4 responses to “The Problem With Psychiatrists”

  1. Rachel

    I think that psychiatry is just too dominated by the medical model and psychiatrists, who are paid a very high salary to prescribe drugs that can have persistent and irreversible side-effects and ‘diagnose’ people, are given too much power within the health system. Yes, some of them, are trying their best and mean well – but basically there is a bottom line that they don’t want to be out of a job and what could be nicer than getting paid a lot of money with the belief that you are ‘helping’ people, even when there’s growing evidence that some drugs are very harmful and other therapies help the most.

    The most lasting help I’ve had that’s got to part of the root of the ‘illness’ has been from a skilled, sensitive and intelligent psychologist who helped me to look at coping strategies and look at my core beliefs with the assumption that there were legitimate reasons why I ended up with the symptoms I experienced rather than it just being a ‘biochemical’ illness. Unfortunately, this psychologist is now with another health trust and trying to get further help through the nhs hasn’t been possible.

  2. Shane Egen

    Hi Rachel, I totally agree with everything you say here.
    The “medical model” is in fact merely an illness model, and does not fit with any of the strengths-based models of Wellness which actually get results.
    I too found a psychological approach, which identified the underlying issues that led to mental distress in the first place (and THEN to “symptoms”, NOT the other way round) far more effective than attempting to medicate away the result, not the cause.
    For me, like many others, medication was ineffective anyway, which forced me to seek alternatives, and thank God I did. Holistic healing taught me to re-balance the various aspects of my persona and overall health, which leads automatically to Wellness, and does away with the need for meds in the first place.
    The real problem with psychiatry (other than their training) I believe, is that they genuinely think that the brain can somehow be “treated” with powerful drugs seperately from the rest of the body. This is absurd, as the brain is an organ OF the body, and clearly what effects one, effects the other.
    I also agree that coping strategies, building resilience and resourcefulness, support networks and goal-setting are vital, but as the “system” breaks our spirit, and creates victims of us, there is no emphasis put on these areas.
    I have worked as a Hearing Voices Workshop Presenter, and telling our stories of Hope and Recovery regularly demonstrated how “normal” most of us actually are, despite the myths and stereotypes that still abound.
    Another real issue I personally have with psychiatry is that when we use the term Recovery, they think “remission” as after all they are taught that these “conditions” are “chronic” and life-long, AND “incurable.” This does not allow for the increasing number of us who manage, overcome and thrive BECAUSE of these experiences, not in spite of them.
    I too believe that those of us with lived experience would make far better “treatment providers” than the average psychiatrist, and peer support is still an incredibly under-valued tool in the Recovery process. In this country we have also not progressed far at all in the last decade, which is a sad indictment on the whole medical establishment’s attitude towards mental distress.

  3. Mrs P Seabrook

    Your comments regarding psyciatrists so inspired me to post my own feelings to you.
    Our Grandaughter is in a psyciatric hospital where she has been for a year, and six months ago was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome and as of yet no one has addressed her problem; she is drugged up all the time and sleeps an awful lot. Your experiences seem to run parallel with ours. We agree with you, drugs are not necessarilly the answer. Incidentally, we are all trying to locate a local Aspergers Association to no avail, we are desperate, so is our Grandaughter.

  4. Liam T Kirk


    Interesting points well presented.

    Yes, there is a problem with the quality of care provided by pyschiatrists. I should know I have been under the care of over 400 head-docs. To be serious I have studied the procedures and techniques employed by pyschiatrists (partly as a consequence of various periods being an in-patient within teaching hospitals).

    Are you aware that in the opinion of Dr Henck van Bilsen a consultant clinical psychologist – psychiatrists are the least effective of all mental health professionals? Dated 23 June 2011.

    I concur with Dr Henck van Bilsen and believe that a care team lead by a pair of psychologists would be hughly more beneficial as a model of care than the present set-up in the NHS and private pyschiatric care.

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