A Behavioral Approach to Mental Disorders

A Diluted Murphy Bill Clears the House and Goes to the Senate

August 23, 2016

INTRODUCTION On Wednesday, July 6, the US House of Representatives passed a watered down version of HB 2646, the so-called Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act.  The bill, which is now a House Resolution, is usually referred to as the Tim Murphy bill, after its principle author, Representative Tim Murphy, PhD, who is also […]

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Bad News on the Doorstep: Psychologists Prescribing Drugs

July 26, 2016

[Note:  In this post, “APA” refers to the American Psychological Association] There is an article in the current (July/August) issue of The National Psychologist titled “Iowa becomes 4th state to approve RxP”.  The author is James Bradshaw, Associate Editor.  RxP is a commonly used abbreviation for prescription authority for psychologists. Here are some quotes from […]

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Non-psychiatrists Working in the Mental Health System

July 6, 2016

I know from my own experience and from emails I receive from readers that a great many non-psychiatrists who work in the mental health system have seen through the psychiatric hoax.  These individuals, who are growing in number, realize that the problems for which clients seek help are not illnesses in any meaningful sense of […]

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“The Overdiagnosis of ADHD”

June 28, 2016

INTRODUCTION On May 23, the very eminent psychiatrist Allen Frances, MD, published on the HuffPost blog an article titled Conclusive Proof ADHD is Overdiagnosed. The general theme, that various “mental illnesses” are being “overdiagnosed” is gaining popularity in recent years among some psychiatrists, presumably in an effort to distance themselves from the trend of psychiatric-drugs-on-demand-for-every-conceivable-human-problem […]

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Allen Frances:  Still Blaming Everyone But Himself

May 24, 2016

On May 7, Allen Frances, MD, posted an article on the HuffPost site.  The piece was titled Antidepressants Work, But Only For Really Depressed People. Superficially, the article presents itself as a call to limit the prescribing of the so-called antidepressant drugs to severe cases; but the piece can, I suggest, be more accurately characterized […]

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ADHD:  The Hoax Unravels

May 10, 2016

At the risk of stating the obvious, ADHD is not an illness.  Rather, it is an unreliable and disempowering label for a loose collection of arbitrarily chosen and vaguely defined behaviors.  ADHD has been avidly promoted as an illness by pharma-psychiatry for the purpose of selling stimulant drugs.  In which endeavor, they have been phenomenally successful, […]

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The Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative

April 29, 2016

INTRODUCTION On March 27, 2014, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill published a press release titled Dr. Cynthia Bulik of UNC leads multinational anorexia genetics project. Cynthia Bulik, PhD, according to Wikipedia, is the “Distinguished Professor of Eating Disorders in the Department of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine at the University of […]

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The Sandcastle Continues to Crumble

April 22, 2016

Psychiatry is a hoax.  Its fundamental concepts are spurious to the point of inanity.  Much of its research is blatantly fraudulent.  And its treatments are destructive, disempowering, and stigmatizing.  Psychiatry has no coherent or logical response to the criticisms that it attracts, other than the repetition, mantra-style, of unsubstantiated assertions of safety and efficacy, coupled […]

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Cyber-Trolls, Site Disrupters, and Related Matters

April 21, 2016

To state the obvious, this is an anti-psychiatry site, and as such it attracts a fair measure of impassioned comment – some favorable, some unfavorable. From time to time the site gets “bombed”, by which I mean that someone who opposes my ideas “sits” on the site and expresses profound disapproval of anything and everything […]

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The Germanwings Crash:  Flying Under the Influence

April 5, 2016

On March 24, 2015, a twenty-seven-year-old German pilot named Andreas Lubitz flew an Airbus A 320 into a French mountainside, killing himself and the 149 other people on board.  Mr. Lubitz was co-piloting the flight, and he caused the aircraft to crash by locking the pilot out of the flight deck and setting the autopilot […]

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Allen Frances on Anti-Psychiatry

March 24, 2016

On February 22, Allen Frances, MD, published an article titled:  Psychiatry and Anti-Psychiatry on the HuffPost Blog.  The general theme of the article is that psychiatry may have some problems, but it is basically sound, wholesome, and necessary. Here are some quotes, interspersed with my comments: “Psychiatry used to be a biopsychosocial profession that allowed […]

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Allen Frances on the Benefits of “Antipsychotics”

March 11, 2016

On February 1, Allen Frances, MD, published an interesting article on the Huffington Post blog.  The article is called Do Antipsychotics Help or Harm Psychotic Symptoms?, and is a response to Robert Whitaker’s post of January 27:  “Me, Allen Frances, and Climbing Out of a Pigeonhole.  This post, in turn, was a response to Dr. […]

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Psychiatry Bashing

March 7, 2016

Last month (February 2016), the British Journal of Psychiatry published an online bulletin titled BASH: badmouthing, attitudes and stigmatisation in healthcare as experienced by medical students, by Ali Ajaz et al.  Here’s the abstract: “Aims and method We used an online questionnaire to investigate medical students’ perceptions of the apparent hierarchy between specialties, whether they […]

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Exploiting The Placebo Effect:  Deceiving People For Their Own Good?

