Friday, January 03, 2020

Is critical psychiatry a "warped political ideology"?

Paul Morrison @PaulMor64695904 tweets praise for a blog post about antidepressants by George Dawson (who I have mentioned previously eg. see post). He suggests the blog counters the "warped political ideology of anti-psychiatry extremists". I'm not sure what is meant by his claim. I've said before (eg. see previous post) that psychiatrists often label views with which they do not agree as 'anti-psychiatry'.

Dawson regards what he calls the "war on antidepressants" as "really a war on psychiatry".  He doesn't seem to be able to appreciate the institutional corruption of modern psychiatry (see eg. previous post) and even seems to suggest that psychiatrists' conflicts of interest with pharmaceutical companies do not matter (see eg. another previous post). I'm not sure who he's blaming for the widespread belief in the chemical imbalance theory of depression (see previous post). He doesn't seem to be able to accept that the evidence for the effectiveness of antidepressants is still open to question (see previous post); nor that the placebo amplification hypothesis could be valid (see another previous post). In fact he seems to think that the placebo amplification hypothesis is that antidepressants work by side effects, which is a misunderstanding of the theory. He needs to gain more understanding of the position of critical psychiatry (see previous post).

I agree antidepressants are not "tools of the devil" but let's stick to the scientific arguments rather than  stigmatise so-called warped ideology.

1 comment:

James O'Brien, M.D. said...

I don't get his military language and the circle the wagons mentality. I've tried discussing it with him, but he resorts to Dr. Pies' "it's antipsychiatry" blather, which is a shame since he's a lot brighter than the APA's version of Karl Rove. The projection, blaming, denial and conspiracy mongering are right out of the Scientology playbook ironically. The statement that psychiatry ever promoted chemical imbalance are ridiculous and easily disproven with quotes from former APA Presidents. Psychiatry isn't a science if it can't be self-correcting and admit mistakes.