American Psychiatry: how much a political tool?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Eleven, Apr 13, 2020.

  1. Tyrsonswood

    Tyrsonswood Senior Moment

    Give 6 eyes a break... He wants to be just like Trump.

    (which, in itself, could be a mental disorder)
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  2. Gul Dukat

    Gul Dukat Kanar, anyone? HipForums Supporter

    You just called six a pretty terrible person. Unkind, to say the least.
  3. Tishomingo

    Tishomingo Members

    He's called me worse!
  4. Gul Dukat

    Gul Dukat Kanar, anyone? HipForums Supporter

    Haha I believe it.
  5. It's such a simple term but I can't remember it right now. What it means: An event thrown by a pharmaceutical company to entice doctors to prescribe their brand.

    All these gatherings really amount to is essentially an infomercial about why a drug is better than the rest. The problem is they are really really nice to these doctors... maybe they put them up in fancy digs; all expenses paid. Or maybe it's just a luncheon or something.

    At any rate the doctor walks away, probably with some samples, & with a sense that he or she owes something to the drug company or drug rep. They may give out t-shirts and pens with their drug/brand on them.

    Well my argument against that is it's not very ethical considering they're dealing in lives.

    I'm not a very big critic of capitalism, but it feels like they need a babysitter to keep them ethical. I don't really want my doctor's office peppered with Prozac pens...

    As for being a political tool, I honestly don't believe the government is involved in any way. Perhaps they should be more so in terms of regulating pharmaceutical companies who are decidedly acting in the "mutual" interest of "both" parties (i.e. making a buck in the process) rather than being another tool in the shed.

    In reality I think one drug is just as good as another. Maybe one works better under a different circumstance - with different physiologies there is different neurochemistry? i don't know. But I think that those sorts of comparisons are the ones being made by good psychiatrists.

    I know my doctor. He's ok. He's not a bad guy. & he's vigilant about lab work and test results. If my cholesterol is high he asks about diet & exercise and tells me to follow up with my primary care physician. They're not all bad, but when you initially get a diagnosis you usually are under attack. Someone is telling you that they suspect you of having some deficiency. :) I couldn't live with a schizophrenia diagnosis for a long time. There was a very difficult period during which I was constantly in denial. I couldn't accept that I was wrong. I thought some pretty far out imaginary things were afoot... But eventually it sunk in - something was wrong!

    Sometimes we just need time to accept the diagnosis. And of course, not everyone is sick. But these problems are common. And frequently diagnoses change over time. So what was once true, say ADHD for example, may dramatically change. It's biological, but it's not permanent. Things about your biology can change. Maybe it's dietary; I don't know.
  6. scratcho

    scratcho Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    The study of the mind and what people do in life has always interested me. I mean think of the dichotomy between -say--Jeffrey Dalmer and Martin Luther King. It's almost unbelievable what humans can do both good and bad. But I suppose like any endeavor that involves humans--some are caring , honest individuals and strive to do good and conversely ,some are out for the money/advantage or/and relish the harm they bring upon others. Life can be pretty complicated on many levels-(says captain obvious). I'm sure psychiatry helps some and harms others. The uses of certain medicines have shown efficacy in many, it seems. The study and use of psychedelics is beginning to show some promise. I have no opinion regarding the use of psychiatry in politics other than some politicians who seem somewhat out of whack.
  7. tikoo

    tikoo Senior Member

    Does the govt employ psychiatrists ? probabably . My teacher was an Austrian psychiatrist recruited by the Nazis to serve as a propagandist . He ran away , and he needed to psych-out a German border guard to get into Belgium . As an aging man in the 70's he ran away again - out of his American professor job and into the heart of the land driving a VW van he'd decorated with his alien-inspired peace language graffiti .

    Are you protected from hypnotic and devious govt manipulations ?
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
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  8. Tishomingo

    Tishomingo Members

    Psychiatrists are human--no getting around that. It's useful to realize that they aren't gods, but I don't know that they're any better or worse than the rest of us, or the rest of the folks in professional occupations serving patients or clients. Every profession has an ideal of dedicated service and adherence to high ethical standards. We know that in the real world that doesn't always happen. Some priests preach chastity and molest altar boys. Some teachers, doctors, lawyers, and Indian chiefs seem to be primarily making a living like the rest of us, and its up to us, as non-experts, to size them up and decide, whether we trust them. Who do we want to trust our lives to, Trump or Fauci?

