) remains the backbone of clinical psychiatry—and becomes the everyday glossary of our psychic suffering—knowledge about the biology of the disorders it lists has proved so elusive that the head of the National Institute of Mental Health, in 2013, announced that it would be “re-orienting its research away from DSM categories.”"

"...The need to dispel widespread public doubt haunts another debacle that Harrington chronicles: the rise of the “chemical imbalance” theory of mental illness, especially depression. The idea was first advanced in the early 1950s, after scientists demonstrated the principles of chemical neurotransmission; it was supported by the discovery that consciousness-altering drugs such as LSD targeted serotonin and other neurotransmitters. The idea exploded into public view in the 1990s with the advent of direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs, antidepressants in particular. Harrington documents ad campaigns for Prozac and Zoloft that assured wary customers the new medications were not simply treating patients’ symptoms by altering their consciousness, as recreational drugs might. Instead, the medications were billed as repairing an underlying biological problem. The strategy worked brilliantly in the marketplace. But there was a catch. “Ironically, just as the public was embracing the ‘serotonin imbalance’ theory of depression,” Harrington writes, “researchers were forming a new consensus” about the idea behind that theory: It was “deeply flawed and probably outright wrong.” Stymied, drug companies have for now abandoned attempts to find new treatments for mental illness, continuing to peddle the old ones with the same claims. And the news has yet to reach, or at any rate affect, consumers. At last count, more than 12 percent of Americans ages 12 and older were taking antidepressants. The chemical-imbalance theory, like the revamped DSM, may fail as science, but as rhetoric it has turned out to be a wild success."

"...Modern medicine pivots on the promise that portraying human suffering as biological disease will lead to insight and cures. Inescapably, this enterprise has a sociopolitical dimension. To say which of our travails can (and should) come under medicine’s purview is, implicitly if not explicitly, to present a vision of human agency, of the nature of the good life, of who deserves precious social resources like money and compassion. Such questions, of course, aren’t always pressing; the observation that a broken leg is a problem only in a society that requires mobility seems trivial. But by virtue of its focus on our mental lives, and especially on our subjective experience of the world and ourselves, psychiatry, far more directly than other medical specialties, implicates our conception of who we are and how our lives should be lived. It raises, in short, moral questions. If you convince people that their moods are merely electrochemical noise, you are also telling them what it means to be human, even if you only intend to ease their pain."

"...At the risk of being polemical, let me suggest that Harrington’s word disingenuous fails to describe the cynicism of Robert Spitzer, the editor of the DSM-3, who acknowledged to me that he was responding to the fact that “psychiatry was regarded as bogus,” and who told me that the book was a success because it “looks very scientific. If you open it up, it looks like they must know something.” Nor does ironic accurately describe the actions of an industry that touts its products’ power to cure biochemical imbalances that it no longer believes are the culprit. Plain bad faith is what’s on display, sometimes of outrageous proportion. And like all bad faith, it serves more than one master: not only the wish to help people, but also the wish to preserve and increase power and profits."
 

LuMonty

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This is my experience exactly. I was prescribed an antipsychotic and all it did was make me a hormonally-imbalanced wreck. The person prescribing the medication always got angry if I asked questions. Was often told I didn't want to "get better." My points were that she had only tried two medications (she increased the dose of one too quickly for it to be safe, which I only found out recently), she didn't seem to now how my supposed condition worked, and she said that my prolactin being high and T being in the toilet was the cost of "getting better." Her other excuse was I only tolerated one medication. I don't have to say why that sound fruit loops.

And the usual "pathology" of being "combative" "aggressive" "mentally ill" and so on. By the end of it, she wanted me to attend in-house (i.e. modern asylum) treatment. After I refused to continue any treatment at all (including the laughable talk therapy with someone else), she tried to schedule me for 2 more appointments, so I had frank words with the reception desk.

The whole thing is a sham. Turns out, I'm just a young individualist who was overworked and under-rested. Even before I started reading Peat and trying his ideas, I improved drastically a year off of the medication. Turns out a prolactin score of over 30 does have effects on a young guy.

Perhaps worse than the whole ordeal was realizing that not only was I just wired from long-term stress, but I saw the same maniacal reasoning and control in other places.
 

Frankdee20

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Wonderful post, thank you. How great it is to have a forum where opinions can be expressed against some of the biggest players who encompass the Status Quo.
 

Dhair

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Robert Spitzer, the editor of the DSM-3, who acknowledged to me that he was responding to the fact that “psychiatry was regarded as bogus,” and who told me that the book was a success because it “looks very scientific. If you open it up, it looks like they must know something.”
This is a scandal. Is this new information?
 
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theLaw

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I suspect the standard k-12 public education in the US is designed to break down kids in their formative years, while misdirecting parents with the promise of success by entry into Universities where they are indoctrinated into the cult of their particular specialty. Trade schools only avoid this because you're applying the info directly to something tangible.

Psychiatry appears to be closer to marketing than medicine.
 

tankasnowgod

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Jan 25, 2014
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I'm reminded of this clip from Dr. Hoffer, who talks about a doctor and Quakers in the 1850, having a far better recovery rate for "The Insane" or Schizophrenia than modern medicine does-

 

lvysaur

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I'm pretty sure everyone already knows this lol
 
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No wonder they are called the rapists

Honest advertising

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Hairfedup

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Of course...once pre 70s psychology was successfully delegitimized and discarded in order to prop up the false hegemonies of movements such as 'feminism' [read: narcissist egalitarianism], behavioral genetics and the like, psychotherapy was undoubtedly set to become a corrupt tool of falsehood.
 

