Why do I no longer practice conventional psychiatry, or what I term pharmapsychiatry? Four reasons. First, it cures almost no one, thus fueling the increased prevalence of chronic mental illness in our society. Can you imagine a dental profession that could not fill cavities? Or a legal profession that could not craft contracts? Of course not. So why should we accept a psychiatric profession that cannot truly heal people, help them fully resolve their problems? The answer that we should accept psychiatry’s limitations because (according to psychiatry) most mental illness is incurable is not a satisfactory answer. Because it is not true. What is true is that in pharmapsychiatry’s hands, mental illness is incurable.Read More
In my previous post, we examined some drawbacks to my profession’s reliance upon psychiatric diagnostic labels. To illustrate further drawbacks, I have invented a diagnostic label. This I term PDID, or Psychiatric Diagnostic Identity Disorder. It is, I contend, a core malady of countless Americans. PDID has two subtypes–PDID, Fragmented Identity Type and PDID, Lack of Identity Type.Read More
Psychiatric diagnoses are good for only three purposes. They enable a shorthand communication among mental health professionals about their patients’ problems. They indicate to a psychiatrist which medications are most apt. And they justify reimbursements of claims by insurers for services rendered. That is the sum of their societal value. For reasons cited below and in my subsequent post, psychiatric diagnoses facilitate conventional treatment, mainly pharmaceutical treatment, but they prevent cure.
Why? Because they limit our minds. They hinder us from recognizing people’s strengths and deploying them to overcome their problems. After all, a diagnosis labels only an individual’s most serious problem(s), only the sickest part(s) of that person. And as it designates a part and not the whole, it refers to nothing that has the ability to solve the particular disorder. After all, if you are psychologically ill, in order to solve your problem you need to use your strong points (e.g. intelligence, persistence, courage, ability to relate to others, physical stamina, specific talents and interests, etc.) to overcome your difficulties. For this reason, psychiatric diagnoses prevent us from imagining an individual’s full recovery. And we achieve only what we can imagine. As a consequence, only people can be cured, not disorders alone.Read More