A Behavioral Approach to Mental Disorders

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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The Great Non-Debate with Samei Huda, MD

August 13, 2015

Yesterday I received the following tweet from Dr. Huda: “funnily enough my time availability hasn’t changed in 24 hours. I have however written one more page. Are u ever in UK?” From which I must conclude, sadly, that the debate, to which I had been so looking forward, seems unlikely to materialize. For the benefit […]

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Update on the Great Non-Debate

August 12, 2015

Yesterday I received the following comment from Dr. Huda, who, believe it or not, still seems to be under the impression that I want to debate him on Twitter! “Hi I don’t read your blog so only found out about this from someone else Debates on social media are usually a non meeting of minds and […]

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Dr. Huda Still Dodging the Issues

August 11, 2015

After Monday’s post, I received the following tweet from Dr. Huda: “Dear @BigPhilHickey I find debates over Twitter r largely pointless I am (slowly) writing a book outlining my views” To which I reply: I never suggested a debate over Twitter. In fact, I stated very clearly that  “… Twitter, while an excellent medium for […]

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An Invitation to Debate

August 10, 2015

A few days ago, I received notification via Tweetdeck that my handle (@BigPhilHickey) had appeared in a Twitter conversation between one of my Twitter followers and Samei Huda, MD.  My follower had mentioned me, and had pointed out that I critique  “… the ideas, value systems, politics, practice etc of psychiatry…”  To which Dr. Huda […]

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Intermittent Explosive Disorder: The ‘Illness’ That Goes On Growing

August 4, 2015

According to the APA, intermittent explosive disorder is characterized by angry aggressive outbursts that occur in response to relatively minor provocation. This particular label has an interesting history in successive editions of the DSM. DSM I  (1952)  Intermittent explosive disorder does not appear as such in the first edition of DSM, but the general concept […]

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ADHD:  A Destructive and Disempowering Label; Not an Illness

July 24, 2015

In recent years, we’ve seen an increasing number of articles and papers from psychiatrists in which they seem to be accepting at least some of the antipsychiatry criticisms, and appear interested in reforms.  It is tempting to see this development as an indication of progress, but as in many aspects of life, things aren’t always […]

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Benzodiazepines: Miracle Drugs?

July 16, 2015

The first benzodiazepine – chlordiazepoxide – became available, from Hoffman-La Roche, in 1960, under the brand name Librium.  It was soon followed by: diazepam (Valium) 1963; nitrazepam (Mogadon) and oxazepam (Serax) in 1965; temazepam (Restoril) 1969; clorazepate (Tranxene) 1972; flurazepam (Dalmane) 1973; clonazepam (Klonopin) 1975; lorazepam (Ativan) in 1977; and alprazolam (Xanax) in 1981; etc. Benzodiazepines […]

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Allen Frances Saving Psychiatry From Itself?

July 3, 2015

On October 12, 2014, the eminent psychiatrist Allen Frances, MD, participated in a panel discussion at the Mad In America film festival in Gothenburg, Sweden.  After the festival, he wrote an article – Finding a Middle Ground Between Psychiatry and Anti-Psychiatry – for the Huffington Post Blog, summarizing the positions he had discussed at the […]

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Psychiatric Drugs and Mass Murder

June 29, 2015

On June 12, an interesting and important article was posted on pharmabuse.com.  The article is titled Army Report: Fort Hood Mass Shooter Ivan Lopez On Psychotropic Cocktail Of Celexa, Wellbutrin, Ambien, Lunesta.  Ivan Lopez-Lopez is the second Fort Hood shooter, who killed three people and then himself on April 2, 2014. Here are some quotes: […]

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Allen Frances ‘Replies’

June 24, 2015

BACKGROUND On June 19, 2015, I published a post titled Allen Frances’ Ties to Johnson & Johnson.  In that post, I set out some very serious allegations against Dr. Frances.  I drew these allegations from a document titled Special Witness Report dated October 15, 2010.  The report was written by David Rothman, PhD, Professor of […]

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Allen Frances’ Ties to Johnson & Johnson

June 19, 2015

INTRODUCTION I recently came across an article titled Diagnosisgate: Conflict of Interest at the Top of the Psychiatric Apparatus, by Paula Caplan, PhD.  The article was published in Aporia, the University of Ottawa nursing journal, in January 2015.  Aporia is “a peer-reviewed, bilingual, and open access journal dedicated to scholarly debates in nursing and the […]

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Psychiatry On The Defensive, But Ceding No Ground

June 8, 2015

On May 27, The Lancet Psychiatry published an editorial titled This year’s model.  The article is a response to the British Psychological Society Division of Clinical Psychology’s  Guidelines on Language in Relation to Functional Psychiatric Diagnoses,  which was published in March of this year. The paper was produced: “…to support clinical psychologists in the development […]

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Book Review: Parenting Your Child with ADHD: A No-Nonsense Guide for Nurturing Self-Reliance and Cooperation, by Craig Wiener, EdD

June 5, 2015

I have recently read this book, and I think it would be extremely helpful for parents, teachers, and counselors who work with children in this area. Here are some quotes: “…ADHD [is] something that your child does rather than something that she has.” “The first thing to realize is that while you and other adults […]

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