Posts filed under: psychiatry

In this blog the Resource entitled Simulation of Illness addresses the most common hazard to diagnosis, the faking of complaint. In hysteria and malingering the simulation of complaints give the false impression of illness. A succesful fake brings gain. The malingerer fakes...
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I learned psychiatry in a mental hospital, which had its spectacular moments of irrational chaos, but the loony bin I analyse in my book, “Welcome”, is this world that contains us all. As a psychiatrist I had no difficulty recognising the insanity...
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The simplest view of mental disorder divides it in three: “mad, sad or bad”. The mad have psychoses that disable. Fortunately, only a few go mad. Many more suffer. Here belong the depressed, the anxious and the obsessive, in most...
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A mountain of anomalies and a canyon of pitfalls have not dissuaded psychiatrists from taking the descriptive approach to diagnosis.  They simply ignore them. Others see promise of advance in more of the same approach. They propose dimensional measures of...
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As dubious benefits, undesirable effects and high costs dampen the enthusiasm for psychotropic drugs, psychiatrists return to psychotherapy, discovering anew the power of the mind to deal with its own disorders. Altered attitudes can redirect seemingly intractable thought. In the...
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In 1954 the first antipsychotic drug, chlorpromazine, appeared. It calmed the acutely disturbed psychotic patient remarkably well. In the decade that followed chemists produced variations, which did much the same, but all had side-effects. They induce a dullness of mind...
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Ten years ago Robert Whitaker lambasted psychiatry in a best seller of the year, “Mad in America”. He reviewed a history of chaining lunatics, lobotomies, sterilisation and the Nazi solution of eugenics. He brought the sorry tale to its culmination in the...
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As we blog on, the British Journal of Psychiatry redeems itself. Its second issue for 2012 provides in editorial and original research papers a peek into a future that puts aside descriptive diagnosis for solutions that connect mental states to...
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In the opening editorial of its bicentennial volume, the British Journal of Psychiatry plainly sighted the elephant in the room in terms that left no doubt it had always been there. In discussing psychiatry’s failings the author blamed the descriptive...
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No other branch of medicine generates so many critics from within its ranks. The devotion of psychiatrists to their craft impels them. They wrestle daily with its failings  or wince as they cope with those of their colleagues. They address our...
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