Three Professional Psychiatrists Speak Out Against the Mental Disorders Manual

 

In recent years, one hears teenagers casually diagnose their friends’ behaviors with bywords from psychiatry’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).  Now in its fourth edition, the DSM has categorized more and more behaviors as disorders, commonly recommending treatment by drugs:  ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) for children who won’t sit still and listen;  “BiPolar” for those who get really sad, but also get really happy;  Eating Disorder; Reading Disorder, Gender Identity Disorder, Mathematics Disorder as well as “OCD” (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) for those who think too much, or need to (over)achieve — behaviors so common that we all may be “disordered”.  Or perhaps it’s psychiatry who has “OCD” — for continually Over-the-Counter Diagnosing of the rest of mankind.

 

The claim that “brain imbalances” underly such disorders, making them treatable by drugs, is being challenged.  Three noted psychiatrists speak out against treating the mind with medication.  Fred Baughman, MD, a child neurologist, writes: 

 

“Psychiatry is NOT a Medical Practice!

“Our emotions—be they elation, depression or anxiety—are a barometer of how we are doing at the game of life. If you reject what your feelings and emotions are telling you, these signals become muddled and lose their attachment to specific failures or successes. Psychiatrists often claim depression, anxiety, and other painful emotions are endogenous—arising from within and not traceable to life events. If they don’t take the time to hear a patient’s life history surely they will not discover the roots of these feelings. Intent on making disease pronouncements and on drugging their patients, psychiatrists never take time to understand their patients. Instead, they quickly apply the DSM ‘disease’ label, scribble a script and then go on to the next normal if troubled patient. But be certain of one thing—there are no diseases in psychiatry….

 

The only reason psychiatry exists today is due to its illusions of diseases and illusions of cure and ‘treatment’ by extremely expensive, always-damaging drugs. Psychology and related professions should be re-invigorated, starting with the few of courage and honesty in their ranks who have not capitulated to psychiatry and the ‘chemical imbalance’ model.

 

Dr. Niall McLaren, an esteemed and accomplished Australian psychiatrist with over 30 years of experience, argues against the materialistic approach to treating the mind.  He explains, in his “Philosophy For Medical Students”, that over time, psychiatry changed from a mental study, to one based on the body/brain:

 

It [psychiatry] gave up all talk of human mental disorder as a matter of the mind and replaced it with the notion that mental disorder is not mental at all, just a fancy sort of neurology. (study of the brain and nervous system)

 

. . . .Therefore, a man whose business had gone broke, a soldier who had been tortured, a woman whose wastrel husband had abandoned her and the children, or a child whose drunken, brawling parents neglected him, all had a physical disease of the brain and all should be given drugs. Nobody had to talk to them. What a relief: patients

 

problems could be diagnosed by handing them a questionnaire or, better still, seating them in front of a computer terminal and leaving them to tick the boxes. It meant that psychiatrists, terribly busy people that they are, didnt have to listen to all those tiresome stories and have patients weeping or ranting around their luxurious offices. It meant they could get on with the hugely lucrative project of turning mental patients into neurology patients.

 

Dr. McLaren further states:

 

It is the case that . . . psychiatry fails to meet the minimal criteria for a science. . . .  The psychiatric publishing industry is both corrupt and incompetent, a prisoner of its own myths, while the general public sees only a profession that can’t make up its mind about anything except that everybody is mentally ill and need lots of expensive drugs.

 

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PHILOSOPHY FOR MEDICAL STUDENTS – CHAPTER
Peter R. Breggin, M.D., a Harvard-trained psychiatrist, with a private practice in Ithaca, New York, also challenges the brain-based theory:

 

Modern biological psychiatry is a materialistic religion masquerading as a science.

How can I say that my profession of psychiatry is a materialistic religion? Because modern psychiatry makes believe that psychological and spiritual problems, such as anxiety and depression, are caused by mechanical failures in the physical brain, and because psychiatry then attempts to correct these psychological and spiritual problems with physical interventions such as drugs and electroshock. Modern biological psychiatry takes these views and implements these interventions on faith and it has won a lot of converts with the help of billion-dollar marketing campaigns.

 

Dr. Peter Breggin

Posted: July 17, 2005 01:03 PM
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