Psychiatric “spin”

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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The Spurious Chemical Imbalance Theory is Still Alive and Well

April 27, 2015

On April 5, 2015, Scott Alexander, MD, a trainee psychiatrist, posted an article titled Chemical Imbalance on his website Slate Star Codex.  (The writer tells us that Scott Alexander is a blog handle and not his real name, but for convenience, I will refer to him as Dr. Alexander.) Dr. Alexander begins by noting that […]

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Psychiatric Diagnoses:  Labels, Not Explanations

April 2, 2015

On March 16, Ronald Pies, MD, published an article in the Psychiatric Times.  The article is titled The War on Psychiatric Diagnosis, and the sub-title synopsis on the pdf version reads:  “A recent report that argues against descriptive diagnosis in medicine is historically ill-informed and medically naive, in the opinion of this psychiatrist.” Dr. Pies […]

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Thomas Insel: “Are Children Overmedicated?”

February 10, 2015

Thomas Insel, MD, is the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health.  In June of last year, he published, on the Director’s Blog, an article titled Are Children Overmedicated?  The gist of the article is that children are not being overmedicated, but rather that there is an increase in “severe psychiatric problems” in this […]

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Cures For Brain Disorders

February 2, 2015

On January 18, Thomas Insel, MD, published an article on The World Economic Forum Blog.  The article is titled 4 things leaders need to know about mental health.  Dr. Insel is the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health.  The World Economic Forum “is an International Institution committed to improving the state of the […]

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Antipsychiatry Stigma

January 7, 2015

The current issue of Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica is devoted to the topic of psychiatry’s poor image, and what steps might be taken to improve it. Central to the discussion is a study Images of psychiatry and psychiatrists, by H. Stuart et al, – and seven commentaries on this study by various authors.  The Stuart et al […]

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Psychiatry: Still Trying To Rewrite History

November 18, 2014

On October 15, psychiatrist Allan Tasman, MD, published an article in Psychiatric Times.  The title of the article is The Most Exciting Time in the History of Psychiatry. Psychiatric Times describes itself:  “Our Focus:  News, special Reports, and clinical content related to psychiatry. Our Audience:  Psychiatrists and allied mental health professionals who treat mental disorders.” […]

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More Cheerleading from the Royal College of Psychiatrists

November 7, 2014

On October 23, Simon Wessely, MD, a British psychiatrist, published an article, The real crisis in psychiatry is that there isn’t enough of it, at the online site The Conversation.  Dr. Wessely is the Professor of Psychological Medicine at King’s College, London, and is also the President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. The Conversation […]

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More on Benzos and Cognitive Damage

October 28, 2014

On September 9, 2014, the BMJ published an article by Sophie Billioti de Gage et al.  The article was titled Benzodiazepine use and risk of Alzheimer’s disease: case-control study, and concluded: “Benzodiazepine use is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The stronger association observed for long term exposures reinforces the suspicion of a […]

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Pharma-funded Research

September 26, 2014

On August 20, 2014, Psychiatry Advisor published an article on its website.  The article was written by Leslie Citrome, MD, a professor of psychiatry at New York Medical College in Valhalla, NY, and a member of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology.  The article is called Is Bias Against Pharma-Funded […]

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Mass Murderers and Psychiatric Drugs

September 22, 2014

There’s an interesting article in the current issue of the National Psychologist written by David Kirschner, PhD, a New York psychologist.  The National Psychologist is a newspaper-type magazine that publishes articles of general interest to psychologists and others working in this field.  Most issues contain a mix of opinion pieces, news, changes in government regulations, […]

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Dr. Pies Still Spinning

September 8, 2014

On July 1, the very eminent psychiatrist Ronald Pies, MD, wrote an article for Psychiatric Times titled Positivism, Humanism and the Case for Psychiatric Diagnosis.  The article also appeared in Medscape on August 20. Dr. Pies begins by discussing websites “…that critically examine psychiatry.”  These websites, he tells us, “…vary from the viscerally enraged, to […]

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Simon Says:  Happiness Won’t Cure Mental Illness

July 28, 2014

Professor Simon Wessely, who was recently installed as President of Britain’s Royal College of Psychiatrists, has just written his second post in that capacity.  It’s called Happiness: The greatest gift that I possess? The background to Dr. Wessely’s article is the recent launching of the UK’s Centre Forum’s Mental Health Commission’s report:  The pursuit of […]

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Psychiatry Debunks the ‘Myths’

July 15, 2014

Psychiatry has always had its share of critics, but in the past two decades these criticisms have increased in frequency and intensity.  Psychiatry’s underlying concepts are being denounced as spurious to the point of inanity, and its practices are being accurately and forcefully exposed as destructive, disempowering, and stigmatizing. Psychiatry has no rational or logical […]

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Suicidal Behavior After FDA Warnings

July 7, 2014

On June 18, the British Medical Journal published an article by Christine Lu et al, titled Changes in antidepressant use by young people and suicidal behavior after FDA warnings and media coverage: quasi-experimental study.  Here’s the conclusion paragraph from the abstract: “Safety warnings about antidepressants and widespread media coverage decreased antidepressant use, and there were […]

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Lingering Doubts About Psychiatry’s Scientific Status

June 26, 2014

Professor Sir Simon Wessely is a British psychiatrist who works at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London.  He is also the new President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and in that capacity, he recently wrote his first blog, titled, appropriately enough, My First Blog (May 24, 2014).  The article is essentially a perusal […]

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New APA President: Same Old Cheerleading

