Blog des AK Psychiatriekritik der NFJ Berlin

Monat: Juni, 2014

Lingering Doubts About Psychiatry’s Scientific Status

Professor Sir Simon Wessely is a British psychiatrist who works at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London.  He is also the new President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and in that capacity, he recently wrote his first blog, titled, appropriately enough, My First Blog (May 24, 2014).  The article is essentially a perusal of, and commentary on, the program for the RCP’s Annual Congress, about which Sir Simon expresses considerable enthusiasm.  He also engages in a little cheerleading.


New APA President: Same Old Cheerleading

As my readers know, I am a great fan of former APA President Jeffrey Lieberman, MD.  His regular articles on Psychiatric News were always helpful to the anti-psychiatry cause, and he will be greatly missed.

But his successor, Paul Summergrad, MD, has recently posted his first presidential message, APA Poised to Take Advantage of Unique Time in History, and it is already clear that not much has changed.  Cheerleading and unabashed self-congratulations are still the order of the day.


The Psychiatric Epidemic

Heteronormative Violence of Mainstream Psychiatry: A Cautionary Tale

In 2013, California became the first state to pass legislation banning licensed professionals from trying to change the sexual orientation of minors from homosexual to heterosexual. In 2014, similar legislation passed in New Jersey, with other states, including New York, Massachusetts, and Ohio, following suit. However, “reparative therapy,” which grew in popularity with psychiatry’s increased medicalization of same sex erotic desire throughout the 20th century, is hardly a practice of a bygone era. In June 2014, the Republican Party endorsed the support of reparative therapy in Texas, while organizations such as the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality continue “treating” homosexual men and women in an effort to change their sexual desires to heterosexuality–all with dire consequences to individuals undergoing such treatments.

I was in a form of reparative therapy in British Columbia, Canada, for six years, after which I filed a medical malpractice suit against my former psychiatrist, “Dr. Alfonzo,” for treating my homosexuality as a disease. If these new laws are to be criticized, it is that the use of “change” therapies on people older than 18 should be prohibited as well. I was 24 when I met Dr. Alfonzo, 31 when I left his therapy, and almost 40 when the lawsuit ended in an out-of-court settlement in 2002. Nearly twenty years after leaving the therapy, I am still affected by the consequences of those six years of “treatment.”


Blame the Clients?

On June 6, I wrote a post titled Psychiatry DID Promote the Chemical Imbalance Theory.  The post generated a number of comments, five of which were from TherapyFirst, who in his first comment identified himself as Joel Hassman, MD, a practicing psychiatrist. 

Dr. Hassman did not argue with the general notion that psychiatric practice today consists almost exclusively of the prescription of drugs.  Indeed, in one of his own blog posts on June 16, 2013, he wrote in an open letter to newly qualified psychiatrists:

” . . . you are now agreeing to basically just prescribe medication and give limited, selective diagnoses that serve insurer and/or bureaucratic agendas first and foremost.”


” . . . your interest will be narrowly directed to prescribing more likely multiple medications from moment one of meeting the patient . . . “

And this general position – that psychiatry consists essentially of prescribing drugs – continues to be evident in his comments on the MIA post.