    Take dentists and optometrists, for example. Is it really necessary for the health of my teeth and eyes that I go back to these guys for a checkup every six months. Was that idea developed for my benefit or theirs? Is that periodic fluoride treatment I get from the dentist really protecting me from cavities, when I thought I read somewhere not all adults need it? But then I read somewhere it did.Do adults need fluoride treatments? I'm sure if I asked they'd insist that it's for mine, and it's standard professional practice, but I wonder. Or take my podiatrist. I went to him for an ingrown toenail, but I got a complete workup for my arches, my Achilles tendon, etc, and he kept having me come back until I noticed the photo in his waiting room of his kids in college. I'm sure my feet are far from perfect and could use all the help they can get, but from a cost-benefit standpoint, I had to decide enough is enough. And who am I to judge, other than being the one paying the bills? These guys are supposed to be the experts. I make my decisions about getting medical help on the basis of the guy's formal credentials and reputation, and my judgments about his demeanor, much as I size up a used car dealer. In both cases, I'm pretty much flying by the seat of my pants. What do I know? The alternative would be to go it alone, which strikes me as a very bad idea.
    Last edited: May 14, 2020
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  9. scratcho

    scratcho Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    Chiropractors were vilified as quacks for decades by the AMA. Money out of physicians pockets, I reckon. I have had a reason to use them from Oregon to Florida. Some were not so good, some were OK, and 2 were like saviors to me. I had one here try to sign me up to some sort of a contract for a certain amount of money. That's not the way it works---did not sign. You use them when and if you need them. ---- Just an example of making a medical decision for oneself as Tishomingo said.
    I think I read where there are/is lists/list of doctors and ratings of them. I haven't checked that out, though.
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  10. Tishomingo

    Tishomingo Members

    Getting back to psychiatrists and politics, we probably need to define the terms before going further. Politics is the ability to make authoritative decisions. In the case of psychiatry, it's the ability to define who is crazy and what to do with them. Psychiatry is a branch of medicine and benefits from the prestige we give to medical doctors as applied scientists. It might seem odd that doctors would be involved in making these decisions, since in many cases there is no known physiological basis for the maladies. The term literally means treatment of the soul. Mental illness is actually an analogy to physical illness. The labels and constructs developed by Freud and Jung were products of their fertile imaginations rather than anything physically observable in their patients.

    Everything Bagel asked: "Is your issue with psychiatry specifically? Or mental healthcare in general?" Psychiatry now has rivals: clinical psychologists and clinical social workers, who diagnose and treat patients, mainly by counseling and talk therapy. Because psychiatrists go to medical school, they tend to have a monopoly over the ability to prescribe psychotropic drugs. In fact, that increasingly has become their main function--talk therapy being more and more left to the psychologists and social workers. So when Six-eyed Shaman complains about psychiatrists getting patients on meds, he's probably correct. That's become their main function, although we might hope they would be cautious about prescribing them and not prescribe drugs unnecessarily. There have been many disturbing reports about the cozy relationship between Big Pharma and doctors in general and psychiatrists in particular, and the danger of over-prescribing psychotropic drugs.
    Inappropriate prescribing
    Psychiatrists: the drug pushers
    Psychiatrists Are Drug-pushers
    Overprescribing Drugs to Treat Mental Health Problems
    One in five adults now takes one or another of these meds, and drugs like Ritalin are routinely prescribed for some 2% school-age children.
    Are Schools Pushing Ritalin?
    The Drugging of Our Children: Over-diagnosis Leads to Over-prescription of Ritalin
    NIMH » Are Children Overmedicated?
    The American Psychological Association actually recommends that, in most cases, alternative interventions like talk therapy should be the first treatment considered, especially for children and adolescents. Yet antipsycholtics, mood stabilizers, anti-anxiety medications, and antidepressants can help those suffering from severe mental illness to function in society. Patients suffering from mild forms of mental illness may experience fewer benefits, and need to weigh those against the side effects which can be serious for most of these drugs. So the exercise of judgment in the doctor-patient relationship is unavoidable
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  11. unfocusedanakin

    unfocusedanakin The Archaic Revival Lifetime Supporter

    You tend to post pretty unreliable data that can't be backed up. Even if we assume it's true ask why? Left wing people are more likely to admit they are having a hard time. Republicans are more likely to have your attitude that help makes you weak and the medical industry is corrupt. So how many even see a doctor?That may account for numbers.

