May 5, 2013

Fake Medicine

Some tidbits from an article in The Atlantic called "The Real Problems With Psychiatry":

* Every doctor who knows anything, knows that there is no biochemical imbalance that causes depression.

* Our gut reaction is always "that was really sick. Those guys in Boston -- they were really sick." But how do we know? Unless you decide in advance that anybody who does anything heinous is sick. This society is very wary of using the term "evil."

* A depression diagnosis gives people an identity formed around having a disease that we know doesn't exist, and how that can divert resources from where they might be needed. Imagine how much less depression there would be if people weren't worried about tuition, health care, and retirement.

* The DSM is created by a group of committees. It's a bureaucratic process. In place of scientific findings, the DSM uses expert consensus to determine what mental disorders exist and how you can recognize them.

* You can't just ask for special services for a student who is awkward. You have to get special services for a student with autism. In court, mental illnesses come from the DSM. If you want insurance to pay for your therapy, you have to be diagnosed with a mental illness.

the article

1 comment:

  1. In many areas of medicine, diseases are treated that need not be treated and may not really be diseases. This is true of cardiology, oncology, orthopedic medicine, pediatrics, and just about everything. Some psychiatric illness is real. Insanity has always existed. The mind can snap. Anyone with an autistic child or grandchild can verify that it is a real disorder and not just an attempt at getting free special ed classes. Grief can also be fatal. People have long been known to grieve themselves to death. Anorexic children sometimes die. Telling the child to behave and snap out of it will not work. Drugs and tube feedings might work, as well as behavior and talk therapy. Homosexuals usually cannot feel an attraction to the opposite gender; however this does not mean that they cannot stop themselves from having relations with another of their own gender. Some vices are habit forming and addicting which is evil but the person might have lots of difficulty stopping without some sort of therapy.
    Diseases such as cerebral palsy also don't have lab and x-ray evidence but the child might be crippled nonetheless.
    This does not mean that every bad mood or feeling of sadness is a disorder but therapy might provide relief in serious and long term situations but meds should be a last resort.