|Are personal and emotional problems
Read the Comments of:
Charles E. Dean, M.D., Director of Psychiatric Residency, Minneapolis Veterans Medical Ctr.
"[T]here is no proven physical cause for any psychiatric disorder...
[W]hy are so many...convinced that the origins of mental illnesses are to be found in biology, when, despite more than three decades of research, there is still no proof?...
The absence of any well-defined physical causation is reflected in the absence of any laboratory tests for psychiatric diagnoses -- much in contrast to diabetes and many other physical disorders."
Minnesota Star Tribune, November 22, 1997
Gary J. Tucker, M.D., Professor and Chairman of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine:
"[W]e have no identified etiological agents for psychiatric disorders."
American Journal of Psychiatry, February, 1998.
Dr. Martin Seligman, President of the American Psychological Association, asks
"Is depression biochemical?", (APA Monitor, September, 1998).
He reviews research evidence, then concludes:
"So the actual evidence is weak that any known biochemical state can cause ...depression...
"But CNN, Newsweek, most managed-care organizations, most psychiatrists and consequently the American public, think otherwise. Is there a double standard about evidence here? Why?"
Drs. Herb Kutchins and Stuart Kirk, authors of Making Us Crazy
(a critique of psychiatric labeling)
"...American psychiatry... has unsuccessfully attempted to medicalize too many human troubles.... Managed care companies recognize what the psychiatric bible has labored to conceal: not all human troubles contained in DSM [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual] are mental disorders of a medical nature...[A childs] school difficulties, your neighbors marital problems, your friends drinking habits, and your anxiety about an upcoming speech may cause great pain and be worthy of help from a psychotherapist, but that pain and that need for assistance require no psychiatric diagnosis to understand, and no specific medical therapy to treat.
DSMs definition of mental disorder is flawed, the claims of validity and reliability of the manual as a whole are shaky, and the causes of most mental disorders are unknown..."
Dr. Elliot Valenstein, University of Michigan Neuroscientist and Professor Emeritus of Psychology, author of: Blaming the Brain: The Truth about Drugs and Mental Health
"Contrary to what is often claimed, no biochemical, anatomical or functional signs have been found that reliably distinguish the brains of mental patients".
"...many are not aware of the enormous influence that the [pharmaceutical] industry has in shaping our views of mental disorders and the effectiveness of psychotherapeutic drugs..."
"I am convinced that the pharmaceutical industry spends enormous amounts of money to increase its sales and profits by influencing physicians and the public in ways that sometimes bend the truth and that are often not in the best interests of science or the public".
Loren R. Mosher, M.D., Former official of National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Letter of Resignation to the American Psychiatric Association (excerpts):
"There is neither a blood test nor specific anatomic lesions for any major psychiatric disorder... Is psychiatry a hoax - as practiced today? Unfortunately, the answer is mostly yes."
Letter to the President of the American Psychiatric Association:
"After nearly three decades as a member it is with a mixture of pleasure and disappointment that I submit this letter of resignation from the American Psychiatric Association. The major reason for this action is my belief that I am actually resigning from the American Psychopharmacological Association...
At this point in history, in my view, psychiatry has been almost completely bought out by the drug companies. The APA could not continue without the pharmaceutical company support of meetings, symposia, workshops, journal advertising, grand rounds luncheons, unrestricted grants etc. etc. Psychiatrists have become the minions of drug company promotions....
Psychiatric training reflects their influence as well; i.e., the most important part of a resident's curriculum is the art and quasi-science of dealing drugs, i.e., prescription writing...We condone and promote the widespread overuse and misuse of toxic chemicals that we know have serious long term effects -- tardive dyskinesia, tardive dementia and serious withdrawal syndromes....
Finally, why must the APA pretend to know more than it does? DSM IV [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual] is the fabrication upon which psychiatry seeks acceptance by medicine in general. Insiders know it is more a political than a scientific document... The issue is what do the categories [diagnoses] tell us? Do they in fact accurately represent the person with a problem? They don't, and can't, because there are no external validation criteria for psychiatric diagnoses. There is neither a blood test nor specific anatomic lesions for any major psychiatric disorder. So where are we? APA as an organization has implicitly (sometimes explicitly as well) bought into a theoretical hoax. Is psychiatry a hoax - as practiced today? Unfortunately, the answer is mostly yes...."
Loren R. Mosher, M.D.
Kaiser, M.D., Northwestern University Hospital, Chicago,
"Psychiatric Medications as Symptoms"
"...psychiatric medications often become symptoms, in the sense of symptoms as signs full of meanings which function to cover or fill in some lack in a persons life -- whether it is a lack of love, desire, purpose or whatever. The psychiatrist, as the dispenser of these medications, is often acting to reinforce the patients symptoms, further covering up of the patients ability to see the true source of their discontent or unhappiness. As a result patients often need medications in the way they need their symptoms, as a substitute for what they really need from people. Medications lessen their pain, help them forget, provide a kind of substitute for love, and these substitutes are all the more powerful because they are sanctioned by modern medicine, authority and technology. So it is possible for modern biological psychiatrists to unwittingly act out symptoms and fantasies with their patients, leaving them more alienated from themselves and more dependent on false forms of gratification....