February 16, 2016

Readers may remember that a few weeks ago I became involved in an online debate with the very eminent and scholarly psychiatrist Ronald Pies, MD.  That exchange was initiated by a post I wrote concerning a paper on the chemical imbalance theory that Jeffrey Lacasse, PhD, and Jonathan Leo, PhD, had published in the Behavior […]

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Gender Wage Gap and Depression/Anxiety

February 12, 2016

In their January 2016 issue, the journal Social Science and Medicine published Unequal depression for equal work? How the wage gap explains gendered disparities in mood disorders, by Jonathan Platt, MPH, Seth Prins, PhD candidate, Lisa Bates, PhD, and Katherine Keyes, PhD, MPH.  All the authors work at Columbia’s Department of Public Health. Here’s the […]

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Allen Frances Seeks The Middle Way

February 9, 2016

On January 15, 2016, Allen Frances, MD, Professor Emeritus at Duke University, published an article on the Huffington Post.  The piece is titled:  Psychiatric Medicines Are Not All Good or All Bad. The article denounces both the “medication fanatics” who prescribe psychiatric drugs when they are not needed, and the “die-hard anti-medication crusaders who try […]

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Are ‘Psychiatric Disorders’ Brain Diseases?

January 19, 2016

Steven Reidbord MD is a board-certified psychiatrist who practices in San Francisco.  He writes a blog called Reidbord’s Reflections.  On December 12, 2015, he posted an article titled Are psychiatric disorders brain diseases?  It’s an interesting and thought-provoking piece, with many twists and turns. Here are some quotes, interspersed with my comments and reflections. “Of […]

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Dr. Pies on the Dearth of Civility

January 8, 2016

On December 3, 2015, Ronald Pies, MD, published Campus Protests, Narcissism, and the Dearth of Civility on Psychiatric Times. The article is subtitled:  What can we do, as a society, to reduce the levels of incivility and narcissism that appear to be on the rise? Here are some quotes: “…I believe we are witnessing the […]

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Robert Spitzer’s Legacy

January 6, 2016

Robert Spitzer, MD, the architect of DSM-III (1980), died of heart disease on Christmas Day, 2015, at age 83. Most major media outlets published obituaries in which Dr. Spitzer was praised on the grounds that he had brought scientific rigor to psychiatry by naming and defining the various psychiatric illnesses. Here are a few illustrative […]

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Psychiatry and Crime

January 4, 2016

In DSM-III-R, the APA defined a mental disorder as: “…a clinically significant behavioral or psychological syndrome or pattern that occurs in a person and that is associated with present distress (a painful symptom) or disability (impairment in one or more important areas of functioning) or with a significantly increased risk of suffering death, pain, disability, […]

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Psychiatry: A Protected Cartel

December 29, 2015

On December 27, 2015, Richard Lewis, a regular contributor to Mad In America, posted on that site Deafening Silence: What Happens When the Whistle Blows and Nobody Hears?  Here are the first two paragraphs: “What happens when someone finally ‘blows the whistle,’ exposing potential harm and possible death caused by today’s mental health system? Is […]

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Allen Frances Still Trying to Excuse Psychiatry’s (and his own) Role in the ADHD ‘Epidemic’

December 8, 2015

On November 9, 2015, Allen Frances, MD, posted an interesting article on the Huffington Post’s Blog.  The article is titled Why Are So Many College and High School Kids Abusing Adderall. The gist of the article is that the “excessive use of ADHD medication” is a more legitimate target for a war on drugs than […]

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My Response to Dr. Pies’ Response

November 30, 2015

On November 18, 2015, Dr. Pies sent his response to my November 17 article to MIA.  MIA posted it, and forwarded a copy to me.  It reads: “I have read Dr. Philip Hickey’s 8400+ word treatise, and I have only the following to say with regard to the two key points at issue: Notwithstanding my […]

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Dr. Pies Is Back

November 18, 2015

This morning, I received, by way of a forward from MIA, the following from Dr. Pies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   I have read Dr. Philip Hickey’s 8400+ word treatise, and I have only the following to say with regard to the two […]

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My Response To Dr. Pies

November 17, 2015

In the October 2015 issue of the Behavior Therapist (pages 206-213), Jeffrey Lacasse, PhD, and Jonathan Leo, PhD, published an article titled Antidepressants and the Chemical Imbalance Theory of Depression: A Reflection and Update on the Discourse, I thought the article had particular merit, and I drew attention to it in a post dated November […]

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Dr. Pies Responds

November 6, 2015

On November 5, Kermit Cole, Front Page Editor at Mad in America, forwarded to me the following email which he had received from Ronald Pies, MD. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   From: Ronald Pies MD <contact-page@madinamerica.com> Date: November 4, 2015 at 2:17:53 PM […]

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More on the Chemical Imbalance Theory

November 2, 2015

On October 23, 2015, Jeffrey Lacasse, PhD, and Jonathan Leo, PhD, published an interesting article on Florida State University’s DigiNole Commons.  The title is Antidepressants and the Chemical Imbalance Theory of Depression: A Reflection and Update on the Discourse.  Dr. Lacasse is assistant professor in the College of Social Work at Florida State University; Dr. […]

