Sunday, January 29, 2006

Psychiatry-Where Did it All Go Wrong?

Where Did it All Go Wrong?

Biological psychiatrists are scurrying for cover as the spotlight of the mainstream media has finally becomes focused on their activities.

Whilst many psychiatrists were well aware that aggressive, brain orientated treatments were not in the best interests of patients, they yet failed to do anything and failed to say anything... in public anyway. Why was this?

A part of it undoubtedly was the fear shared by all professionals who cast their gaze beyond the bounds of accepted dogma... the fear of the ridicule of their colleagues. The courage to stand by ones principles and to do what is right, irrespective of the personal consequence, is not easily summonsed.

But it was not just the ridicule they feared. Courageous men like Dr Thomas Szasz (Professor Emeritus Psychiatry-Syracuse, New York) the first insider to blow the whistle on the bio-psychiatry dogma in 1961, were professionally vilified. The erudite and dignified Dr Szasz was slandered by a few from within his profession with the despicable claim that he was in need of psychiatric help. Another psychiatrist Dr. Peter Breggin suffered a similar reward for his honesty. They were not alone. Character assassination is a hard blow to bear, especially when you have neither the money nor the time nor a medium with which to defend yourself. It takes a lot of courage and conviction to walk that road.

The financial imperative was also strong. Being a pusher for the pharmaceutical companies has not been an underpaid job. Along with the cash bonuses and overseas junkets Big Pharma also bought the psychiatric industry desperately needed credibility. They paid to promote the profession of psychiatry with lavish medical endowments and in other more subtle ways. This investment was done in the clear knowledge that any credibility they could purchase for psychiatry would quickly translate into greater penetration of the market for their highly profitable psychotropic drugs.

And then there was the issue of complicity. I recently met with a psychiatrist in Ireland who is fully aware of the insidious nature of the modern psychiatric obsession with the brain. In conversation it came out that he is the only psychiatrist in Ireland who has not performed ECT. To actually press the button that courses up to 400 volts of electricity through a patient’s brain is a mandated part of psychiatric training in Ireland. It is reminiscent of the entry conditions to some of the US street gangs of the ‘70’s and ‘80’s. Full membership was only considered after the applicant had killed someone... it was rather hard to back out after that. The Irish psychiatrist declined to join the bio-psychiatric gang and flew to London to sit his exam.

That Irish psychiatrist is now seeking the support of his local colleagues in a movement to ban ECT. Most won’t support him. How can they? If they do it is an open admission that what they have done is wrong and harmful. Apart from the personal moral implications, it leaves them wide open to litigation. They simply cannot afford to introspect on the subject. They are guilty, they know they are guilty, and they are more interested in hoping that no one finds out about it. Help expose it? Not likely.

Ultimately of course though, the reason why bio-psychiatrists continued to practice and defend their various assaults upon the brain was the simple fact that they had nothing else to offer. If they acknowledged that their cutting, drugging and shocking did not work, then what options did that leave them? They might as well have hung up their ice-picks.

Where did it all go wrong? What was the pivotal point that caused psychiatry to degenerate into the ignominy of a downward spiral of public distrust and uproar, coupled with the growing media perception of not just utter failure, but of a cynical disregard for the plight of those so desperately in need of help?

In 1879 psychologist Professor Wilhelm Wundt of Leipzig University in Germany declared that there was no soul and that man was simply a higher level animal which could be controlled using “science”*. Psychiatrists became worshippers at the god of materialism, the dogma that proclaimed that all could be reduced to matter and that everything was subject to physical laws. They abandoned their primary purpose, the healing of the mind and soul, and began instead to focus on the body.

The whole concept of the mind and consciousness and individuality was dismissed. It was postulated that the mind was just the brain, and the brain was just another organ like the liver or kidneys which could be controlled and modified by medical procedures. It degenerated to the point where little maps of the brain were published showing areas where certain types of thoughts were supposed to form. Psycho-babble left brain/right brain theories were picked up by the media of the day and popularised.

Mood swings and difficulties in life were pronounced simply a chemical imbalance in the brain. The carbon/oxygen machine nature of the body was deemed the all and everything. For the psychologically troubled it was truly the dawn of the second dark ages. Their thoughts and worries and day to day problems were of no consequence; their very consciousness was dismissed as a chemical soup.

In a conventional medical situation a doctor is not concerned with why someone has a broken leg. They just medically treat the leg. The bio-psychiatry model assured the same treatment for mentally troubled patients. Why a patient was upset or sad was no longer the issue. Psychiatrists just treated the brain. From this a world-wide, pharmaceutical/psychiatric trillion dollar a year industry sprang up with a range of treatments... all notably less successful than a cup of tea and a chat.

Pharmaceutical companies compounded the situation by not only wildly over-promoting the efficacy of their chemical ‘cures’, and under presenting their dark, side effects, but by re-branding common emotions and problems into ‘disorders’. First they created and marketed a new disorder then they marketed a new ‘drug to ‘cure’ the disorder**. They deliberately and knowingly caused people who were well, to suddenly accept a reclassification as ill... and mentally ill at that. Great for selling drugs and expanding market share and profits, but not great for the self-esteem or health of the target market.

