As in ‘out‘!
Such as with the case of the Tic-Tac sized pacemaker, medical science has made some amazing advancement in certain fields.
However in others? They seem to be backsliding towards extinction. Take psychotherapy…
Almost an utterly lost practice.
The fact that this is, is not a shocker. The reason why however? Makes it so very tragically sad.
Despite a trend that started as early as the late 1980s, Gardiner Harris writing in The New York Times yesterday seems to bemoan the fact that most psychiatrists don’t practice psychotherapy any longer.
Perhaps Harris should have interviewed Dr. Danny Carlat, who nearly a year ago wrote about his experiences as a modern psychiatrist (in the The New York Times Magazine, no less). Psychiatrists nowadays are generally poorly trained in psychotherapy, so they spend most of their time prescribing psychiatric medications. (Dr. Carlat’s book, Unhinged is well worth the read for further background about modern psychiatry.)
So I wasn’t sure why I was reading this in the “Money and Policy” section of the Times. Surely it’s not news that psychiatry is no longer practicing much psychotherapy — and hasn’t been doing so for decades. What’s the story here?
It appears to really just be a lifestyle piece about Dr. Levin, a practicing psychiatrist who has had to switch gears mid-career from a psychiatrist who was doing a fair amount of psychotherapy earlier in his career, to one who does nothing but medication prescriptions.
Dr. Levin no longer sees patients for 45-minute sessions to do psychotherapy:
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. [Read More]
“Functional” is the goal, but are they really?
People in the United States are overly medicated. Who doesn’t know this?
Question is why – Why this severe turn towards over-medication?
Anguished Repose’s answer: It’s simply easier, not to mention far more lucrative for all those involved.
In the area of psychotherapy, I think it is safe to say this is definitely one medical scientific field that has completely lost sight (tossed away) the very soul of its morality.
The fact that is has? Takes right back around to where I began this post, with being ‘tragically sad’ again (nice circle) because quite frankly…
Expensive antipsychotics were originally approved to treat schizophrenia. They are now also prescribed for conditions including anxiety disorders and dementia, even though the Food and Drug Administration has not approved these off-label uses. The side effects of such drugs can include diabetes, weight gain and an increased risk of heart disease.
Caleb Alexander at the University of Chicago and colleagues analysed the results of a survey of visits to doctors between 1995 and 2008. In the sample population, the prescriptions of antipsychotics went from 6.2 million in 1995 to 16.7 million in 2006 and fell to 14.3 million in 2008. Off-label prescriptions also doubled during this time (Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, DOI: 10.1002/pds.2082). [Read More]
“The prescription route works.” Some will argue. Of course they will, but do drugs really work over the psychotherapy route…
You sure about that?
Among adults beginning antidepressant therapy, the risk of suicide or suicide attempts does not appear to vary by individual type or class of medication, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. “Despite the widespread use of antidepressant medications, particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), there is inconsistent evidence that growth in antidepressant use has reduced the prevalence of suicidal ideation or suicide attempts during the past decade,” the authors write as background information in the article. In October 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an advisory regarding a potentially increased risk in suicidal thoughts and behaviors among children and adolescents taking antidepressants. [Read More]
If this is true, and the increased prescriptions of drugs do NOT work, why have so many doctors stepped up prescribing psychiatric medication as opposed to using actual psychotherapy to treat patients…
Teaching them to cope with their diseases without the use of medications?
Psychiatry & Big Pharma Influencing Universities
Dr. Breeding discusses the influence of psychiatry and big pharma on the universities and colleges. This video goes over pay offs to professors, conflicts of interest, etc. and how these influence the belief systems of students, future doctors and psychiatrists to market and sell more drugs.
Visit Dr. Breeding’s Website at
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Makes one wonder doesn’t it?