June 24, 2014

As my readers know, I am a great fan of former APA President Jeffrey Lieberman, MD.  His regular articles on Psychiatric News were always helpful to the anti-psychiatry cause, and he will be greatly missed. But his successor, Paul Summergrad, MD, has recently posted his first presidential message, APA Poised to Take Advantage of Unique […]

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Dr. Lieberman’s Final APA Address

June 23, 2014

On May 29, Psychiatric News ran an article titled Lieberman Sees Promising Future for Psychiatrists, Patients.  The author is Mark Moran, a senior reporter for the American Psychiatric Association. The post is an account of Dr. Lieberman’s outgoing presidential address to the APA conference in New York, and contains many quotes from this most eminent […]

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Psychiatry’s Response:  Attack and PR

June 19, 2014

In the last decade or so psychiatry has received a great deal of criticism.  The fundamental point of contention is psychiatry’s insistence that an ever increasing range of problems of thinking, feeling, and/or behaving are in fact illnesses that need to be aggressively treated with drugs, intracranial electric shocks, and other somatic interventions.  It is […]

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Psychiatry DID Promote the Chemical Imbalance Theory

June 6, 2014

On April 15, Ronald Pies, MD, an eminent and widely published psychiatrist, wrote an article for  The piece is titled Nuances, Narratives, and the ‘Chemical Imbalance’ Debate in Psychiatry. The main thrust of the article is that: “…the ‘chemical imbalance theory’ was never a real theory, nor was it widely propounded by responsible practitioners […]

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Do We Underestimate the Benefits of Antidepressants?

May 30, 2014

On April 19, 2014, The Lancet published an article titled Do we underestimate the benefits of antidepressants?  by German psychiatrists Mazda Adli and Ulrich Hegerl. The Lancet, founded in 1823, is a weekly, general medical journal which since 1991 has been owned by Elsevier, a private, Amsterdam-based, publishing house with offices in the UK, USA, and […]

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Dr. Lieberman’s Swansong

May 6, 2014

As my readers know, I am a great fan of Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, President of the APA.  In his capacity as president, Dr. Lieberman writes a regular bulletin in Psychiatric News.  These literary and intellectual gems have been a wonderful source of inspiration to me in my efforts to draw attention to psychiatry’s flaws, and […]

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Depression vs. Normal Unhappiness

May 1, 2014

Alex Langford is a British trainee psychiatrist.  He blogs at The Psychiatric SHO, and on April 21, he posted an article titled Antidepressants are not ‘happy pills.’  Thanks to Jean Davison for the link. The article is an impassioned attack on psychiatry’s critics.  Here are some quotes, with my responses: “I am sick and tired […]

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Psychiatry Fights Back – With More PR

April 10, 2014

About six months ago, I wrote a post called Health Care Reform and Psychiatry.  In that article, I gave a brief account of the APA’s Council on Communications, and I expressed the belief that the council seemed more concerned with PR (in the most tawdry sense of the term) than with any serious examination or […]

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The Perfect Psychiatrist

April 1, 2014

On March 19, a new article was posted on Aeon Magazine.  It’s titled A Mad World,  and was written by Joseph Pierre, MD, who works in Log Angeles as a psychiatric practitioner and professor.  Dr. Pierre has authored more than fifty papers, and has received several awards.  He has lectured nationally and internationally, and would, […]

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Thomas Szasz Refuted: I Don’t Think So!

March 14, 2014

On February 28, Awais Aftab, MD, a psychiatrist working in Qatar, published an interesting article on Psychiatric Times.  The article, which is titled Mental Illness vs Brain Disorders: From Szasz to DSM-5, is an attempt to validate the concept of “mental illness” and, in particular, claims to refute the position of the late Thomas Szasz, […]

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More Cheerleading from Dr. Lieberman

March 10, 2014

On February 28, our good friend, the eminent Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, President of the APA, published Politics of Psychiatry and Mental Health Care on Psychiatric News, the APA’s online bulletin. His co-author on this occasion is Patrick Kennedy, former Congressman from Rhode Island and co-sponsor of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. The […]

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Psychiatry Still Trying to Reinvent Itself

February 24, 2014

There’s a truly delightful little piece in February’s Current Psychiatry.  It’s written by Henry Nasrallah, MD, and is titled Psychiatry’s future shock.  Dr. Nasrallah is Editor-in-Chief of Current Psychiatry. The gist of the article is that “transformative” changes are occurring in the psychiatric field, and psychiatrists had better get on board, or they will be […]

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Psychiatry Embraces Patient-Centered Care: Dr. Lieberman

February 11, 2014

On January 29, the APA’s online bulletin Psychiatric News, published Psychiatry Embraces Patient-Centered Care, by Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, and Lisa Dixon, MD.  Dr. Lieberman is President of the APA, and chair of psychiatry at Columbia University.  Dr. Dixon is a professor of psychiatry at Columbia. Here’s the opening statement: “Psychiatry has long been considered the […]

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Revitalizing Psychiatric Therapeutics?

February 10, 2014

In January of this year, Steven Hyman MD, former Director of NIMH and currently a leading psychiatric researcher at MIT and Harvard, published Revitalizing Psychiatric Therapeutics in Neuropsychopharmacology.  The article is in the journal’s commentary section and is essentially an opinion piece.  Here’s Dr. Hyman’s summary: “Despite high prevalence and enormous unmet medical need, the […]

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Schizophrenia Research

February 5, 2014

Psychiatric News is the APA’s online bulletin.  On Jan 15, it ran an article by Vabren Watts (an APA staff writer).  The article is called APA Gives Schizophrenia Research Capitol Hill Spotlight. It is reported in the article that on December 12, 2013, the APA, together with the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus and the American Brain […]

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