Existential Cannibalism

Existential Cannibalism :
the inadequacy of psychiatry.
Greg Crowhurst 24th August 2011

"There are many ways of practicing existential cannibalism. In our society, the most popular form of it is to give one's 'beneficiary' a psychiatric diagnosis and impose on him a psychiatric treatment, neither of which he wants. This enables the 'benefactor' to claim he is helping and strengthening his 'beneficiary,' while in fact he is harming him and is rendering him more powerless."

 Thomas Szasz in "Madness, Heresy and Rumor of Angels: The Revolt Against the Mental Health System" by Seth Farber


From the literature :

1.
Psychiatric disorders are not medical diseases. There are no lab tests, brain scans, X-rays or chemical imbalance tests that can verify any mental disorder is a physical condition.

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) http://www.cchr.org/quick-facts/introduction.html

2.
Psychiatry’s diagnostic criteria are literally voted into existence and inserted into the American Psychiatric Association’sDiagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM). What is voted in is a system of classification of symptoms that is drastically different from, and foreign to, anything in medicine. None of the diagnoses are supported by objective evidence of physical disease, illness, or science.
The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) http://www.cchr.org/quick-facts/introduction.htm 
3.
“We do not know the causes [of any mental illness]. We don’t have the methods of ‘curing’ these illnesses yet.” —Dr. Rex Cowdry, psychiatrist and director of National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 1995
The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) http://www.cchr.org/quick-facts/introduction.html
4.

Psychiatrists claim that brain scans now show brain changes that “prove” mental disorders, such as schizophrenia and depression, are brain-based. There is no scientific evidence to prove this: it remains what the “fine print” in the studies tell you: “suggests,” “may” and “it is hoped.” 

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) http://www.cchr.org/quick-facts/introduction.html


5.

Psychiatrists can’t predict what adverse side effects you might experience because not one of them knows how their drugs work.

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) http://www.cchr.org/quick-facts/introduction.html


6.


“No claim for a gene for a psychiatric condition has stood the test of time, in spite of popular misinformation.” —Dr. Joseph Glenmullen, Harvard Medical School psychiatrist



The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) http://www.cchr.org/quick-facts/introduction.html

7.

Between 1950 and 1964, more people died in United States federal, state and county "mental institutions" than the number of Americans killed in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf War combined.

http://www.mentalhealthstigma.com/insanecures.html

8.


the widely advertised idea that mental illness is caused by a “chemical imbalance” in the brain is nothing more than an unproven theory. there is no diagnostic test which shows such an imbalance exists. this is pure marketing.

7 Fun Facts

http://www.zimbio.com/Psychiatric+health/articles/Rzcm-khOR2u/7+Fun+Facts



9.


according the the american psychiatric association 19 of the 27 psychiatrists on the dsm’s top voting panel have financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

7 Fun Facts

http://www.zimbio.com/Psychiatric+health/articles/Rzcm-khOR2u/7+Fun+Facts


10.


the popular psychiatric drug ritalin is nothing more than a form of speed, highly addictive and dangerous.

7 Fun Facts

http://www.zimbio.com/Psychiatric+health/articles/Rzcm-khOR2u/7+Fun+Facts

11.

 psychiatric diagnoses are less reliable than star signs (“at least with star signs you can agree on who has which sign. Psychiatric diagnoses are unreliable and largely invalid”) and that patients are more likely to recover in countries where there are virtually no services: “


"Psychiatric diagnoses are less reliable than star signs "

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/article6538213.ece

12.


A New York Times articlesuggests that an entire psychiatric textbook, The 269-page book, “Recognition and Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders: A Psychopharmacology Handbook for Primary Care,” was ghostwritten by a writing company funded by a drug company. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/30/business/30drug.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper


13.

Many researchers have pointed out that psychiatric diagnoses are plagued by problems ofreliability, validity, prognostic value, and co-morbidity.  

