Top Ten Myths Of Psychiatric Treatment

1. The Myth

A “mental illness” is a real disease. “Mental illnesses” are brain diseases.

1. The Reality

There is no litmus test to determine whether a person has a “mental illness” or not. We have found no “mental illness” virus, bacteria, or genes. “Mental illnesses” are not brain diseases by definition. When a physical cause for a “mental illness” is discovered in the brain, then it ceases to be a “mental illness”, and it becomes a neurological disorder.

2. The Myth

There are many “sick” people out there in the community who are not getting the treatment they need because of “stigma”.

2. The Reality

20 % of the US population are on psychiatric drugs, 11 % of the US population are on anti-depressants, if anything there is an epidemic in the over-diagnosis of psychiatric disorder. This untreated-people-in-the-community ruse is being used by pharmaceutical companies to expand their markets.

3. The Myth

“Stigma” keeps people who are “sick” from seeking much needed treatment.

3. The Reality

When people are forced into mental health treatment against their will and wishes, how can you speak of “stigma” preventing people from seeking treatment? You’ve got people who don’t want to be treated being treated. If they aren’t actively engaged in seeking treatment, the state can always impose treatment upon them, so much for “stigma” preventing anybody from receiving it.

4. The Myth

“Mental illness” is a lifelong debilitating condition from which people seldom recover.

4. The Reality

People can and do recover from serious “mental illness” labels.

5. The Myth

Commitment to a mental hospital is used as a last resort.

5. The Reality

People are sent to state hospitals because communities have not created more safe and effective community treatment resources and supports.

6. The Myth

‘Anti-psychotic’ drugs are medication.

6. The Reality

Neuroleptic drugs, the so-called ‘anti-psychotic’ drugs, are not medicinal in the slightest, and they are not particularly anti-psychotic. They can, in fact, given long term use, increase the psychotic symptoms they are credited with suppressing.

7. The Myth

Mental health treatment is safe.

7. The Reality

There are many mental health treatments used in standard psychiatric practice today that are physically harmful.

8. The Myth

Mental health treatment is improving.

8. The Reality

We have this 25-30 year mortality gap, and it has been growing for years, between people served by the mental health system and the general population. I wouldn’t call dying at a younger age an improvement.

9. The Myth

Drug treatment makes people better.

9. The Reality

Drug treatment has tended to destroy the physical health of people in mental health treatment. There are more and better ways to treat people in the mental health field, and we need to explore some of those other ways more fully.

10. The Myth

Neurological research is on the verge of great discoveries that will prove useful in treating people in the mental health system.

10. The Reality

We’ve been hearing the same sort of scientific breakthrough claims for hundreds of years now, and every time we hear them, we‘re more or less back where we started.