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Avatar universal

Is psychiatry a fraud?


My names Alessandro and I've had a history of severe mental illness.  I've managed to overcome my problems and have reached the conclusion that psychiatry is a fraud.  I would like to know what others think.  

There has been psychiatric research for over 200 years and still there is no biological test.  I'm not talking about a cure, just a simple test to confirm the diagnosis before treatment is started.  I think this is because psychiatric disorders have nothing to do with medicine.  

To be a real disease there has to be a biological test or pathology.  If someone has schizophrenia, ADHD, conduct disorder, depression etc there is no biological test so it would be insane to treat them with neuro-pharmacology.  A real disease like AIDS, Cancer, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's,Leukaemia, Diabetes etc all have a medical test or are confirmed at autopsy.
In science there's suppose to be a hypothesis, then research and then a conclusion.  With psychiatry they've jumped the gun, they've already started to treat people with neuro-pharmacology on a hypothesis however if they did it properly nobody would be on any psychiatric drugs because the research to justify this approach just isn't there.

Today Lobotomy is seen as a barbaric treatment for the mentally ill however at the time it was considered beneficial.  Before the lobotomy patients where highly agitated, suffering from crippling mental illness and after the procedure they improved.  Many were less agitated and showed signs of improvement, some even went back to normal lives.  At the time it was considered a good thing just as neuro-pharmacology is considered a good thing today and perhaps in the future neuro-pharmacology will be seen in the same light as lobotomy and all the other bogus psychiatric treatments.  

I don't think we're going to improve the suffering of mental illness with more brain research as I don't think mental illness is a real brain disease.  I think there will never be a cure for mental illness with neuro-pharmacology because mental illness was never a brain disease in the first place.  Most of the so called illnesses in the DSM are voted into existence by the American Psychiatric Association, none are discovered in the laboratory.  Infact most mental illnesses are diagnosed through an interview.  Can you imagine a normal doctor giving someone insulin, chemotherapy, drugs to treat cancer etc on the basis of an interview?  If I'm going to have chemotherapy or be put on a life long drug treatment plan then I want a test to prove it especially when neuro-pharmacology for mental illness causes liver, kidney damage and other problems.  
I therefore ask the question.  Is psychiatry fraud?
9 Responses
574118 tn?1305138884
you touched an honest point. I agree with you totally. NOT only because there is no test to dx you, but that the drugs are the same for all psychic illnesses. They are

1. tranquilizers: e.g. benzo
2. antidepressants: e.g. tricyclics, SSRI, SSRE, etc...
3. antipsychotics
4. anticonvulsants
5. lithium

If someone takes zyprexa/olanzapine can you tell what does he suffer from. I know ADHD who take it, also schizophrenics take it, Bipolars too, I know an asperger (branch of autism) who takes it. I know if someone takes insulin then he is diabetic unless the doc uses it as anesthezia. But if someone takes a psychic drug then i challenge anybody if he can tell me what does he have.

All what pdocs do is to put you on something that can make you lose your mind for a while. one pdoc told me it's all trial and error. They make a good living out of that .

I had always said here in this forum that bipolarity is not a mental illness, rather a private character that ought to be respected and not try to change it to "normality".  

OF COURSE, i agree psychiatry in my view is fraud. Besides it never cures a pt, why, because they say it's a a chemical imbalance in the brain.  If it's so how come the above drugs improves all kinds of imbalances.

