Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Snapshot of the Malfunction Nature of Psychiatry and Psychopharmacology

There was a recent article in the New York Times Magazine in the April 2010 issue written by Daniel Carlat that tells a very revealing story regarding psychiatry and psychopharmacology. He appears to have an epiphany on psychiatry and psychotherapy. We would like to give him credit for realizing where psychiatry has been going, in addition, Daniel Carlat’s article is a precursor to his book “Unhinged: the Trouble With Psychiatry,” He explains how today’s psychiatry works, or in our view doesn’t.
Patients are evaluated based on the DSM-IV, psychiatry’s diagnostic manual which breaks down a patient’s disorder in several categories such as mood, anxiety, and several eating disorders, anxiety nightmares or flashbacks etc. Based on the patient’s answers to the questions a drug’s is then prescribed. This is based on Leon Eisenberg (a pioneer of psychopharmacology) as Carlat notes that in the beginning of the past century psychiatry was brainless, or mainly interested in psychoanalysis, while the second half of the 20th century psychiatry has been mindless or infatuated with pills. This has been the emphasis of the new generation of psychiatrists.
Carlat also notes what we suspected that insurance companies have pushed for medication visits, so the psychiatrist’s simply sees the patient for fifteen minutes to fill out a prescription. Longer hourly therapies are discouraged as it is less profitable for the insurance carrier. With this method the psychiatrist actually never knows his patient, and if any therapy is warranted then a lower ranking psychologist is referred. The end result is that the profession simply diagnoses disorders and medicates the patient.
He concludes in his article that psychopharmacology is doing damage to psychiatry, and we will add that it is damaging the patient. We encourage you to take a look at the article and potentially his book “Unhinged: the Trouble With Psychiatry,” which will be published in May 2010.

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