Charlotte Philosophy Discussion Group Message Board › the psychiatrization of society...is psychiatry an enabler and not the cure

the psychiatrization of society...is psychiatry an enabler and not the cure of societal pathology

A former member
Post #: 204
Just wanted to add an item about the psychiatrization of society.

<snip>
“Although we may not know it, we have, in our day, witnessed the birth of the Therapeutic State. This is perhaps the major implication of psychiatry as an institution of social control.”
[ Thomas Szasz ]
</snip>

Citizens Commission on Human Rights International



Helen
user 5766938
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 76
Well, it is hard not to agree with the "snip" statement above of Dr. Szasz.
He is a very articulate man who speaks concisely, no gobbledygook. What I will remember from the video is "Zoloft or Beer" (see the video). I will take the beer; actually, preferably wine. He stated "there is no test for a chemical imbalance in the brain", and that Psychiatry has become the instrument for Behavior Control in contemporary culture by virtue of prescribed drugs. I "think" that a person who seeks out a psychiatrist or is legally referred to one, would accept the Rx drugs without question.
If there is no test for chemical imbalance in the brain, how can a psychiatrist (or other MD) morally subscribe to his Hippocratic oath and also prescribe prescription/psychotropic drugs? Is there ever a conflict in the mind of a psychiatrist? Should there be? Or is it like this: if a disease is listed in the book of diseases, so-to-speak, then he actually has a responsibility to treat it with drugs.
Have "diseases of the mind" become a catch-all category to include any condition that presents itself as an aberration of "conduct" and/or "behavior", leading to "we have the drug for that".
This is not an attempt to assassinate the character of the field of Psychiatry in general.
It would not be a big leap of introspection to think that drugs are not only here to stay, but may become the norm for everyone, ill or not. The best route for the drugs? drinking water. Too far fetched? hmmm...
The latter remark is intended to be tongue-in-cheek.

A former member
Post #: 205
Prozac? Put it in tap water
<snip>
But this is nothing new to the average medic. Antidepressants can help with so many medical problems that perhaps we should be thinking about putting them in tap water.
</snip>

UK water appears to be tainted with anti-depressants.. [ already ]
Prozac in Drinking Water? Likely SoWater Treatment Plants Not Designed to Get Rid of Medications
<snip>
August 10, 2004 -- Scientists in Great Britain have found levels of a common antidepressant in the water. It begs the question: What about the drinking water in the U.S.? Should we be concerned?
</snip>

Listening to LithiumWould putting the drug in drinking water make the brain healthier—but affect personality?
<snip>
This past spring, researchers revisited a tantalizing finding from the annals of public health. In 1990, researchers had found lower levels of suicide, homicide, rape, and other crimes in Texas counties where the municipal water supply had higher than average levels of naturally occurring lithium salts. The new, finer-grained study looked at a prefecture in Japan. Again, communities with more lithium in the drinking water had lower levels of suicide. The results were striking enough that an editorialist in the British Journal of Psychiatry seriously suggested exploring the utility of adding lithium to drinking water, “as the eventual benefits for community mental health may be considerable.”
</snip>
A former member
Post #: 206


Erin Brockovich speaks in Midland Texas regarding Hexavalent Chromium 5250 ppb Part 2



Hexavalent chromium
<snip>
Toxicity
Hexavalent chromium compounds are genotoxic carcinogens. Chronic inhalation of hexavalent chromium compounds increases risk of lung cancer (lungs are especially vulnerable, followed by fine capillaries in kidneys and intestine). Soluble compounds, like chromic acid, are much weaker carcinogens.[3] Chromate-dyed textiles or chromate-tanned leather shoes can cause or exacerbate contact dermatitis. Ingestion of chromium VI can also cause irritation or ulcers in the stomach and intestines.[4]
</snip>
A former member
Post #: 207
a very cool mini mass spectrometer.. which would allow individuals to inspect the
toxicity of their environment.
Mini 11


mini10 portable mass spectrometer


Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,144
Helen,
Well, it is hard not to agree with the "snip" statement above of Dr. Szasz.
He is a very articulate man who speaks concisely, no gobbledygook.
Yes, but he is not accurate. It is easy to be impressed by people who speak like that, especially if one has, for instance, an anti-psychiatry attitude or belief system.
What I will remember from the video is "Zoloft or Beer" (see the video). I will take the beer; actually, preferably wine.
Some alcoholism is caused by depression, and some depression is caused by alcoholism.
He stated "there is no test for a chemical imbalance in the brain",
The term “chemical imbalance” is indeed a lay term that has taken the place of “nerves,” as in “bad nerves” or “nervous.” What is known, however, is that there are problems in the brain that can indeed be seen with neuroimaging techniques, and that neurotransmitters are involved.
and that Psychiatry has become the instrument for Behavior Control in contemporary culture by virtue of prescribed drugs.
This is “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” mentality. Almost all drugs are prescribed to prevent suffering, not to control behavior. Some medication is prescribed to deal with psychotic states that include severe behavior abnormalities, but the medication would be useful even if the severe behavior abnormalities were not present. And severe behavioral dyscontrol is dangerous to the individual as well as others, causing suffering to all affected by the behavior. Medications help some children who have behavioral problems, and when they do, they prevent much suffering on the part of those children, and other family members also. However, I do believe that economic and other factors have tended to stand in the way of people getting psychotherapeutic help instead of or in addition to medication. And children should be helped with the problems caused by non-optimal child rearing, by attention given to the child rearing methods being used.
I "think" that a person who seeks out a psychiatrist or is legally referred to one, would accept the Rx drugs without question.
Think again. There is much questioning of and resistance to the taking of medication. The rate of “noncompliance” with medication recommendation and prescription is quite high, with much recurrence of illness and additional suffering resulting.

