Psychiatry Gone Awry

May 27, 2009

Ramachandran's Mirror

And I don't like what I see.


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March 4, 2009

Impulsivity In Kindergarten (Does Not) Predict Future Gambling

Here's how (not) to read a study.



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January 19, 2009

DSM-V Controversies


dsmv controversies.jpg

If the front page of Psychiatric Times ran a story called DSM-V Controversies, and it contained this picture, what would you think the article would be about?




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December 17, 2008

Is Internet Addiction Really An Addiction?

Depends on your definition. Wovon man...


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December 15, 2008

Should Hubris Be In The DSM-V?


Certain psychiatrists carry considerable weight in determining the policy, the spirit, of psychiatry.  Henry Nasrallah is one of those men, which is why, if you see him write an editorial called, "Should psychiatry list hubris in the DSM-V?" -- especially if it is tongue-in-cheek--- you should strike yourself in the head with a brick until you are unconscious.  You are about to be manipulated with words, and then it will be too late.


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December 8, 2008

1 In 5 Cars Has A Personality Disorder

The other 4 cars are now completely fine, thanks to early intervention.


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November 6, 2008

The CIA Has The Same Problem Medicine Does

After some dozen years' immersion in intelligence, I still find myself reacting uncomfortably to its rather cavalier disregard for the footnote.



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September 5, 2008

Undue Influence On Psychiatrists, Or The Public?



This is an example of why the controversy over Pharma influence on doctors is, while accurate, likely irrelevant.


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July 23, 2008

Psychiatry is the pressure valve of society


In case you doubted, here is today's front page of USAToday: Economy's stuck, but business is booming at therapists' offices.

If that was the end of the story-- if people had social troubles and turned to psychiatry for help because of those troubles, it would be a good thing.  Get help where you can.

But the larger problem is that in going to psychiatry, their socioeconomic issues get demoted to "factors" and the feelings become pathologized.  Psychiatry doesn't explain, it identifies.  You're not depressed because you lost your house; you have depression, and one of the triggers is losing your house.  See the difference?

You'll say this doesn't happen all the time, maybe not even the majority of the time.  But even if it doesn't happen to a specific individual, it still happens to enough people that it bolsters  psychiatry's role as the necessary player in managing suffering of any kind.

A 20% increase in therapy visits will be interpreted by psychiatry as a 20% increase in depression and anxiety.  It will say depression has a prevalence of X, it will say it is underdiagnosed and undertreated, etc. And it will creep into the social consciousness that these are pre-existing diseases with triggers, not the consequences of external events.

Society needs that illusion, it needs that lie, because it has created unrealistic expectations in people and no way of fulfilling them.   Here's what a society looks like under the similar economic conditions, but without psychiatry:

The absence of hope

Today's popular frustrations over flat-lining living standards have been building for years. The recent boom, felt only by the already well-off, has done little to change that discontent. Labor unrest has been growing for months; violent protests erupted... corporate taxes will be raised and gasoline subsidies cut... The move was designed to take the steam out of boiling anti-government sentiment.

The above article, also from USAToday, has a slightly different title: Egypt's economy soars; so does misery.






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July 20, 2008

Academics Hide Drug Company Payments



And with good reason.


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July 15, 2008

The FDA Says No Black Box Needed On Drugs That Increase Suicidality, But Still Needed For Those That Don't



Yes, you read that right.  Drink a big glass of OJ and put away your blotter paper, you won't need 'em in here.


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June 19, 2008

Internet Addiction Belongs In The DSM-V


Agreed.  And then let's rename the DSM The Book of Fantastikal Magickal Pixies and incorporate it into the Monster Manual.   And let Mad Libs publish the assessment tools.


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April 15, 2008

The Dead Sea Effect In Academia

And I am ashamed.


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April 14, 2008

First Anniversary Of The Death Of Antidepressants

Belated, anyway.



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April 7, 2008

The Pornography Of Medicine

In which appears the phrase, "the sticky pages of the New England Journal."


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March 11, 2008

Suicidal Patients' Access To Their Psychiatrist

In the tradition of Robert Kagan and the folks at Policy Review, Robert Simon, MD defines foreign policy for the next century.


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February 6, 2008

What Else Causes Suicide? You'll Never Guess


1995.volvo.850.11067-E.jpgIn which I take the semiotic logic of medication induced suicidality to its inevitable, silly end.

Using nothing more than a Volvo.  And without lawyers.



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January 21, 2008

A Study Finds Antidepressants Don't Work, And Suddenly It's October 25



ABC News, and others, report that the NEJM study found that antidepressants "may be duds." 

Climb on the bandwagon, my bolsheviks, no brakes, no driver, let us see where it takes us.


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November 1, 2007

Bipolar Rates Are Increasing As Long As You're Willing To Call Everything Bipolar And Defy God's Will

Do you dare defy the Will of God?


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October 23, 2007

The Diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder: What Does It Really Mean?

A diagnosis of borderline personality disorder could, theoretically, mean that the psychiatrist made a serious attempt at evaluating defense mechanisms and ego integrity; or at least a matching of symptoms to DSM criteria. It's theoretically possible, yes. Other things that are theoretically possible include alien abduction, peace in our time, dual eigenstates, user friendly Movable Type upgrades, political discussions that don't rely on information from John Stewart, Daleks, recession with low unemployment, Independents, Madonna/whores, a benignly rising Russia.



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