Review of CCHR’s review of Psychiatry (the profession)

Here’s a review of a review of an entire profession: Psychiatry. The review is from the Citizens Commission on Human Rights. Basically, their video suggests that psychiatry is a fraud. Psychiatrists meet at a committee and vote on creating new emotional and behavioral disorders — essentially inventing diseases. The video claims there are no medical or scientific tests for psychiatric disorders. We see various experts on the subject, and there are some psychiatrists themselves who admit there are no such tests.

It’s a fascinating viewpoint, but there’s a major flaw to the video: We do not see what the competing viewpoints say. Even the psychiatrists shown in the video are not assigned names. It just says for each one, “Psychiatrist APA Convention, 2006.” It’s also questionable to claim that psychiatrists — and the drugs they use to treat patients — offer no actual help to people, ever. Are the drugs really altogether toxic?  It’s an absolutist claim, so my skeptic alarm starts ringing.  In contrast to their claim, I naturally assume some people actually have mental and mood disorders, and can get medication to help them.  Also, I hardly consider myself warped by psychiatric quacks. In fact, I’m speaking as someone who has never seen a psychiatrist. On top of that, when the video says no one is cured by psychiatrists, it might miss the point: There may be no definitive cures in a lot of cases, but ongoing treatment.

This is not to say that there are no abusive quacks in the profession, and that there are no dangerous drugs (or side effects from drugs, or side effects from mixing the drugs with other substances), but I think the video does a disservice to itself by not tackling the issues I raise above.

The sad thing is, some people would not understand my point, and would accuse me of defending psychiatry as a fool. Instead, I defend it almost purely in reaction to the video. Seriously, it almost makes psychiatry seem more credible than before, just based on the video’s slanted presentation. Just a glimpse at the CCHR website gives me articles like “THE HIDDEN ENEMY — Inside Psychiatry’s Covert Agenda.”

They also have a video series called “An Industry of Death.” Hmmm. If it’s really so unspeakably terrible, we should probably get out our torches and pitchforks and get out our witch trial manuals, right? In other words, this organization uses the same tactics that nearly everyone uses when they consider something bad: Demonize it to no end, put on some scary music, show some trustworthy experts to present “the right side”, and give significantly less time to the opposing view.  Also, the organization often tries to link psychiatrists to school shootings, mass murders, eugenics, and terrorism, and it happens to be sponsored by the Church of Scientology.

Bam!!

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