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a little defence of psychiatry - coercion and other problems with the medical model

(12 Posts)
Mitchy1nge Sun 21-Dec-14 11:36:03

psychiatry is often criticised for its morally questionable and other suspect traits as if these occur in isolation from some scientifically pure and objective whole that is Real Medicine so it's interesting to read this slightly more thoughtful piece psychiatry - the problem with the medical model which debunks some of those myths

Enpoid Sun 21-Dec-14 11:53:54

Interesting read and good to see asich a balanced view from someone inside the system but I'm unimpressed with the use of psychoanalytical/psychiatric jargon like "splitting" being used to pathologise those who are most critical. I would also take issue with the apparent main thrust of the piece that these problems within psychiatry in particular and medicine in general are caused by the medical model - overreach is possible if not likely whenever any industry has the opportunity to expand its borders of operation and I bet psychiatry would be expanding no matter which models it used.

Mitchy1nge Sun 21-Dec-14 18:53:33

oh I thought that was quite an apt use of the term 'splitting'!

suspect you make a good point about expansion

dontrunwithscissors Sun 21-Dec-14 21:20:43

I'm not up to much writing at the moment, but s/he is writing about something that has deep historical roots--something they clearly don't know the first thing about. To cite Szasz without understanding the socio-political context in which he was writing sums it all up.

Enpoid Sun 21-Dec-14 21:43:17

My favourite thing about that blog is that it has introduced me to the disorder known as kufungisisa or "thinking too much". That. I think that's what I have.

Mitchy1nge Sun 21-Dec-14 21:47:12

hi dontrun it's a he - I don't really know the first thing about szasz so would be interested to know what has been misunderstood if you feel up to it

maybe when part 2 of this piece appears it will all be clearer

Mitchy1nge Sun 21-Dec-14 21:48:16

I can't think about anything confused

WeThreeKeemasofOrientNaan Sun 21-Dec-14 22:16:35

I'm quite OK with psychiatry. Did a lot of philosophy of health, psychiatry and psychology along with healthcare ethics at uni. All very interesting.

I have bipolar. I take meds for bipolar. I stay well, hold down a good job, have a good family life, enjoy spending time with friends and have hobbies.

I stop taking the meds, I start believing that they are causing brain damage, believe they are the cause of all ills, go manic then get hideously depressed, paranoid and suicidal, then I may or may not go to hospital, but with persuasion I go back onto meds, get better and carry on having a very good quality of life.

I spent years unmedicated living a life that was randomly chaotic, up and down. Now I have stability thanks to psychiatry.

If you're coming from the position that psychiatry is bunkum and it's all a conspiracy with big pharma and blah de blah de blah de blah, you'll find all of the evidence you want. Hell, I do it when I get ill. Finding loads of info about how it's not bipolar, I just had a bit of a breakdown, that life would be great unmedicated, but it's just a form of kidding yourself.

Psychiatry helps people with mental illness. Medication helps people with mental illness in the same way that it helps people with physical illness. Not all doctors are good in whatever field they are in and not all drugs are right for all people.

But I have to wonder if people have so little faith in psychiatry and psychiatric medication or belief in the existence of mental illness per se when it comes to their own health or experience of health, why they would hang out on a MH forum where there are a lot of people who would benefit from things like antidepressants and may be discouraged - to their detriment - from engaging with psychiatric services due to coming across this kind of stuff.

Enpoid Sun 21-Dec-14 22:42:51

Was any of that aimed at me, Keema, or was it all more general?

I'm not in any way an anti-psychiatrist; I have just had some bad experiences within the mental health care system in this country and am wary and critical about some of the methodology/treatments used. I've also had excellent experiences with mental health care services and professionals in this country and have found some treatments very helpful. Also occasionally get slightly paranoid about certain aspects of the system but hey.

Enpoid Sun 21-Dec-14 22:45:15

I also don't think it's fair to expect people who use a MH forum to avoid mentioning bad experiences they've had (obviously only on threads where this is appropriate), on the off-chance it could discourage others from accessing treatment.

Mitchy1nge Sun 21-Dec-14 23:00:16

am a bit confused by keema's post as I think the article does quite a good job of sticking up for psychiatry

I don't understand the thinking behind not questioning or discussing ways in which our understanding and treatment of mental illnesses could be improved though - suggesting this is not as good as it gets and here's why is not really that daring or subversive is it?

we can't ban people discussing bad experiences with health care, not that anyone is on this particular thread, it's quite a sizeable chunk of MN chat across many boards

Mitchy1nge Sun 21-Dec-14 23:28:37

but can ask for it to be moved if it's on the wrong board?

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