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Allen Frances Names and Shames the Power Players, but Not Himself

October 29, 2015

On October 13, 2015, Allen Frances, MD, published a post on his Psychology Today blog Saving Normal.  The post is titled What Drives Our Dumb and Disorganized Mental Health Policies, and the subtitle is “Naming and shaming the power players.”  The article has also been published in Psychiatric Times and the Huffington Post.  Dr. Frances […]

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Dr. Pies and Psychiatry’s ‘Solid Center’

October 22, 2015

Ronald Pies, MD, is one of American’s most eminent and prestigious psychiatrists.  He is the Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Psychiatric Times, and he is a Professor of Psychiatry at both Syracuse and Tufts. I disagree with many of Dr. Pies’ contentions, and I have expressed these disagreements in detail in various posts (for instance, here, here, […]

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Mainstream Media Beginning to Criticize Pharma-Psychiatry

October 19, 2015

A few months ago, I became aware of various articles online that stated “Robert F Kennedy Jr. says 70% of news advertising revenue comes from Big Pharma”.  In the articles there is a link to a May 18, 2015 video in which Jesse Ventura, former Governor of Minnesota, interviews Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on an […]

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The Link Between Psychiatric Drugs and Violence

October 13, 2015

One of psychiatry’s most obvious vulnerabilities is the fact that various so-called antidepressant drugs induce homicidal and suicidal feelings and actions in some people, especially late adolescents and young adults.  This fact is not in dispute, but psychiatry routinely downplays the risk, and insists that the benefits of these drugs outweigh any risks of actual […]

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Integration of Physical and Mental Health

October 9, 2015

Integration of physical and “mental health” care has been a popular topic in psychiatric circles in recent years.  During his term as President of the APA, the very eminent psychiatrist Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, made frequent references to this matter in his posts on Psychiatric News (the APA’s online newspaper). For instance, on December 6, 2013, […]

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Psychiatry and the Pressure to Prescribe

October 6, 2015

Hugh Middleton, MD, posted  an interesting article on Mad in America, October 1, 2015.  It’s called Hey; Don’t Just Shoot the Messenger!    Dr. Middleton is a British psychiatrist who  is a founding member of the Critical Psychiatry Network, and was a co-author of the cardinal paper, Psychiatry beyond the current paradigm. (2012). Dr. Middleton had […]

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The APA’s New Image

September 25, 2015

On April 25, 2014, Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, then President of the APA, announced that the association had engaged the services of Porter Novelli, a prestigious PR company based in Washington DC and currently operating in 60 different countries. “Mindful of the continuing stigma associated with mental illness and psychiatric treatment, we retained an outside consultant […]

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Psychiatry:  The Hoax Exposed

September 22, 2015

It’s no secret that at the present time, psychiatry is reeling under a barrage of scrutiny and criticism.  Their long-standing contention that all significant problems of thinking, feeling, and/or behaving are brain illnesses “just like diabetes”, which need to be “treated” with drugs and high-voltage electric shocks to the brain, has been thoroughly discredited.  And […]

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The Inherent Unreliability of the ADHD Label

September 15, 2015

I imagine that everybody on this side of the issue knows by now that the eminent psychiatrist Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, Chief Psychiatrist at Columbia, and past President of the APA, called Robert Whitaker “a menace to society.” This outburst of petulance – the latest in a string of similar deprecations – occurred on April 26, […]

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Stigmatization of Psychiatry and Psychiatrists

September 7, 2015

On February 27, 2015, European Psychiatry published a paper titled EPA guidance on how to improve the image of psychiatry and of the psychiatrist.  The paper was authored by D. Bhugra et al.  EPA is the European Psychiatric Association.  Dr. Bhugra is a psychiatrist who works at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience, King’s […]

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Book Review:  Depression Delusion, by Terry Lynch, MD, MA

August 31, 2015

In this truly remarkable, and meticulously researched, volume, Dr. Lynch annihilates psychiatry’s cherished chemical imbalance theory of depression.  Every facet of this theory, which the author correctly calls a delusion, is critically analyzed and found wanting.  Example after example is provided of psychiatrists promoting this fiction, the factual and logical errors of which are clearly […]

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August 20, 2015

BACKGROUND DSM-5 defines delusions as “…fixed beliefs that are not amenable to change in the light of conflicting evidence.”  (p 87).  The manual lists six kinds of delusions:  persecutory; referential; grandiose; erotomanic; nihilistic; and somatic.  The APA provides another definition of delusions on p 819.  It’s substantially the same as the one above, but offers […]

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Psychiatric Diagnoses are Just Labels: Re-wordings of the Presenting Problem

August 17, 2015

Imagine that you’re not feeling well, and you visit Dr. Ducknoise.  The doctor asks you questions, nods knowingly at your answers, asks more questions, perhaps jots down some notes.  Finally, he nods gravely. “What is it, doc?” you ask. “You’ve got UTW disorder,” he replies grimly. “What’s that?” “Under-the-weather disorder.  It’s a serious illness.  It’s […]

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