Response to the American Psychiatric Association: 
DSM-5 Development
The British Psychological Society thanks the American Psychiatric Association (APA) for the
opportunity to respond to the DSM-5 Development.  
http://apps.bps.org.uk/_publicationfiles/consultation-responses/DSM-5%202011%20-%20BPS%20response.pdf

14.

Not only did the DSM become the bible of psychiatry, but like the real Bible, it depended a lot on something akin to revelation. There are no citations of scientific studies to support its decisions. That is an astonishing omission, because in all medical publications, whether journal articles or textbooks, statements of fact are supposed to be supported by citations of published scientific studies.

The Illusions of Psychiatry

JULY 14, 2011

Marcia Angell

New York Review of Books
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/jul/14/illusions-of-psychiatry/

15.

Of the 170 contributors to the current version of the DSM (the DSM-IV-TR), almost all of whom would be described as KOLs,(Key Opinion Leaders)  ninety-five had financial ties to drug companies, including all of the contributors to the sections on mood disorders and schizophrenia.

The Illusions of Psychiatry

JULY 14, 2011

Marcia Angell

New York Review of Books
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/jul/14/illusions-of-psychiatry/

16.

Whitaker writes that in the first quarter of 2009 alone,
Eli Lilly gave $551,000 to NAMI [National Alliance on Mental Illness] and its local chapters, $465,000 to the National Mental Health Association, $130,000 to CHADD (an ADHD [attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder] patient-advocacy group), and $69,250 to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
And that’s just one company in three months; one can imagine what the yearly total would be from all companies that make psychoactive drugs.

The Illusions of Psychiatry

Marcia Angell

New York Review of Books
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/jul/14/illusions-of-psychiatry/

17.


There still isn’t a diagnosis listed in the major psychiatric diagnostic
manuals (such as ICD and DSM) that is associated with any sort of physical test and so, unlike the rest of medicine, aetiology has an insignificant part to play in organising diagnostic practice. 

Sami Timimi

March 2011
Campaign to Abolish Psychiatric diagnostic Systems such as ICD and DSM
(CAPSID)1,2
http://www.criticalpsychiatry.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/CAPSID11.pdf

18.

The failure of basic science research to reveal any specific biological abnormality or for that matter any physiological or psychological marker that identifies a psychiatric diagnosis is well recognised. Unlike the rest of medicine, which has developed diagnostic systems that build on an aetiological framework, psychiatric diagnostic manuals such as DSM-IV and ICD-10 have failed to connect diagnostic categories with any aetiological processes.

Sami Timimi

March 2011
Campaign to Abolish Psychiatric diagnostic Systems such as ICD and DSM
(CAPSID)1,2
http://www.criticalpsychiatry.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/CAPSID11.pdf
19.


Despite years of searching for biological correlates, the failure of basic science research to reveal
any specific biological marker for any psychiatric diagnostic category reveals that current psychiatric diagnostic systems do not share the same scientific security of belonging to the biological sciences as the rest of medicine.

Sami Timimi

March 2011
Campaign to Abolish Psychiatric diagnostic Systems such as ICD and DSM
(CAPSID)1,2
http://www.criticalpsychiatry.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/CAPSID11.pdf

20.

The frequency with which patients are given more than one diagnosis also raises a concern about the specificity of diagnostic categories. Widespread co-morbidity
(making more than one diagnosis in order to encompass patients. problems) indicates basic deficiencies in our understanding of the natural boundaries of even the most severe conditions we are diagnosing in psychiatry.

Sami Timimi

March 2011
Campaign to Abolish Psychiatric diagnostic Systems such as ICD and DSM
(CAPSID)1,2
http://www.criticalpsychiatry.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/CAPSID11.pdf

21.

several studies have shown that most of the specific features of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) can be dispensed with,
without adversely affecting outcomes

Sami Timimi

March 2011
Campaign to Abolish Psychiatric diagnostic Systems such as ICD and DSM
(CAPSID)1,2
http://www.criticalpsychiatry.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/CAPSID11.pdf

22.

