FROM THE GUARDIAN September 2022

The first line of the article below is stunning but the article that follows (see link) is even more so. Please read and come back here to tell me what you think.

“I’m a psychologist – and I believe we’ve been told devastating lies about mental health…”

7 thoughts on “FROM THE GUARDIAN September 2022”

  1. I couldn’t agree more with this comment ! The very fact that psychiatrists now talk of constellations of symptoms pointing to a diagnosis suggests their imaginary nature. Of course a psychiatrist believes in his constellations and insists they are “real” but that does not render them any less “figmentary!”


  2. I think it’s also important to look at the role of society and environment in the genesis of such labels and diagnoses. One doesn’t “have” a condition if society or family circumstances triggered an emotional upheaval or reaction. It is society — it’s institutions including the sacrosanct notion of family — that is wrong not the individual who is “sick” or “has such and such disorder”. “Disorders” imply something wrong with the individual but I dare say that it is or was our disordered families and schools and hospitals not us(!) who were disordered and disordering to boot.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Michael

    I remember reading the manual when it came out from the Brits, and I remember thinking that it was much better than the usual DSM baloney. But at the time I was still caught up in thinking diagnosis had a purpose and a genuine raison d’être, to help people. Now I think it’s far more about isolation of “deviants” and the maniacal egos of psychiatrists and a homicidal collusion with big pharma. Have to go talk with someone in Ukraine now but I will be back to finish this comment.


  4. Yeah, I saw this when it came out.

    Although it’s unusual for the pro-biopsychiary Guardian to print something like this it’s fairly typical of the schism between psychologists and psychiatrists in Britain.

    It’s obviously largely true – especially when contrasted with the ‘brain disease’ paradigm of human distress – but it’s also being written from a partisan position within the ideological war currently underway in the UK mental health system.

    Psychologists are correct that environmental factors – especially early childhood stress and trauma – correlate far more closely with chronic emotional distress than do any known biological markers. However their conviction that their own therapies effectively address those stressors has no more evidence to support it than the claims psychiatrists make for their pills – though at least they tend to have fewer harmful side-effects.

    When you think about it, it’s pretty obvious that psychologists – who lack the power to prescribe and whose treatments are rarely covered by the NHS – are economically threatened by biopsychiatry. So the real question isn’t ‘why are British psychologists so critical of biopsychiatry?’, but rather ‘why aren’t all psychologists more critical of biopsychiatry?’.

    I think at least part of the answer in the US is in the strength of Big Pharma and its ability to shout down criticisms of pill mongering (and destroy the careers of those who do criticise it) and also because US psychologists have more lucrative non-clinical career options in ‘self-help’, PR, marketing and often very nasty programs for government agencies.

    But I suspect a bigger reason is the pathological US cult of individualism, whereby all virtue and vice is assumed to reside within the person and looking for environmental reasons for dysfunction is frowned upon as ‘making excuses’.

    I’m sure I don’t need to tell you there’s very little science in either psychiatry or psychology, but psychiatrists have a long history of making up for their uselessness to patients by being very useful to authorities, both state and corporate.

    I guess the archetype of US psychiatry was already evident in the 1850s when Dr Samuel Cartwright discovered ‘drapetomania’ – a pathology present in slaves which caused them to want to escape from their masters. Of course the problem was with individual slaves, because the institution of chattel slavery is perfectly natural, normal and healthy, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, this article makes a lot of sense. The question to ask isn’t what’s wrong with you, it’s what has happened to you? If you cut someone with a knife, they are going to bleed. Not because they are weak or inherently defective, but because human beings aren’t made to withstand the sharp blade of a knife.

    Liked by 1 person

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