Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Why antipsychotics aren't sold on street corners and why psych DXs less reliable than star signs

The Times interview with "rational anti-psychiatrist" Richard Bentall

In Bentall’s view, we need nothing less than a wholesale culture-change in our approach to mental illness. He says that psychiatric diagnoses are less reliable than star signs (“at least with star signs you can agree on who has which sign.


Anti-psychotics, says Bentall, may lead not only to lethargy and weight gain but to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and early death (“these are drugs that don’t get sold on street corners. They are very unpleasant to take”).


But, he says, psychiatry has long suffered from a crisis of identity, to which it responds by trying to present itself as a “proper” branch of medicine, or, as he puts it, “establishing credibility in the eyes of anaesthetists and neurosurgeons when perhaps they should have been thinking more about what their patients thought of them”. He dreams of a system in which psychiatrists “celebrate the fact that they are not like other doctors”.

and finally

Drug companies are bribing American child psychiatrists with huge research grants to advocate this kind of treatment, and it’s beginning to happen in the UK. I don’t know how else to put it but that people are being bribed to poison children — and accepting the bribe.”



  1. Good article. Sad though that there aren't more speaking out like he is. In the US, I don't think we have anyone in academia who is speaking out this strongly - we have Robert Whitaker who is even more critical of psychiatric drugs, but he is a journalist, not an academic.

  2. Are you still using the vitamins? How would you measure their effectiveness?

  3. Yes, Chris is still taking vitamins, but a stripped down amount from the 35 he was on before. It is hard to tell how effective the vitamins are when there are so many other variables going on. I know how specifically effective they are for me and I wouldn't be without them. I have seen Chris improve on high dose vitamins in the past, but I also feel they do not necessarily stop psychosis. Since I have also witnessed that antipychotics don't stop psychosis (they merely drive it underground) my thinking is then, why not use vitamins instead? The bottom line is that Chris is doing better on a combination of vitamins, psychotherapy, sound therapy and Low Expressed Emotion on our part. Time is also a great healer. (Note that I don't say he is doing better on the meds. I don't believe anyone does better on the meds. They can look effective in the very short term but they are a disaster long term.


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