Many psychiatric drug treatments, like psychological treatments, rely more on non-specific factors than disease-specific therapeutic effects. For example, it is generally assumed that drugs marketed as „antidepressants. work through their pharmacological
effects on specific neurotransmitters in the CNS, reversing particular states of „chemical imbalance.. However, the evidence points to placebo effects being more important than any neuro-pharmacological ones.

Sami Timimi

March 2011
Campaign to Abolish Psychiatric diagnostic Systems such as ICD and DSM
(CAPSID)1,2
http://www.criticalpsychiatry.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/CAPSID11.pdf


23.

Unlike the rest of medicine, no overall improvement in prognosis has been demonstrated in Europe and North America over the past century for those diagnosed with a mental disorder. Some studies indicate the opposite, that compared to the pre-
psychopharmacology period there are more patients who have developed chronic conditions such as chronic schizophrenia than in the past.
Sami Timimi

March 2011
Campaign to Abolish Psychiatric diagnostic Systems such as ICD and DSM
(CAPSID)1,2
http://www.criticalpsychiatry.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/CAPSID11.pdf

24.


In order to increase rates of diagnosis and treatment, a variety of campaigns have been undertaken. For example, in the UK the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Royal College of General Practitioners launched their „Defeat Depression. campaign in the early nineties. It was intended to raise public awareness of depression, reduce stigma, train general practitioners in recognition and treatment, and make specialist advice and support more readily available. Unfortunately, evaluations of treatment and education guidelines in the UK following the „Defeat Depression. campaign failed to detect significant improvements in clinical outcome.66,67,68 However, other effects of the campaign included a rapid increase in antidepressant prescribing and increased medicalisation of unhappiness and distress.

Sami Timimi

March 2011
Campaign to Abolish Psychiatric diagnostic Systems such as ICD and DSM
(CAPSID)1,2
http://www.criticalpsychiatry.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/CAPSID11.pdf


25.

Psychiatry, and mental health work in general, is (by its very
nature) a site of dispute, conflict, and agitation
(Stastny & Lehmann, 2007)

From Szasz to Foucault: On the Role of Critical Psychiatry

26.

A more compelling chronic complaint about
the DSM is that it is a-theoretical and purely de-
scriptive. Maybe we identify people who are “un-
well” with it, but do those diagnosed with the same
disorder actually have the same “pathology”? Major
depression, for instance, is defined as a disturbance
of mood in which a person must have experienced
at least five of nine symptoms that may include
sleep and appetite changes for the same two weeks.
So those symptoms equal a major depression, and
what is a major depression? Those symptoms.
Hence you go back and forth in a purely descriptive
circular fashion. Description is not the same thing
as explanation, and the DSM explains nothing. For
example, does labeling someone with “major de-
pression” really tell you anything more than just
saying they are “very depressed”? Can major de-
pression be objectively separated from the suffering
of other depression such as grief, in a meaningful
way? No, it can’t, at least not objectively.

Prognosis Negative
Psychiatry and the Foibles of the Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual V (DSM-V)

BY JOHN SORBORO, M.D.
SKEPTIC MAGAZINE volume 15 number 3 2010

27.

According to Dr. Francis, “There can be no dramatic improvements in psychi-atric diagnosis until we make a fundamental leap in
our understanding of what causes mental disorders.
The incredible recent advances in neuroscience, molecular biology, and brain imaging that have taught us so much about normal brain functioning are still not relevant to the clinical practicalities of
everyday psychiatric diagnosis. The clearest evidence supporting this disappointing fact is that not even one biological test is ready for inclusion in the criteria sets for DSM-V.”


http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/
display/article/10168/1425806

28.

