December 2, 2006

Who Would Benefit?

cover of psychaitry Nov 2006


Note the caption at the bottom.  This is an interesting cover.  No one would ever have thought to create a similar warning about the disastrous consequences of a poor fit for, say, Depakote.  We know it has side effects, but using it would never be disastrous, right?

But why would bad therapy be disastrous?  If psychiatry is so biologically based that the a bad  environment is not the main cause of illness, why should bad therapy be so powerful? If bad parenting can't cause ADHD, how could bad therapy make it worse?


"The Art of Psychotherapy".  Ok.  But why the "science of pharmacology?"  Because we sling "5HT2A" around like we know what we're talking about?

The sentence following that says, "Selecting patients for psychodynamic psychotherapy."    Young, attractive, white females, perhaps?  But they didn't mean that, of course.  It's just a picture. 

Almost no one appreciates-- and no one at all verbalizes-- how deeply the bias in psychiatry penetrates.  It is no coincidence that psychiatry has been mixed up with SSI, welfare, criminal responsibility, etc.  The "nature vs. nurture" debate is a red herring, a magician's distraction. It allows us never to have to say the following:

If they're rich and intelligent, and can understand how their behaviors impact their moods, we can help them to help themselves.  And they won't want to take meds that cause side effects anyway.  

But if they're poor or unintelligent, we will never be able to alter their chaotic environment, increase their insight or improve their judgment.    However, such massive societal failure can not be confronted head on;  we must leave them with the illusion that behavior is not entirely under volitional control; that their circumstances are independent of their activity; that all men are not created equal.  Because without the buffer psychiatry offers, they will demand communism."

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