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Commentary on the field of Psychiatry

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nanabanana
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Commentary on the field of Psychiatry

Post by nanabanana on 6/27/2017, 12:28 pm

I don’t know how many folks here may be familiar with Mad in America (MIA), a movement cum forum that affords online publication of articles on psychiatry run amok; or its’ founder, Robert Whitaker.  In the June 23, 2017 weekly newsletter of MIA online, I read with great interest an article written by Phillip Hickey, PhD, titled:  Robert Whitaker Refutes Jeffrey Lieberman; But is Psychiatry Reformable.  https://www.madinamerica.com/2017/06/robert-whitaker-refutes-jeffrey-lieberman-but-is-psychiatry-reformable/

If anyone has an interest, I hope you will read the article.  Before posting my comments here on the IG forum, I would also call attention to two books that go a long way toward chronicling the worldwide history of psychiatry and describing the rise of mental illness in the United States.  Both were written by Robert Whitaker.  The first, Mad in America was published in 2002 and reflected Mr. Whitaker’s interest as an accomplished young journalist for a broad range of topics until an “accidental” event.  He describes “stumbling onto an unusual line of psychiatric research (in 1998) which I reported on for the Boston Globe” which pertained to the “study of the biology of schizophrenia” and further stated that American scientists “were giving the mentally ill chemical agents – amphetamines, ketamine, and methylphenidate – expected to heighten their psychosis.”  While reporting on that article, he ran across two studies in the medical literature that reported (Harvard Medical School) “outcomes for schizophrenia patients had worsened during the past twenty years.”  This piqued his interest, and he began asking questions and seeking answers.

His second book, Anatomy of an Epidemic, published in 2010, built on his findings when pursuing answers to the questions he posed while researching the material for his first book.  The subtitle speaks directly to the controversial nature and the heart of the purpose of his second book:  Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America.

Dr. Phillip Hickey is a contemporary of Robert Whitaker and a frequent contributor to MIA newsletter.  I’ve read many articles by him and enjoy his wit, his command of the English language, as well as his considerable knowledge gained from decades of practicing psychology.  His deconstruction of the review of Lieberman and colleagues includes this excerpt from the published paper’s conclusions: “There is ‘little evidence’ that initial use antipsychotics or maintenance treatment with the drugs have a ‘negative long-term effect’.  There are just a ‘small number’ of patients that may recover from a first episode of psychosis without pharmacologic treatment or may discontinue medication and remain stable for extended periods of time.”

Dr. Hickey and Robert Whitaker point out how psychiatry continues to reinforce its authority by publishing articles summarizing research studies that are less than conclusive - in language that promotes a less than comprehensive view of the need for psychotropic medications – based on questionable motivations.

This, seventeen years into the 21st century!  I guess it shouldn’t amaze me, but it does.

My own experience gives the academic a very personal reference point.  It was 1976 when I had my first involuntary commitment to a psychiatric hospital arising from what was determined to be a psychotic break.  What a concept!  I took this basic definition from the internet: “A psychotic break occurs when a person experiences an episode of acute primary psychosis, generally for the first time.”

As to it being my ‘first time’ – who knows?  But a neighbor found me in the bottom of my bedroom closet when she came over; it was witnessed.  And because I was unresponsive with no apparent sign of any physical trauma, I was taken to the local state-run psychiatric hospital by EMS.

All these years later, the part of that episode that still rankles me the most is that I was given an antipsychotic drug – for three straight weeks – with no previous history of mental illness to guide the action.  That was the scope of psychiatric authority then.  And for many, it is still the scope.

And just to underscore how ineffectual that scope was,  when it came time for discharge I was given a mild tranquilizer prescription and sent on my merry way.  I was 26 years old and the attending psychiatrist entrusted that recommendation for outpatient psychiatric follow-up to one of my abusers, NOT to me.

And, as example of how the dominoes of such actions can continue to fall, my abuser never shared that recommendation with me.

It is a most instructive article – for how the field of psychiatry operates today, and for the how its practitioners insure the continuation of their own omnipotence.
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nanabanana
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Re: Commentary on the field of Psychiatry

Post by nanabanana on 6/27/2017, 12:43 pm

Here is the link for Robert Whitaker's article, "Psychiatry Defends Its Antipsychotics: A Case Study of Institutional Corruption - MIA Report: Lieberman says critics of the drugs "create mischief for their own nefarious purposes."

https://www.madinamerica.com/2017/05/psychiatry-defends-its-antipsychotics-case-study-of-institutional-corruption/

Published May 21, 2017 at Mad In America.
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Morgan
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Re: Commentary on the field of Psychiatry

Post by Morgan on 6/30/2017, 2:28 pm

Very interesting article. I will have to go check it out for myself. Morgan



I love my Family of Choice, IG
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krathyn
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Re: Commentary on the field of Psychiatry

Post by krathyn on 7/10/2017, 9:32 pm

I read the article and the forum of comments (it was long, it included people who were psychiatrists, people who had been diagnosed with psychoses, people who had bad experiences with meds, and some well educated people from other backgrounds.
i have intermittently been on these drugs and i have to admit when i was on them i thought they did more good than harm. However I will admit to the serious side effects they can cause which almost make a disease of their own.



wishing you well-
Krathyn, Sebastian, Strawberry, Easebeth, Petrea
Krathyn of We5:    we accept all intentions of support--





krathyn148@gmail.com
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nanabanana
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Re: Commentary on the field of Psychiatry

Post by nanabanana on 7/11/2017, 11:10 am

Yes, it was a lengthy one!  Robert Whitaker writes quite well though; making following his point easier for me.  (He's a favorite of mine; he has really devoted himself to exposing the inconsistencies of MH systematic problems.)

You raise a good point - there are times when a certain med can bring about relief from symptom(s).  And heavens knows, given how disruptive certain sx's can be, relief is nearly blessed.  That's what's so difficult for me to wrap my brain around.  What if something helped in the short-term but was kept going until it passed into a different realm - the realm of too long...and side effects that rival the original sx's.

A complicated business for certain...and the understanding of such seems lacking for the input of said professionals, eh?  Often I feel that if there were several people in front of the SAME professional, at the SAME time, concerning the SAME situation - we'd get a response that is, shall we say, more accountable??

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krathyn
krathyn
krathyn

Re: Commentary on the field of Psychiatry

Post by krathyn on 7/11/2017, 12:43 pm

A patient i knew, was being prescribed one of these drugs, and she asked if the doctor would take it himself.
the answer she got did nothing to improve her feelings about "compliance" with the drug.



wishing you well-
Krathyn, Sebastian, Strawberry, Easebeth, Petrea
Krathyn of We5:    we accept all intentions of support--





krathyn148@gmail.com
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