    If you are still suggesting that a political view is a illness you are too far gone to be reasoned with.
    Eleven likes this.
  12. Tishomingo

    Tishomingo Members

    I think a political view can be an illness, or symptomatic of one. I have no doubt that Hitler and Stalin were off their rockers, along with Nero, Commodus, Caligula Ivan the Terrible, and King George III. The last three of those seem to have had a physiological basis to their madness--mercury poisoning in the case of Ivan, porphyria in the case of George III, and some unknown disease in Caligula's case that turned him from decent ruler to madman after a bout with fever and a coma. Stalin was paranoid as all get out, and Hitler has been diagnosed with everything from narcissm, to schizophrenia to psychopathy, not to mention irritable bowel syndrome. My favorite is Dangerous Leader Disorder (Mayer, Journal of Psychohistory, Volume 20, 1993, pp. 331–348.) Is there any doubt that these leaders were as nutty as Charles Manson or Jeffrey Dahmer, and did harm on a much greater scale?
    Surveys of Trump voters found higher levels of authoritarianism, ethnocentrism, disgust, and social conservatism than other voters, especially Clinton voters.
    An Analysis of Trump Supporters Has Identified 5 Key Traits
    Trump Voters: Ethnocentric, authoritarian, and disgusted – PolicyInteractive
    How Do We Know That Trump Supporters Are Authoritarians? | The Rise of Trump
    Are these traits pathological? I think so. Adorno’s Uncanny Analysis of Trump’s Authoritarian Personality - Public Seminar
    Last edited: May 15, 2020
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  13. Tishomingo

    Tishomingo Members

    The Republican capacity for denial is formidable, especially when it comes to matters of science.(Chris Mooney, 2005. The Republican War on Science). It's no surprise that they should also deny the validity of psychiatry, psychology, and mental health. In fact, such behavior falls under well-recognized ego-defense mechanisms of denial and resistance, which serve to protect the ego from inconvenient truths about self.
    Top 10 Defense Mechanisms and Why We Use Them
    Why People Deny Mental Illness and Resist Psychiatric Medication | HealthyPlace
    How do you treat someone who doesn’t accept they’re ill?
    Resistant Clients Psychotherapy Article
    These mechanisms are particularly likely when the patient is brought for treatment as a result of family intervention or involuntary commitment, and the patient has not yet accepted the reality of his/her mental illness or the need to do anything about it. Bipolar cases, for example, may be effectively treated with lithium, but while the patient may experience relief from searing depression, (s)he might not like the loss of exhilaration during the former highs.
    Last edited: May 16, 2020
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  14. tikoo

    tikoo Senior Member

    I see evidence of politics employing psychiatry to make people mentally imbalanced , then programming
    these minds to be of service allowing them to feel worthwhile . They will divert from this view I present .
  15. 6-eyed shaman

    6-eyed shaman Sock-eye salmon

    I was going to post a long reply to this thread, but I decided to start a new one because there is so much to discuss on this.

    Ugly truth about therapy

    Psychology is not a hard science. You can use a hard science like mathematics and physics to predict the future. You cannot predict the future with psychology because every human individual is different. Rocket scientists used physics to launch the Voyager and predict the future of the positions of all planets so it could capture the best photographs. With psychology, a person could be a chain smoker because his father smoked lots of cigarettes. However, a different person who had a chain smoking father, could cause them to avoid cigarettes at all costs. You can't predict a person using psychology.
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  16. tikoo

    tikoo Senior Member

    the elitist Wizards of Psy have ensnared you ? Their science advances .
  17. Gul Dukat

    Gul Dukat Kanar, anyone? HipForums Supporter

    Are you talking to yourself?
  18. tikoo

    tikoo Senior Member

    No ... as myself .
  19. Tishomingo

    Tishomingo Members

    well, let's see it.

    Interesting you should bring this up. "Most of the time"? "Weaponized toward an opposing viewpoint"? These claims echo criticisms of the concept of mental illness raised by the Anti-psychiatry Movement of the 1960s and 70s. It began as a left wing radical movement closely tied to the "cultural Marxism" and "Postmodernism" so vilified by Jordan Peterson. (As I recall from previous posts, you didn't like them either). It's instructive to look at those in deciding the validity and uses of the concept "mental illness".

