Think Again

An article at is entitled Rethinking Psychiatry to which I reply with this post titled, plainly enough, Think Again.

“I remember one meeting, when I told a psychiatry professor about a study I had read showing that no two psychiatrists could agree better than chance on diagnosis,” says retired Washington University psychiatrist George E. Murphy, MD. “He said, ‘But then our diagnoses don’t mean anything,’ and I replied, ‘That’s exactly true.’ And he never spoke to me again, because that was too bitter a pill to swallow.”

He should try some of the pills given to patients.

If no two psychiatrists can agree on a diagnosis any better than chance what does that say about diagnosis? It isn’t such an art after all, is it? In fact, it’s bunk.

Here we have this article that is going to tell us how medical model psychiatry at St. Louis’s Washington University took the baton from what it saw as an “unscientific” psychoanalytic approach, and ran with it. A few years down the line, now that we’re dealing with doctors who have minimal contact with patients, doctors who do nothing but push pills, and pills that kill and maim people, maybe that wasn’t such a good idea.

Today, the Department of Psychiatry has ambitious plans on the horizon. Though DSM-V is in process, they are more focused on DSM-VI, some 15 years ahead. By then, they will have functional information about brain structures from a major brain-mapping project soon to be undertaken by David C. Van Essen, PhD, professor and head of anatomy and neurobiology. Through his work, they hope to understand the breakdown of brain systems in psychiatric disorders and design targeted therapies to treat them.

I kind of think these doctors are looking in a very limited fashion at “targeted therapies” that involve little else besides the drugging of patients.

If you think they will be any closer 15 years from now than they will be in 2 years when the DSM-V comes out to finding the “mental illness” germ, bug, gene, kink, whatever, I have to laugh in your face. If you think I’m not laughing at you, think again. Nonetheless they like to call themselves “scientific”.

“Our job — what we have inherited — is to be troublemakers, and I like that,” [Charles F.] Zorumski [head of the Washington University department of psychiatry] says. “We want to keep reminding people that we haven’t done enough and to keep asking: ‘Where is the next thing coming from?’”

Simplicismo say, “Question: how are jobs like diseases of the mind? Answer: they are both inherited.”

Dr. Zorumski called himself a “troublemaker”. Okay. Funny thing, I’ve called myself the same thing. My job as a human rights activist is to make trouble for the likes of this self-proclaimed troublemaker. I guess that makes me a troublemaker’s troublemaker. I see the harm that has been done. I want to rip the blinders off Dr. Zorumski that prevent him from seeing the truth of the horrific situation he has helped to create. As for the trouble, it’s no trouble, really.