[…] the way drugs are often portrayed as nothing but harmful and damaging is quite disconcerting; it suggests that taking drugs is akin to trying to increase the speed of your computer by pouring coffee over the motherboard; you’re going to experience a lot of new sights, sounds and smells, but cause irreversible damage in the process. That’s not how it works. Many drugs are effective because they work on systems in the brain that are already there. Opiates like heroin work on opiate receptors, cocaine affects the dopamine system (amongst others). The brain and body have evolved over millions of years to recognise and utilise these chemicals, and drugs typically work because they are analogous to the substances that occur naturally in our bodies. E.g. cannabis works because the brain has endogenous cannabinoids.
Profiting from mental ill-health
There’s a reason psychiatrists prescribe drugs rather than talking therapy: the latter makes no money for pharmaceutical firms
It’s not the only reason…
Talk Doesn’t Pay, So Psychiatry Turns to Drug Therapy
Alone with his psychiatrist, the patient confided that his newborn had serious health problems, his distraught wife was screaming at him and he had started drinking again. With his life and second marriage falling apart, the man said he needed help.
But the psychiatrist, Dr. Donald Levin, stopped him and said: “Hold it. I’m not your therapist. I could adjust your medications, but I don’t think that’s appropriate.” […]
Trained as a traditional psychiatrist at Michael Reese Hospital, a sprawling Chicago medical center that has since closed, Dr. Levin, 68, first established a private practice in 1972, when talk therapy was in its heyday.
Then, like many psychiatrists, he treated 50 to 60 patients in once- or twice-weekly talk-therapy sessions of 45 minutes each. Now, like many of his peers, he treats 1,200 people in mostly 15-minute visits for prescription adjustments that are sometimes months apart. Then, he knew his patients’ inner lives better than he knew his wife’s; now, he often cannot remember their names. Then, his goal was to help his patients become happy and fulfilled; now, it is just to keep them functional. […]
[…] I had to train myself not to get too interested in their problems […]
That’s scary. When psychiatrist have started not to care about their patients problems?
I understand the point, they say that they are not therapist, but caring for patient’s lives, opinions, perceptions, is not some extra thing we can cut off without consequences.
I want to report what dr. Walter van den Broek had wrote on his blog:
I work with internists and family physicians. They actually talk with their patients. They writes prescriptions when indicated, but first they talk.
This article is very discouraging. Once again we see the perverse contortions that our payment system renders. You know my mantra. Our payment system is hurting patients. Just look at the number of psych meds and their side effects. Just look at the lack of understanding of their patients that this article mentions.
Shame on psychiatry, but a bigger shame on Medicare and private insurance. […]
I suggest these psychiatrists to read what Balint wrote in “The doctor, his patient and the illness”.
If someone were to invent a perfectly safe ecstasy pill, what would be done about it? It’s the sort of scenario clubbers like to speculate about, usually at around 6am, a little the worse for wear after a big night out. It’s less common to hear it from a neuropsychopharmacologist and former government scientist – but it is, Professor David Nutt says earnestly, “the key question”. So what does he think the government would do?
"They would ban it. They would find some pretext to ban it. I think they would, because beneath all their posturing about health lies a moral position where they don’t think young people should have fun, other than being drunk."