I don't like to pursue my view because i fear that some pts here might adopt it, but frankly had I not followed my 1st pdoc I wouldn't have found myself on this road of no return.
585414 tn?1288944902
  Okay I would add that people can have legitimate concerns but it depends how one approaches them. As regards why psychiatric disabilities are brain based there is an understanding even at this point. A PET scan of a person with schizophrenia will show clear deficits as compared to a person without schizophrenia in the areas of the brain that process thoughts and cognition. The DSM-4 is the latest in a clinical document subject to continuous revision. You can find out more information on the DSM-5 website (that will be published next year).
  There are clear signs of psychiatric disabilities. Paranoia and psychosis can be noted as part of schizophrenia. Racing thoughts and pressured speech can be noted as part of bipolar. As a person with schizoaffective disorder I have experienced all of these concerns. Also some physical disabilities and diseases are only observable (such as Parkinson's and various types of catatonia) and dont have exact tests but are clearly observable phenomena. A person's psychiatrist is looking for observable concerns and thats what they are noting as part of the interview. Having assisted people with psychiatric disabilities obtain supports and services (which needed a psychiatrist's letter of documentation). I have seen some of this (as a fellow consumer). For example a psychiatrist will see if a person is oriented as its called "times 3", that is time, place and person. That is a person knows who they are, where they are and the time and date. Thats just one example. Only a psychiatrist would understand this in full of course.
  As regarding why medication is neccessary to understand what schizophrenia was like before antipsychotics google "Symptoms of Schizophrenia, 1941" in a video search. You will see people with schizophrenia with extreme and marked psychosis and catatonia (who are basically frozen in motion and unable to communicate at all, this is far less common now due to treatment). Once treatment was available people were able to stabilize and (many) return to the community. Some worthwhile reading would be by the author Clifford Beers "A Mind that Found Itself" (dating back to 1905). This was the first effort at mental health reform and it involved working cooperatively with psychiatry and founded the mental health movement as we know it today.
  However people with psychiatric disabilities are like all people not just a series of neurotransmitters but have very real world concerns so thats why psychotherapy (talk therapy) and for some cognitive behavioral therapy can be of help. Continuing research into new treatment modalities that have a safer side effect profile and potentially a better recovery rate is essential. I will be honest. I did in the past have some of the same concerns about my psychiatrist. What I do now when I experience these concerns is talk directly with my psychiatrist about them and work with them to note what they observe is happening and what they feel is the best idea as regards treatment within their professional discretion. When a person is diagnosed they feel stigmatized and as well finding the best course of treatment may take time but through working with one's psychiatrist this can occur.
Avatar universal

Thanks for the comment.  I still disagree however and think the research is just a PR campaign.  This is what PR is all about, to exagerate claims and convince people.

If the PET scan evidence was that compelling then they would use it as a biological test.  Also some doctors like Fred Baughman say that psychiatrists like to show brain scans of people who are mentally ill with brain atrophy claiming that this is evidence of disease. However the atrophy was probably caused by long term exposure to medication rather than evidence of a mental illness.

You might find evidence of a brain disease, someone else will find evidence that its not, someone else thats it nutrition, someone else that its low levels of electrical brain waves etc.  If someone wants to sell a bogus treatment you can bet your bottom dollar that they will come up with evidence to support it.  I want proof before I'm put on psychiatric drugs and until they find some they shouldn't drug people.

Another mistake you made was that "parkinsons is clearly observable phenomena" which isn't true. Parkinsons is caused by a loss of neurons in the substantia nigra which is found in the basal ganglia of the brian.  There is a biological test which is confirmed at autopsy under a microscope.  It would be possible to confirm the diagnosis in a living person with a needle biopsy however this is too dangerous so its confirmed at death.  With schizophrenia, bipolar, conduct disorder, mathematics disorder etc no such test exists.

I still think its fraud.
757137 tn?1347200053
What is profoundly suspect about psychology (and psychiatry) is its northern European cultural bias. That alone invalidates it to my mind.
757137 tn?1347200053
One of the worst misuses of psychology is the designating as a mental disorder what the MD cannot diagnose. ("It's all in  your head.") I wonder how many people are sent off to therapists, wasting tons of money. And still sick.
Avatar universal
A diagnosis is a starting point. I can't pin down my diagnosis. It doesn't matter. We work on symptoms and situations.

I am medicated and do a hell of a lot of psychotherapy. I would not be alive if it weren't for medication, my doctors and counselors ... and MOST importantly my own HARD work and WILLINGNESS to trust myself, the others involved, and the process a step at a time.

Is it a fraud? It works for me, so whether it is or not is irrelevant. Pharmopsychiatry gives one a shot at getting to the point of work, but if a doctor over medicate patients or patients aren't willing to work ... I guess it could seem like a bunch of bull.

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