If there is no test for chemical imbalance in the brain, how can a psychiatrist (or other MD) morally subscribe to his Hippocratic oath and also prescribe prescription/psychotropic drugs?
Because it doesn’t matter whether there is currently a test for a “chemical imbalance in the brain.” Such terminology is referring to something much more complex than that, about which much is still not known. Medication is not prescribed for that reason. Any psychiatrist knows that. It is prescribed to reduce or prevent suffering, not to correct a chemical imbalance.
Is there ever a conflict in the mind of a psychiatrist? Should there be?
There is always conflict in the mind of a psychiatrist, because he or she knows that medications often do not work or work incompletely; which medication is the right one (if there is indeed one that will work) often is not clear; there is often an incomplete response; all the medications have some risks and negative side effects for some people; it is hard to get to know the patient well enough to be sure exactly what one is dealing with, the possibility of making a mistake therefore being relatively high; and the medications are often costly for the patient.
Or is it like this: if a disease is listed in the book of diseases, so-to-speak, then he actually has a responsibility to treat it with drugs.
Only if it seems likely that the disease can be treated with medication.
Have "diseases of the mind" become a catch-all category to include any condition that presents itself as an aberration of "conduct" and/or "behavior",
Suffering and/or dysfunction (that in turn causes suffering) are the reasons for such diagnoses.
leading to "we have the drug for that".
Sometimes.
­
This is not an attempt to assassinate the character of the field of Psychiatry in general.
It would not be a big leap of introspection to think that drugs are not only here to stay, but may become the norm for everyone, ill or not. The best route for the drugs? drinking water. Too far fetched? hmmm...
The latter remark is intended to be tongue-in-cheek.
Taken as such.

Although these characterizations of psychiatry are grossly incorrect, there are some grains of truth regarding what may happen at times. It is hard for a psychiatrist to get to know a patient as well as he or she should. Managed care tends to pressure psychiatrists into seeing patients as infrequently as possible and to discourage the provision of psychotherapy by the psychiatrist, thus tending to bias things in the direction of medication. It is very easy to make a mistake under these circumstances. And unfortunately some psychiatrists are not as good as others, as is true for doctors in general.

The reason that there are so many diagnoses is that each diagnostic category is divided into subtypes, if possible, this helping to do research. Medication is not necessarily prescribed for a diagnosis. It is prescribed for symptoms and syndromes, when those symptoms and syndromes have shown some promise of being helped by that medication. Diagnoses also are required for the psychiatrist (or any doctor) to be paid, e.g., by insurance companies, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.

My comments are in the context that I primarily do psychotherapy, but also prescribe medication for some patients. I know whereof I write. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to address those issues. Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Helen
user 5766938
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 77
Well, it is hard not to agree with the "snip" statement above of Dr. Szasz.
He is a very articulate man who speaks concisely, no gobbledygook.

"Yes, but he is not accurate. It is easy to be impressed by people who speak like that, especially if one has, for instance, an anti-psychiatry attitude or belief system."

Dr. Szasz is considered to be the preeminent critic of modern Psychiatry. Who has the anti-psychiatry attitude, Dr. Szasz? me? some people? Is there another preeminent Psychiatrist out there who could debate what Dr. Szasz says?
--------------------------------------­-------------
What I will remember from the video is "Zoloft or Beer" (see the video). I will take the beer; actually, preferably wine.

"Some alcoholism is caused by depression, and some depression is caused by alcoholism."

How did you make the leap to alcoholism and depression from my statement? Happily, I have neither problem.
--------------------------------------­---------------
"Almost all drugs are prescribed to prevent suffering, not to control behavior."

I think that is a questionable statement. It may be theoretically the ideal, but not the practice.
--------------------------------------­---------------------
"The reason that there are so many diagnoses is that each diagnostic category is divided into subtypes, if possible, this helping to do research. Medication is not necessarily prescribed for a diagnosis. It is prescribed for symptoms and syndromes, when those symptoms and syndromes have shown some promise of being helped by that medication. Diagnoses also are required for the psychiatrist (or any doctor) to be paid, e.g., by insurance companies, Medicare, Medicaid, etc."