Although it's been 140 years since Maudley's groundbreaking treatise, modern psychiatry is in a state of intellectual collapse. No psychiatrist practicing today can point to a universally agreed model of mental disorder which explains the common observations of mental disorder, dictates a research program and ordains a form of management.

Humanizing Madness: Psychiatry and the Cognitive Neurosciences [Paperback]
Niall McLaren M.D. (Author) 2007  Loving Healing Press; 1 edition

29. 

Medically unexplained diseases are widely prevalentbut at the same time have few discernible markers or objectively measurable symptoms. While a lot of Freudian ideas have fallen out of favor, one legacy remains: difficult-to-explain diseases are still routinely attributed to psychological causes. The process by which patients supposedly manifest psychological problems as a disease has been named and renamed, classified and reclassified: hysteria, psychosomatic disorder, somatoform disorder, conversion disorder, functional disorder, etc. In each of these diagnoses, however, the stated origin of disease is unchanged: symptoms that cannot be explained are ultimately “all in a patient's head.”




30. 

While there is no denying the existence of some sort of “mind-body connection,” there is minimal compelling evidence that as the 19th century Swiss physician Georg W. Groddeck claimed: “Illness has a purpose; it has to resolve the conflict, to repress it, or to prevent what is already repressed from entering consciousness.”3 Despite the stark absence of evidence supporting these views, it is not unusual to read papers describing how patients with long-term so-called psychological illnesses may be subconsciously manifesting them, because it would allow them to have more “care, attention, disengagement, or even financial benefits.


31. 

Numerous studies have demonstrated that many of the physical complaints presented to physicians are unexplained from a medical perspective. Depending on the setting, between 30 and 66% of patients who seek medical care have unexplained symptoms. According to a 1996 estimate, the eight most common physical complaints (fatigue, backache, headache, dizziness, chest pain, dyspnea, abdominal pain, anxiety) account for more than 80 million physician visits annually in the United States, and only 25% of these symptoms have a demonstrable organic (of the body) cause.


32. 

Lupus, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, and Lyme disease suffered similar fates before “tissue evidence” was available. Patients were belittled by armchair speculators masquerading as scientists. Who among us believes this was helpful? A simple “I don't know” would have been better than specious speculation.


The authors confuse absence of evidence with evidence of absence. They are not the same. Absence of evidence may reflect insufficient research, inadequate technology, poor methods, flawed paradigms, closed minds, or lack of clinical experience; for example, in 1980, there was no clear evidence that AIDS was viral—blood products were considered “safe.”….
.
http://mpkb.org/home/alternate/psychosomatic


 33.








  Medicine has a long and ignominious history of erroneously psychologizing problems with organic causes. Several classic examples of how psychological stress supposedly affects disease have been debunked.

Disease Early and erroneous claims More valid explanations
cardiac disease Type A behavior – in which people are impatient, time-conscious and controlling – was first described as a substantial risk factor in coronary disease by the cardiologists Meyer Friedman and R. H. Rosenman.Research since then has found that Type A behavior is not a good predictor of coronary heart disease. On the basis of this and other criticisms, Type A theory has been termed obsolete by many researchers in contemporary health psychology and personality psychology.
camptocormia - forced posture with a forward-bent trunk supposedly seen in soldiers during World Wars I and II; claimed it could be cured quickly and durably by a “persuasive” electrotherapymuscle weakness; an organic comorbidity of Parkinson's and ALS
schizophrenia claimed to be caused by cold, distant mothersno widely accepted cause, however, communities of microbes have been increasingly implicated
stomach ulcers claimed to be cause by stress Helicobacter pylori
tuberculosis in the developed world, claimed to be caused by tubercular personality– romantic, unfulfilled, cosmopolitan people that need change and excitement Mycobacterium tuberculosis



ulcerative colitis




in children, according to one author's claims, caused by interdependent on relationship between patients, parents, and grandparents


no widely accepted cause, however, communities of microbes have been increasingly implicated








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