Blog des AK Psychiatriekritik der NFJ Berlin

Kategorie: Bruce Levine

3 Troubling Reasons Psychiatry Retains Power Despite Lost Scientific Credibility

“What’s a guy gotta do around here to lose a little credibility?” asked ProPublica reporter Jesse Eisinger in a 2012 piece about top Wall Street executives who created the financial meltdown but who remain top Wall Street executives, continue to sit on corporate and nonprofit boards, serve as regulators, and whose opinions are sought out by prominent op-ed pages and talk shows. Wall Street is not the only arena that one can be completely wrong and still retain powerful influence.


Psychiatry’s Manufactured Consent: Chemical Imbalance Theory and the Antidepressant Explosion

The title of Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky’s book Manufacturing Consent derives from presidential advisor and journalist Walter Lippmann’s phrase “the manufacture of consent” — a necessity for Lippmann, who believed that the general public is incompetent in discerning what’s truly best for them, and so their opinion must be molded by a benevolent elite who do know what’s best for them.

Starting in the 1990s — despite research findings that levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin were unrelated to depression — Americans began to be exposed to highly effective television commercials for antidepressants that portrayed depression as being caused by a “chemical imbalance” of low levels of serotonin, and which could be treated with “chemically balancing” antidepressants such as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, and other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Why has the American public not heard psychiatrists in positions of influence on the mass media debunk the chemical imbalance theory? Big Pharma’s corruption of psychiatry is only part of the explanation. Many psychiatrists, acting in the manner of a benevolent elite, did not alert the general public because they believed that the chemical imbalance theory was a useful fiction to get patients to accept their mental illness and take their medication. In other words, the chemical imbalance theory was an excellent way to manufacture consent.


10 Ways Mental Health Professionals Increase Misery in Suffering People

Decreasing suffering often means “comforting the afflicted, and afflicting the comfortable.” However, AlterNet’s recently republished Psychotherapy Networker article, “The 14 Habits of Highly Miserable People,” authored by psychotherapist Cloe Madanes, instead appears to have afflicted many of the afflicted. Perhaps Madanes was attempting to afflict those comfortable enough to afford her and her professional partner Tony Robbins, but that comfortable group excludes many readers.

While some of the article’s voluminous reader comments were positive, concurring that many unhappy people have chosen to make themselves miserable, the majority vilified Madanes, calling her: “condescending,” “shaming,” “asinine,” “insensitive,” “pompous, “judgmental,” “violent,” “a narcissistic, manipulative, abuser,” and a long list of even nastier invectives.


NIMH Director Rethinks Standard Psychiatric Treatment for Schizophrenia

The director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) now recognizes what treatment reform activists have been talking about for years: People diagnosed with schizophrenia and other psychoses are a diverse group who need diverse approaches. NIMH director Thomas Insel recently acknowledged:

It appears that what we currently call „schizophrenia“ may comprise disorders with quite different trajectories. For some people, remaining on medication long-term might impede a full return to wellness. For others, discontinuing medication can be disastrous.


Amazing Victory for Mental Health Activists: NIMH Director Accepts Ideas Once Seen as Radical

It is an amazing victory for mental health treatment reform activists and Robert Whitaker. On August 28, 2013, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) director, Thomas Insel, announced that psychiatry’s standard treatment for people diagnosed with schizophrenia and other psychoses needs to change.