Todays patients, discontented, unhappy, fragmented and confused by an increasingly frantic, alienating and violent society, come to psychiatrists for help, only to have their illusions shored up by an increased dose of a technologic fix. They are told they have illnesses that are biologic and can be fixed, instead of being allowed to speak about their unhappiness, to speak about how difficult it is to be a human being, to speak about their suffering, because human being have always suffered and always will. To believe that we can conquer depression, despair, anxiety with modern technology is the height of hubris and bad faith, a mere childish fantasy, unworthy of any thoughtful person who has their eyes open to human history and modern culture. Psychiatrists have become part of the problem. Perhaps they have always been so....
An epidemic of depression? How about an epidemic of cozy relationships between academic psychiatry, pharmaceutical companies and managed care companies? How about an epidemic of psychiatrists who no longer think seriously about what suffering is? How about an epidemic of psychiatrists more interested in power and social legitimacy than in listening to their patients?
As a practicing psychiatrist, I often feel the pull of a patients symptoms, a pull in fact to participate with them to cover up what is really going on [by prescribing medication]. It is a seduction which should be resisted, because it is a seduction to enact a fantasy. Modern psychiatrists have been seduced wholesale, not only by patients wishes, which are fantasies, but also by positivistic science and technology, which are as much based on fantasy."
Consumer Reports, "Pushing Drugs to Doctors", February, 1992, p. 88, 90.
"Though doctors insist their scientific training, high intelligence, and sophistication enable them to resist manipulation, the truth is that skillful marketers can influence M.D.s just as easily as they can sway the rest of us. A landmark 1982 study by Dr. Jerry Avorn of Harvard showed that doctors opinions of two popular, heavily advertised drugs came straight from the ads and sales pitches. The doctors believed theyd gotten their information from objective scientific sources, but those sources, in fact , had said all along that the drugs were not effective for their advertised uses....
"From medical school on, physicians are taught to regard medical school faculty, medical journals, and professional meetings as sources of unbiased information. Pharmaceutical companies have found ingenious ways to influence all three. In the process, the distinction between promotion and true scientific exchange has been blurred and, in some cases, totally erased.
"The confusion is no accident; it serves drug companies well. From a propagandists perspective, the less the audience knows its being manipulated, the greater the opportunity, because its defenses are down..."
Fuller Torrey, M.D., quoted by Reuters Newsservice, "Researchers say
drug companies, politics cheat mental health research"
"Researchers complained Friday that drug companies and political pressure have skewed the way mental health research is funded. Both the head of the National Institute of Mental Health and a prominent critic of drug companies and government agencies agreed that commercial and political influence have sometimes prevented vital research from being funded and carried out.
NIMH has not been doing the clinical trials, has really abandoned the field to the pharmaceutical industry, said Dr. E. Fuller Torrey... Torrey accused drug makers of bullying researchers and scientists of compromising their ethics.
'There are colleagues of mine who have not only accepted tickets to football games, but been paid to go to football games, and then turn around and say this has not influenced them, Torrey said. He also noted that drug companies often pay researchers to speak at conferences. Ten thousand dollars is not an unusual amount of money to be paid to stand up and make pronouncements, he said.
Later, Torrey told Reuters: They are then given future speaking engagements depending on "how well they do." The implication, he said, is that research must be reported in a way that puts the companys drugs in a flattering light....
Dr. Steven Hyman, NIMH director, agreed with some of what Torrey said. Dr. Torrey is absolutely right, Hyman said. The drug companies do what they do and they have certain goals, which are to get certain treatments approved..."
Street Journal, "Medical Journals Rarely Disclose Researchers
"Scientists are increasingly supported by for-profit companies, but a new study shows that critical fact is seldom revealed in published research.
To flag potential bias, researchers publishing studies are generally expected to disclose any financial conflicts of interest they have. But according to an analysis of 210 influential journals, mostly in the bio-medical field, authors almost never do.
The finding, presented at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science last week, raises questions about the independence of researchers and the credibility of their results in an era of creeping commercialization in science. Industry plies scientists with grants, fees for speeches and consulting, or gifts including lab materials. In many fields, its hard to find scientists who are conflict-free.
...a mere 0.5% of some 62,000 articles published in 1997 included information on the authors research-related financial ties, such as stock ownership or patent rights. The data startled prominent medical editors, who said authors who dont disclose their business ties deprive readers of pertinent data in making health-care and other decisions.
...in a separate investigation of 800 scientific papers two years ago, [Dr. Krinsky] found that some 34% of authors had conflicts of interest, none of them disclosed.
...Last year, a New England Journal of Medicine study showed that virtually every researcher publicly supporting the use of new hypertensive drugs had financial ties to the drug manufacturers. And, significantly, none of their ties were disclosed..."