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Ironically though, that last point is problematic for two reasons: a I know for a fact that this method is already being put into practice, and has been for some time. Since I encountered it both when I was in hospital at age 12, and when I went back last year I'm now As far as I know, the multidisciplinary approach is the only one to be found in my city, even my country. So clearly, on an international level in developed countries , we're dealing with a straw man here.

If he were talking exclusively about the US, or even Britain though even according to him it's not as bad , then yes, I would concur.

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Although not entirely either since I've read several accounts of good care in the USA as well. On the other hand, I will certainly agree that the influence of Big Pharma is ever growing, again especially in the States, it's HQ. But even throughout, the author's contradictory feelings and conclusions were really grating at times. Which brings me to what I didn't like about this book: 1 The author's inconsistency.


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It's as if he couldn't really make up his mind about his feelings and conclusions regarding psychiatry. Honestly, if I hadn't finished the book, I would've come away with the conclusion that he was the definitely part of what I call the "Church of Psychotherapy" branch of the anti-psychiatry movement.

Doctoring the mind: Why psychiatric treatments fail

But the book's last chapter was really quite beautifully nuanced, so I've decided he's more in the critical psychiatry camp though in a more clearly biased way than I am myself. The author does a pretty decent job of critiquing the role of medication in the treatment of mental illness, but clearly didn't go in as deep with psychotherapy not as many notes and references, for one. This is probably the result of his personal bias. And while he gets more nuanced towards the end of his book, most of his remarks regarding meds vs. Either "medication is a spectacular failure unworthy of further research" which I find disturbingly unscientific to say , or "psychotherapy undoubtedly demonstrates very high amounts of success".

Which is all the more confusing when he admits, on the very same page, that conducting objective research on it's efficacy is even more difficult than it is for psychopharmacology. In fact, I find it funny that, despite looking at the same data, the author and I came to different conclusions as to their meaning for patient care.

I also found some of his interpretations to be based on faulty premises, chiefly that the mind and brain are separate, and that just because something can be influenced, even "caused" by our environment and life circumstances, it means it's all about nurture and not about nature i. Again, he seemed to agree with me on this one towards the end of the book, so maybe this is all a question of either poor writing, or poor editing.

Genetic predispositions for mental illness and many others, I might add don't automatically lead to actual mental illness. In fact, epigenetics, an even more interesting field of study to me, would agree that genes clearly have a complex relationship with our environment and life circumstances.

There is no mutual exclusion here. The same goes with brain structure and even brain chemistry, to a certain extent, although I don't subscribe to the chemical imbalance theory either, it's too simple , which can and is affected by our life experiences. Ever heard of neuro-plasticity? Is it so unreasonable to think that trauma, or repeated negative experiences, can shape neural pathways and biochemical mechanisms in such a way as to make it increasingly difficult to get out of toxic, depressed, anxious, even psychotic, thought patterns and processes? Which is also why I'm convinced CBT alone will not work with severe long-term mental illness, certainly not if it lasts a mere 6 months.

Is it so unreasonable to think that some people have genes that, if activated by certain life events, will make the development of mental illness more likely or more severe? Otherwise, you would see the same reactions or lack thereof in people who've had bad experiences!


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And you wouldn't find family trees with a ridiculous amount of actual mental illness either. Not once. I'm not saying they don't exist, but clearly that statement doesn't represent a universally agreed upon consensus. The first example that comes to mind is the field of oncology.

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In fact, cancer research still has a long way to go! Imagine then, what this means for the branches of medicine psychiatry and neurology, which should perhaps fuse in some cases that study the most complex organ we have! Of course we're not there yet! We need more research, not less! To say that, just because we haven't found enough convincing evidence for the biological underpinnings a better word than "causes" of mental illness, we should abandon all research is downright shameful coming from the mouth of a scientific researcher! If science should only to be conducted when there is an assurance of finding an immediate application, then theoretical physics departments, for example, should all be shut down.

I mean, really? That we need decent human relationships with our doctors and therapist is pretty self-evident. Bedside manners are fundamental, compassion should be a requirement. But it only goes so far. It's not a panacea. Moreover, it will always be fake, to a degree. Because money is involved. It might be a very cynical way of seeing it, but I think it's realistic. Money doesn't prevent someone from caring or being kind, of course.

Doctoring the Mind: Is Our Current Treatment of Mental Illness Really Any Good?

But it puts up a barrier that needs to be recognised. A shrink is basically a friendship prostitute note, I have nothing against prostitution. If you're lucky, they'll have actual therapeutical tools, backed by at least some theory and evidence, that can help. Although you might as well buy a CBT workbook and do it yourself. But this is why I disagree with the Dodo conjecture.

To think otherwise is ridiculous.

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If it's that simple, why can people with relatively good life circumstances still suffer from mental illness? Conversely, why aren't sufferers automatically cured as soon as their life circumstances improve? This didn't bother me too much to be honest. I get it: I hate the DSM too. But I don't think attempts at classification are entirely misguided again, there have been issues with this in other branches of medicine.

The real problem with the DSM is that it is used as a bible, not as a set of guidelines, and that it's been heavily corrupted by Big Pharma. And yes, discrete categories can be problematic, although if the author dislikes them so much, why does he insist on separating symptoms and quality of life as if they had nothing to do with each other? Like I said, I liked his concluding chapter. Well, except when he lapsed back into "mental illness is all nurture" mode and said that it basically boils down to problems with human relationships it's almost as bad as the "it's the mother's fault" explanation for autism.

I mean, yes, they're very important. The world is rife with problems. Kindness is in short supply. But until we get the Revolution going, simple answers to the complex issues of mental illness simply won't work. I should know. Psychotherapy can be just as good, just as bad, and just as useless as medication, for different people. Okay, granted, antipsychotics are probably more physiologically dangerous than any kind of therapy except when it's so pointless that the patient, stuck with despair, ends up killing himself.

Psychiatry has not crushed my hopes. It simply hasn't given me any.


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There's a significant difference here. And it's as true for medications as it is for psychotherapy. In my case, they're both, largely, BS. Not entirely, but largely. I firmly believe that the holistic approach to psychiatry and medicine in general, really is the best one.

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As of now, it's woefully incomplete and short-sighted. We need more research yes, more, more for every aspect of the problem on brain function and the emergence of what we call the mind. Neuro-plasticity, I think, holds the key for many sufferers. Which is why I look up to psychedelic medicine as the potential redeemer of psychobiosocial psychiatry. No to mention it's the only thing giving me any substantial hope right now. American Journal of Psychiatry , — Clozapine for the treatment-resistant schizophrenic. Archives of General Psychiatry 45 , — Childhood traumas and hallucinations: an analysis of the National Comorbidity Survey.

Journal of Psychiatric Research 41 , — Recommend this journal. Psychological Medicine. Who would you like to send this to? Optional message. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Seller Inventory APG More information about this seller Contact this seller. Book Description Penguin, Seller Inventory mon Book Description Penguin.