Thursday, April 28, 2005

Outbreak of Sanity in Psychiatry

An article in Business Week this week discusses the new approaches being tried by psychs to combat depression. The utter failure of drugs, and cutting, burning, shocking and ice-picking has finally led to the study of more natural and non-harmful alternatives.

Whilst wacky ideas like Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (a supposedly non-invasive treatment that ‘works’ by yet another attempt to fiddle with the brain) are still being wheeled out, attention is also being turned to St. John’s Wort whose only side effect is an occasional tummy upset. This sounds a lot better than the suicides and violent behavious associated with psychotropic drugs.

Fish oil and amino acid derivatives are also being looked at and are proving to be almost as effective as St. John’s Wort. Even exercise is being looked at. Recent clinical studies published in the January 2005 “American Journal of Preventive Medicine” have shown that three hours of light exercise a week is as effective as anti-depressants in improving mood. So much for the chemical imbalance nonsense.

This really does seem like an unexpected outbreak of sanity amongst the psychs. Maybe the voices of those many psychs who are appalled at the drugging and shocking etc committed by their less scrupulous colleagues are finally being heard.

Maybe we are on the threshold of a new era when people who are troubled will really be able to get help, instead of being sent out of their mind with dreadful drugs, or being brain damaged by having their brains fried by Shock Treatment. Maybe we have finally reached the tipping point and in twenty years we will be able to look back on this last 70 years and shudder at the horrors that the psychs subjected people to.


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