Monday, April 26, 2010

Brainless and mindless

The day program that Chris was involved with for two years made me a critic of the mental health industry. Chris was clearly not recovering, was horribly overweight, and yet the doctors refused to consider that maybe medications weren't helpful in his case. (By the way, no matter what your diagnosis was in that program, you all got the same drugs. This reasoning strikes me as not very scientific.)

Ron Unger points out this hypocrisy in his latest blog post. It's well worth a read.

Here's psychiatrist Daniel Carlat's take in today's New York Times on why this is so. About the only thing I can say to this shabby admission, is well, at least he's honest with his readers if he hasn't up until now been honest with his patients. The lack of intellectual curiosity about what makes the individual tick is appalling in most doctors. There are enough Daniel Carlats beginning to rethink the psychopharmacology model that there is hope. However, to these doctors, schizophrenia is always a special case, so I don't hold out much optimism that much will change unless change is forced on them by "schizo positive" activists.

After J.J. left my office, I realized, uncomfortably, that somehow, over the course of the decade following my residency, my way of thinking about patients had veered away from psychological curiosity. Instead, I had come to focus on symptoms, as if they were objective medical findings, much the way internists view blood-pressure readings or potassium levels. Psychiatry, for me and many of my colleagues, had become a process of corralling patients’ symptoms into labels and finding a drug to match

No comments:

Post a Comment

I am no longer approving comments. All I ask is that you be respectful of others and refrain from using profanity.