The very definition of the word ‘psychiatry’ provides the best clue as to where it all went wrong. Both parts of the word derive from the Greek. ‘Psyche’ means of the soul, and ‘ietreia’ means to cure or to heal. The downfall of psychiatry was not just based on an ignorant and arrogant abuse of power, nor to society’s shame was it much based on the horrific tales of the victims and their outraged families. It was based more on the fact that for over 100 years psychiatry relentlessly pursued a course of mental healing which related to neither the mind nor healing, and which utterly negated the spiritual nature of humanity. Psychiatry failed because it simply did not work and could never have worked, and worse, by its bombardment of the brain with electroshock and lobotomies and psychotropic drugs it seriously exacerbated the problem. Brain damage and mental wellness do not easily coexist. The huge rise in the numbers of people classified as mentally ill since the introduction of bio-psychiatry attests to this.

The noose is tightening around the throat of the bio-psychiatrists. The direction of their whole field of mental healing in the last one hundred years has led slowly yet inexorably to a self-destruction of the profession. If it could have been saved, it could only have been saved from within, but the complicity of its practitioners coupled with the lack of any real answers ensured that they did nothing but seek to stop such endeavours. Only a very few had the courage to hold the high ground of principled honesty.

Over the last few weeks I have been emailing my contacts all over the world seeking psychiatrists to speak at a conference. The answer from one and all is that they do know some psychiatrists who are disquieted by the prevailing orthodoxy and a few who are outraged by it, but less than a handful world-wide who are prepared to speak out.

Ultimately psychiatry will be seen to have failed because it could not even diagnose and cure itself.

Philip Barton
© 26/12/05 Philip Barton All rights reserved

“The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold.” Aristotle

* Franz G. Alexander, M.D. and Sheldon T. Selesnick, M.D. ‘The History of Psychiatry’ (NY: Harper and Row, 1966) p.163

** Ray Moynihan & Alan Cassels- ‘Selling Sickness’ (Allen & Unwin)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Psychiatrist on Sexual Offender Registry

(I-Newswire) - A psychiatrist, who was found guilty of three counts of indecent or sexual assault involving female patients over several years, has been sentenced to 18 months in jail for his crimes. ( Court case # 31377 )
In a jury trial on July 23, 2005, Dr. Larry Anderson admitted to having sexual intercourse with the three women, often in his office after staff had left for the day. Two of the relationships lasted a number of months and involved several sexual encounters.

Besides his jail term, Anderson must serve two years probation, be included on the sexual offender registry, and he will not be allowed to be reinstated into the B.C. College of Physicians and Surgeons.
According to other evidence given during the July trial, Dr. Anderson once put sexual instructions onto what a female patient thought was a prescription for anti-depressant drugs. Instead of a renewal of a prescription for her continued depression, Anderson handed her something completely unexpected. ( The prescription read: Take one erection and put it in an appropriate space. Do what is needed to obtain satisfaction. )

Brian Beaumont, spokesperson for the British Columbia chapter of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights ( CCHR ), a psychiatric watchdog group said, “We are pleased to see that Anderson received some jail time. Psychiatric sexual assault is a very common occurrence over the world, but all too often the perpetrator is only slapped on the wrist by being given a fine or suspension from practice for these criminal activities”.

Studies show that between 6% and 13% of psychiatrists and psychologists sexually abuse their patients and, according to one American Journal of Psychiatry study, 80% of psychiatrists reporting sexual contact did so with an average of six patients.
More than 20 psychiatrists have lost their license to practice or have been criminally charged worldwide for sexual related incidents in just the past 6 months making it a case of almost one psychiatrist sexually or indecently assaulting a female patient every week. And those are the known cases.

According to another  2001 study, "Sex Between Therapists and Clients," by Kenneth Pope, a former head of the ethics committee for the American Psychological Association, 1 out of 20 clients who had been sexually abused by their therapist was a minor, the average age being 7 for girls and 12 for boys. The youngest child was 3.

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights was established by the Church of Scientology to investigate and expose psychiatric violations of human rights. If you know anyone, including a child, who has been abused or harmed by a psychiatrist, please call The Citizens Commission on Human Rights at 1 800 670 2247. Complete confidentiality is assured.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Sexual Assault by Psychiatrist