This sounds like you are talking-down to me.
But it does bring us to the point that medical treatment, including Psychiatry, has become politicized.
Drug companies extract huge profits from drug sales; the FDA (now government enters the picture) is constantly pressured to approve and release new drugs; patients have become acclimated (by virtue of Madison avenue) to believe they need a pill to fix their problem, and so pressure their physician; and physicians succumb to the patient's presentation of symptoms as needing that pill; insurance picks up the charges and everyone is happy.

But what does all this conversation have to do with philosophy. Philosophy is the study of "how to live".
Our cultural evolution in the context of modern medicine can be both good and bad, a double-edged sword, making anyone wonder if we can control the drive for drugs, legal and illegal.
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,148
Helen,
Well, it is hard not to agree with the "snip" statement above of Dr. Szasz.
He is a very articulate man who speaks concisely, no gobbledygook.

"Yes, but he is not accurate. It is easy to be impressed by people who speak like that, especially if one has, for instance, an anti-psychiatry attitude or belief system."

Dr. Szasz is considered to be the preeminent critic of modern Psychiatry. Who has the anti-psychiatry attitude, Dr. Szasz? me? some people? Is there another preeminent Psychiatrist out there who could debate what Dr. Szasz says?

I used to hear a lot about him, but it has been years that I have not. Whoever has an anti-psychiatry attitude will be impressed by what he has to say. I am not impressed. I don’t believe that most psychiatrists would regard him to be a preeminent psychiatrist, though certainly he has been influential. Maybe he still is. I just haven’t run across him recently until he showed up here.

What I will remember from the video is "Zoloft or Beer" (see the video). I will take the beer; actually, preferably wine.

"Some alcoholism is caused by depression, and some depression is caused by alcoholism."

How did you make the leap to alcoholism and depression from my statement? Happily, I have neither problem.

Because he seemed to be equating beer with an antidepressant. Alcohol and antidepressants do different things.

"Almost all drugs are prescribed to prevent suffering, not to control behavior."

I think that is a questionable statement. It may be theoretically the ideal, but not the practice.

I don’t know what you are basing your belief on.

"The reason that there are so many diagnoses is that each diagnostic category is divided into subtypes, if possible, this helping to do research. Medication is not necessarily prescribed for a diagnosis. It is prescribed for symptoms and syndromes, when those symptoms and syndromes have shown some promise of being helped by that medication. Diagnoses also are required for the psychiatrist (or any doctor) to be paid, e.g., by insurance companies, Medicare, Medicaid, etc."

This sounds like you are talking-down to me.

Not intended. I meant to be informative.

But it does bring us to the point that medical treatment, including Psychiatry, has become politicized.
Drug companies extract huge profits from drug sales; the FDA (now government enters the picture) is constantly pressured to approve and release new drugs; patients have become acclimated (by virtue of Madison avenue) to believe they need a pill to fix their problem, and so pressure their physician; and physicians succumb to the patient's presentation of symptoms as needing that pill; insurance picks up the charges and everyone is happy.

I agree that there are all sorts of cultural forces, not necessarily rational, that make the practice of good psychiatry difficult. This would be another example of cultural victimization.


But what does all this conversation have to do with philosophy. Philosophy is the study of "how to live".


“How to live” (“how we should live”) would be that part of philosophy that is “ethics.”

Our cultural evolution in the context of modern medicine can be both good and bad, a double-edged sword, making anyone wonder if we can control the drive for drugs, legal and illegal.

Yes, it’s a good observation. The same is true of all of our tools. They can be used for good or bad. How to change ourselves into people who have a more effective set of ethical beliefs and a stronger ethical sense is the problem I try to deal with in my writing about “Homo rationalis.” A lot will have to do with our child rearing methods, our ways of creating human adults.

Your post is a good contribution to our group. Thanks!
Helen
user 5766938
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 78
What I will remember from the video is "Zoloft or Beer" (see the video). I will take the beer; actually, preferably wine.

"Some alcoholism is caused by depression, and some depression is caused by alcoholism."

How did you make the leap to alcoholism and depression from my statement? Happily, I have neither problem.

"Because he seemed to be equating beer with an antidepressant. Alcohol and antidepressants do different things."


In the video, I think the point he was trying to make was a little different than what you took from it.
I think he was saying that Rx drugs do not have to be prescribed for all situations; sometimes, all one needs to do is imbibe a little and thus relax a little. I do know, for real, that some GP's and PCP's do advise their patients to go home and have a drink and chill-out. Those patients are not necessarily depressed, in the opinion of the MD, but feeling situational stress. Perhaps those MD's are the wiser ones, not reverting to writing a prescription.
This would work for some of the population, but now all, I admit, as addiction is always a possibility with alcohol, the same that addiction it is a possibility or even a probability with drugs, Rx or otherwise.
Alcohol is the major legal drug of choice for our culture. Prohibition did not work. And that fact could start an entirely new discussion about the possibility of legalizing marijuana. But that would be a diversion from the current topic, so I stop.
Helen
user 5766938
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 79
Sorry, I do not know how to insert the text into a "grey box". Anyone?
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