LUH 3417

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Of course...once pre 70s psychology was successfully delegitimized and discarded in order to prop up the false hegemonies of movements such as 'feminism' [read: narcissist egalitarianism], behavioral genetics and the like, psychotherapy was undoubtedly set to become a corrupt tool of falsehood.
At least “narcisstic egalitarianism” allowed people like katarina dalton to legitimize things like PMS and people could stop believing their wives were suicidal because their uterus was busy floating around
 

Hairfedup

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At least “narcisstic egalitarianism” allowed people like katarina dalton to legitimize things like PMS and people could stop believing their wives were suicidal because their uterus was busy floating around

Womanism is indeed great. Thanks for your insightful contribution.
 

haidut

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This is a scandal. Is this new information?

Of course it is a scandal, and AFAIK it is new information. But there are so many other (and bigger) scandals that the public has simply gone numb. Nobody ever gets punished in a way that changes behavior and the show goes on. Look at the links below. If knowingly giving babies cancer (and profiting from it) for decades can hit the news without much fanfare, lawsuits, criminal prosecution, etc then psychiatry being fraud is hardly scandalous in comparison. Same goes for deliberately falsifying safety data on radiation exposure by the highest scientific body in this country, and with worldwide impact. Hundreds of millions of people have probably been affected by the radiation fraud, it is fully known and nothing has been done about it. In fact, there are proposals in some states and foreign countries to deliberately stop briefing the patient on radiation risks as it would interfere with the "placebo effect" of them thinking they are getting a beneficial treatment. Had enough scandals already for today? :):
https://raypeatforum.com/community/threads/johnson-johnson-concealed-for-decades-its-baby-powder-had-asbestos.26919/
https://raypeatforum.com/community/threads/nas-falsified-data-on-radiation-safety-to-justify-widespread-use.5692/
 
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rei

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My road to recovery from decades of anxiety with slight to moderate depression started after i got fed up with the doctors and healthcare system and took things into my own hands. The catalyst was when i got referred to a psychiatrist instead of normal doctors, and found out that they are just as or even more clueless. Their approach was that the problem is in your head, they don't know what it is, but it is certainly in your head and can be cured by talking, assisted by "medicine". Turns out in my case it was a calcification issue (closest description i have found: Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis - Wikipedia ) i did not know i had since childhood, which caused autonomic nervous system imbalance. My whole life i existed in a fight-or-flight mode. The resolution started semi-spontaneously after some batches of supplements i ordered after accidentally finding peat's website and especially this forum. The changes have been so drastic i would almost describe it as a second puberty.

It frightens me how something like this is even possible. And how close it was that i would have continued on the same path of depression and anxiety for the rest of my life. I might have been dead by now if i continued within the system since the drugs/treatment they gave me were absolutely horrible even though we had not progressed yet to antipsychotics or ECT.
 

thomas00

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Nov 14, 2016
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I would guess that people with chronic health problems who see psychiatrists probably have a similar experience: try every pill and other treatment they use, maybe get a bit of relief but often at the cost of a bunch of hideous side effects. Once those options have been exhausted you're sent off to a psychologist because it's obviously your attitude or your lack of effort or that argument you had with your mum when you were 15 that's behind all your problems. Either way it becomes somebody's problem.

Probably most of the psychiatrists I have encountered in my life have a dejected and detached look about them and develop a somewhat pejorative view of you if you keep going back to them complaining of a lack of results. They don't want to be reminded of their failure. Same with gastroenterologists. They must be the two most disappointing fields of medicine to get into. Nobody is ever cured, just a bit of temporary relief here and there. After I had ECT the psychiatrist carrying it out was desperate for me to confirm that I'd improved. I've never seen a medical professional so in need of proof that what he was doing was actually working. I guess he was used to a lot of disappointing results.

From what I can gather most psychiatrists have the view that pills they prescribe do something, at least some of them time, and often with a lot of bad effects, but don't really understand why and figure it's better than having to deal with suicides. I feel sorry for them a bit I guess. They've bought their training on good faith that it was the best available practice and all they can do is apply it. Of course there are some really bad ones who just sit back and enjoy the large amount of money they get.

An unfortunate result of criticizing psychiatry's medical models of mental suffering is that another field that is mostly quackery, psychology, fills the void. Largely I suspect because people know it won't cause the harm certain drugs can, even if it doesn't actually solve anything for the patients. What a mess. Hopefully hormone therapy gets more proponents in the coming decades, the safer psychedelics seem promising.
 
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For a long time I had this persistent thought that going to see a psychiatrist was a dangerous thing to do. I think it was my intuition really. They either prescribe medications that make no sense to prescribe, ot they say that you just aren't trying hard enough at life. Just the way most doctors speak already makes me feel upset. They seem to never take you seriously and they have that smug attitude, as if they know everything when, in fact, they know very little. They seem to not have any respect for people, and they have no qualms when it comes to crushing someone's hope for recovery. They crush their patients hope in a very subtle way, and, sometimes, in not so subtle ways.
 

Frankdee20

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Antipsychotics are simply more humane now, taking time to eradicate Dopamine receptors, rather than scraping out ones frontal lobe back in the days of labotomy.
 

Frankdee20

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The problem with psych meds is the therapuetic benefit (regardless of mechanism, regardless of modifying the real problem or not) lose efficacy. Medication poop out is common, then you get switched around, and ravage your entire brain, then cause dependancy, and less resilience.
 
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The problem with psych meds is the therapuetic benefit (regardless of mechanism, regardless of modifying the real problem or not) lose efficacy. Medication poop out is common, then you get switched around, and ravage your entire brain, then cause dependancy, and less resilience.
Yeah, doctors think they can simply ignore all the basics( sleep, food, creative exercise, light physical exercise, a low-stress environment) and "short-cut" using medications, which, most of time, act on something they think is the problem but is not.
 
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