Yeah, you’ve identified the biggest part of the problem I think. I mean, the biggest issue with psychiatry is coercion in all its forms. But after that, I think it’s the way they talk about people’s problems and especially how they talk about their own interventions. I also don’t think it’s a bad thing these drugs exist. They change people’s experience, often for the better. But the fact that they construct disease entities out of undesirable experiences and then sell these drugs as cures or treatments for those diseases is simply fraud, if you ask me. Granted, a lot of psychiatrists are just stupid or naive, it a lot of them know exactly what they are doing.Yes it's the meds that are causing the problem, but for me the root of the problem is that at least some psychiatrists don't know what they are doing and dont ask for informed consent. I think we are talking about very similar things. Even if a drug is dangerous, i dont mind much that it exists as long as I am told about the actual risks beforehand and I am given the right to refuse to take them.
But if psychiatrists want to claim that they make people take minimal risks they should acknowledge the risks linked to some medication and stop selling them.
When I looked into SSRIs I learned about post SSRI sexual dysfunction and read about many people having it as a result of their treatment. There are even scientific papers about it. But when I talked about that to my psychiatrist i was only met with a condescending amused smile, like there is only crap on the internet and I shouldn't be anxious...
Pain itself is not a disease. It is a good thing that we are able to experience pain; it aids in our survival, and can make us more resilient. But some people for whatever reason experience excruciating chronic pain constantly, so we developed heavy duty “pain-killers” that help to numb that experience. Ideally, the solution would be to identify and treat the source of that pain, but if that can’t be done, making people comfortable is a good thing.
But as we all know, there are risks involved in using pain-killers, some very severe. And doctors don’t sell Valium or Morphine generally as a necessary treatment for a bogus disease. But psychiatrists do exactly that. We have been told repeatedly that depression, anxiety, and the rest are “diseases just like diabetes” and sufferers need these meds to restore the balance in their brain’s neurochemistry (there is little to no evidence to support that claim). Why do psychiatrists do this? I can’t say I know for sure, but I suspect it probably has something to do with the fact that, unlike other doctors, the existence of psycho-pharmaceutical drugs is the ONLY evidence they have that the issues they deal with are genuine medical diseases, thereby superficially validating them as real medical doctors and not simply drug pushers.
Like pain, it is a good thing that we are able to experience fear, depression, anger, etc. It is also good that we are capable of thinking and making associations, even if they may be faulty or maladaptive sometimes. Having these experiences not only helps in our survival, but are also fundamental components to our essential humanity. But some people might die whatever experience these thought/mood states to an extreme degree that makes their lives horribly unpleasant. Drugs can and often do mitigate those states by numbing us to a mood or making us less capable of using our minds in unreasonable, disturbing, or maladaptive ways.
But too few people are aware of the risks, many of which are severe. Some of those problems we call “side effects,” some of them we call “withdrawal syndrome,” and some of them we even call “therapeutic effects.” Just because a person feels better, does not necessarily mean they are healthier.
You say, Trith, that psychiatrists should let their patients know of the major risks involved or stop selling those drugs? I’m afraid I don’t share your optimism that psychiatrists care all that much about their patients’ well-being. If they did, they wouldn’t be psychiatrists for very long. And if they were to stop dealing the drugs that have become known to have potentially serious long-term consequences, they wouldn’t have anything left to do. Their drugs define them as real medical healers; honesty on their part would be tantamount to existential suicide.