Monday, 3 August 2009

Phobia - nothing wrong with you?

Particularly in the 1960's and onwards there has been a growing movement against the omnipotence of psychiatry. Psychriatists such as R.D. Laing were the leaders of such a movement which could be described as antipsychiatry. One of the main critisicms of modern psychiatry is the fact of comorbidity which means the presence of more than one psychiatric disorder at the same time. For exmaple, is an individual with depression and phobias suffering from depression, phobias or both. Accusations were made that pschiatry was simply making up different illnesses as it went along and that these suited the drug companies just fine in their quest for billions of dollars. In other words the traditional psychiatry was justifying their existence through legitimization of new mental disorders.
As a more generalised statement one could say that psychiatry was nothing more than an advocate of social compliance - if you did not fit into the social behaviour society invented for you or if you questioned this you were mentally ill.
Personally I find the body of evidence for this perspective weak. The development of psycho-parmaceuticals since the 1960's has proven beyond doubt that illnesses under which the individual suffers, i e. social phobia can be countered with the proper medication.


  1. I agree. Well put.

  2. I think some people have their hearts in the right place (concern for others) and some in the wrong place (their wallets). Also, generally speaking, their targeting sucks. For every person I know who's found exactly the help they need, I know 2+ who were ground up by the system when nothing was really wrong with them and another 2+ who could not get help for problems wrecking their lives.

    But, well ... the brain is tremendously complex and the mind infinitely moreso. Nobody knows exactly how they work. Our science can only sort-of show us pictures of what's in there. We have some drugs that work great for some people, sort-of for most people, and not at all for many. Mental health care just lags way behind physical care. People are trying, but they don't really have the equipment to do a great job yet, and the social background doesn't help.

    If you're lucky, they'll be able to help you. If you're unlucky, they may muddle along while you get worse -- or they may actively make things worse. Best to take along someone with good clear judgement who knows you well enough to figure out which of the three is happening.