    By the 50s and 60s, the psychiatric profession had reached a peak of prestige, influence and professional arrogance that needed to be taken down a peg. Understandably, the backlash came from the loonier extremes of the political spectrum--first the far right and then the far left In the 1950s, a right-wing anti-psychiatry movement viewed psychiatry as “subversive" and anti-American because it deprived individuals of their rights. In the 60s came the Anti-Psychiatry movement --a special case of the general assaults on institutions that characterized that unique time in history from which we hippies claim decent. The general message was that society is sick, and the people it labels as "mentally ill' are its victims--struggling to cope in a mad world. Psychiatry, they said, was an agent for preserving the status quo by encouraging deviants to adjust to sick society instead of rebelling. First there was Dr. David Cooper, the South African-born shrink who first coined the term Anti-psychiatry in 1967, and in the same year French post-modernist Michel Focault came out with his Madness and Civilization, with a preface by Cooper. Cooper was heavily influenced by the neo-Marxist guru Herbert Marcuse of the Frankfurt School. Marcuse applied Marxist theory, or so-called "cultural Marxism", to social criticism with the aid of Freud's psychoanalysis, which he tried to synthesize with Marxism. Eros and Civilization was the result, broadening the class struggle to a more general struggle against repression, including repression of our sexual instincts. Focault looked at how madness was viewed from the fifteenth through the eighteenth centuries, how western society's characterizations of mental illness reflect the perspectives of prevailing social hierarchies, and how societies developed institutions to increasingly control deviants outside the authority of the state. Irrational people, fools, lunatics, etc., went from being a familiar part of the social landscape to being increasingly regarded as a danger to society to be contained and isolated in Asylums. Cooper's introduction to Focault's book suggests that in our own age, madness "has become a sort of lost truth." Cooper saw psychosis as reflecting the disparity between the patient's "true" identity and the externally defined identity one receives from society. Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing was pursuing a similar line of iconoclasm, in which he saw mental diseases like schizophrenia arising from dysfunctional family systems in dysfunctional societies, so that mental illness was a rational response in resisting such systems and shielding the individual from the pressure of double binds-- a "shamanic journey", he called it. These thinkers were tied to the broader movement of Postmodernism which was challenging the very idea of absolute or objective knowledge. Established norms were seen as social constructs to serve the interests of hierarchies, and needed to be deconstructed.

    There were other actors in the movement with somewhat different agendas. L.Ron Hubbard, founder of the cult Scientology, had been at odds with psychiatry since the early fifties after a psychiatrist suggested he be institutionalized and he developed his alternative therapy, Dianetics and proclaimed himself a mental health professional. When the American Psychiatric Association rejected his approach, he launched an all-out war against the discipline, adding his voice tiothe chorus of criticism from the Anti-Psychiatry movement. He viewed psychaiatry as competition for scientology's endless "therapy" sessions trying to remove the alien engrams from our programming. The gay rights movement eagerly joined the bandwagon, since psychiatry at the time declared homosexuality to be a mental disorder. Another prominent critic who attacked the established concept of mental illness but distanced himself from the "leftists", was Thomas Szasz, professor of psychiatry at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y., who insisted that mental illness wasn't real illness but just a "metaphor". A real illness, said Szasz, must have a clear physiological basis detectable in an autopsy. The existence of "mental illness" depends on subjective judgments and social consensus. One of Szasz's former students in the 1980s, takes issue with this characterization.
    Mental Illness as Metaphor: A Logical Fallacy
    Revisiting Szasz: Myth, Metaphor, and Misconception
    He observes that all disease is, to some extent, based on perceptions of what constitutes abnormality, but argues that the diagnoses are based upon observed patterns of behaviors and medical consensus concerning abnormality. As in all things human, it's a matter of judgment--and judgments based on extensive observation and professional consensus are valued over others. Instead of "mental illness' Szasz preferred to talk about "problems of living" and instead of treatment, ""cure-healing of souls". Szasz was asked by a student: "what about the guy who cut his mother's head off and roasted it in the oven. Wasn't that crazy?" Szasz admitted it was odd, but resisted calling it mentally ill.

    Nevertheless, we know that there are people who hear singing and there's no one there, they smell blossoms and the trees are bare, etc., and they aren't even in love. They're sick. I had a good friend who was paranoid schizophrenic, tormented by voices, and he couldn't afford the anti-psychotic drugs he needed to make them stop. He committed suicide while awaiting a disability review. Is there politics in mental illness. Undoubtedly. Being gay went from a mental disability to no mental disability as a result of concerted political pressure on the psychiatric profession. Was it a good thing? I think so. Psychiatry back in the day was reflecting what was taken as a strong societal consensus that gay was not okay, and the doctors concluded that individuals who tried to buck that would be in for a rough time. The transformation of attitudes on this subject was nothing short of remarkable, and shows what can be done through politics.
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  20. Flagme15

    Flagme15 Members

    What we have here is another expert in a field he thinks he knows something about.
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