(I-Newswire) - A psychiatrist, who was found guilty of three counts of indecent or sexual assault involving female patients over several years, will be in court in Penticton British Columbia on January 20 to be sentenced for his crimes. ( Court case # 31377 )
Larry Anderson was found guilty of the assaults involving the female patients by a jury trial on July 23, 2005.
According to evidence given during the trial, Dr. Anderson once put sexual instructions onto what a female patient thought was a prescription for anti-depressant drugs. Instead of a renewal of a prescription for her continued depression, Anderson handed her something completely unexpected. ( The prescription read: Take one erection and put it in an appropriate space. Do what is needed to obtain satisfaction. )
Brian Beaumont, spokesperson for the British Columbia chapter of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights ( CCHR ), a psychiatric watchdog group said, “Psychiatric sexual assault is a very common occurrence over the world, but all too often the perpetrator is only slapped on the wrist by being given a fine or suspension from practice for these criminal activities.
Studies show that between 6% and 13% of psychiatrists and psychologists sexually abuse their patients and, according to one American Journal of Psychiatry study, 80% of psychiatrists reporting sexual contact did so with an average of six patients.
More than 20 psychiatrists have lost their license to practice or have been criminally charged worldwide for sexual related incidents in just the past 6 months making it a case of almost one psychiatrist sexually or indecently assaulting a female patient every week. And those are the known cases.
According to another  2001 study, "Sex Between Therapists and Clients," by Kenneth Pope, a former head of the ethics committee for the American Psychological Association, 1 out of 20 clients who had been sexually abused by their therapist was a minor, the average age being 7 for girls and 12 for boys. The youngest child was 3.
The Citizens Commission on Human Rights was established by the Church of Scientology to investigate and expose psychiatric violations of human rights.
If you know anyone, including a child, who has been abused or harmed by a psychiatrist, please call The Citizens Commission on Human Rights at 1 800 670 2247. Complete confidentiality is assured.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Psychiatric Incompetence

"In a Florida study, 100 consecutively admitted patients to a psychiatric hospital who had been given a psychiatric diagnosis were given a complete medical examination. Doctors concluded that nearly half of the patients’ psychiatric problems were secondary manifestations of an undiagnosed medical problem.

According to Gold, nearly all of these patients would have ended up warehoused in state run mental health facilities, which costs the patients their health with tax dollars paying for the negligence. Some patients die confined in mental hospitals as their real illness, cancer for example, goes untreated.

In the Florida study, psychiatrists missed diagnosing physical illness in 80% of the cases. Gold said he was "embarrassed" at how bad psychiatrists were at "doctoring" and that one third of psychiatrists admit feeling incompetent to give a patient a complete physical examination."

Mark Gold, The Good News About Depression, 1986, p.22-24

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Patronage of the Queen of England?

The hallucanogenic drug LSD (lysergic acid dethylamide) came out of the labs of the drug company Sandoz in 1952. It was taken to the UK and distributed by psychiatrists of the day as the new ‘wonder drug’. It was a ‘wonder drug’ along the lines of previous ‘wonder drugs’ like opium, heroin and methadone. In other words it was a disaster.

By the mid-sixties it had made its way onto the streets where it led to misery, delusions and suicide for many, many people. I was there at the time. I know that to be a statement of truth.

Psychiatrist Ben Sessa, who still extolls the virtues of LSD, has been invited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK to give a presentation on the drug in March of this year. Get ready for a push to explain the errors of the past and how it would be different this time. The utter failure of anti-psychotic and anti-depressant drugs to cure anything coupled with the observable fact that they cause psychosis and suicide will lead to other desperate solutions such as this. Anything to maintain the myth that psychs have some solutions if only they were given more time. How come the Queen of England gives patronage to these bums?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Mahatma Gandi

You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
– Mahatma Gandhi
 

Psychiatric Misdiagnoses

"A comprehensive study in the American Review of Medicine by Dr. Erwin Koranyi estimates misdiagnosis of easily detectable physical illness and labeling them as mental illness occurs half the time! Koryani's study of 2090 psychiatric patients showed that 43% of them had an undiagnosed underlying major illness. Dr. Koryani explains that once a patient is labeled a psychiatric case, physical complaints are assumed to be "psychosomatic" and are routinely ignored." - Dr. Timothy O'Shea

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Mental Hospitals

Neurologist Sir Francis Walshe described mental hospitals as "living museums of undiscovered bodily disease . . . undiagnosed."

Monday, January 02, 2006

Psychiatry-The Museum of Death

I have been asked to do some work for The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) in my home town. I have agreed. CCHR was set up by Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry Dr. Thomas Szasz and The Church of Scientology back in 1969 (or thereabouts).

I saw a DVD on NYE about the new Museum of Death exhibition opened by CCHR in Los Angeles. It features graphic photographs and film (many never before published or shown) of psychiatry in action.

International, Federal, State and local politicians attended and were gob-smacked by what they had witnessed... and said so to the cameras. Some were visibly upset about what had been happening to the victims of psychiatry unbeknownst to them.

One dignitary (can’t remember who) made the point that people sometimes asked why the Church of Scientology were so concerned about psychiatry. His response to this was that it was the wrong question, and that why more people weren’t concerned was the real question. Are you concerned?

If you want to help then ring your local branch of CCHR. I have been around this anti-psychiatric scene for a while, and CCHR is the ONLY organisation that has gets results. Many of the organisations (and there are dozens) are well meaning and try, but lack the expertise or the commitment to get the job done. Psychiatrists are well funded. CCHR is committed and in my opinion is the most worthwhile group around in the area of Human Rights. If you’re thinking about it and need some convincing still, then go and see the exhibition in LA... Psychiatry-The Museum of Death. That will convince you big time. We might even get to meet Tom Cruise!