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Dreamspirit

What would be Ayn Rand's position on Psychiatry?

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IMO, true "schizophrenia" is actually a form of autism that hits in a different way. Basically every other disorder in the DSM is a made up medical condition making excuses for life's difficulties.

 

Well, no this is not what I meant exactly. I see no harm in psychology (ie maslow) because it simply attempts to understand human nature. What I do see a problem with is labeling bogus medical conditions on people so that they can bill an insurance company and/or control someone's behavior. And sometimes it's horrifying, as in the case of electroshock which is only done in very rare cases nowadays. These medications don't help people, and they are very very dangerous to use on children. It is also not proven, only "believed" that these drugs help a person and are not hurting them in any signifigant way. These psychiatrists basically believe that everybody needs medication and that every weakness in human nature comes from chemical imbalance. All the while there have been no chemical or biological abnormalities observed in any of these people thus most of it is pseudo science.

 

I don't object to someone trying to help someone like in psychology, but I do object to treating it like a medical condition when it is unproven.

As I said to my psychiatrist (whom I am forced to see and get medication from), "So your entire career is based on guesswork?".  She replied, "Yes.  That and experience."  I just smirked inside my mind and looked at the floor, so as not to shame her by laughing out loud.  Her claim that she bases her conclusions on experience didn't impress me, because she sees me once every 6 months for about 5 minutes, and then claims adamantly that I do better on than off medication.  My experience has shown me that medication has never helped, and being off medication was never a predictor in whether or not I was mentally stable.  So basically, as I know that studies do not support the medical model of psychiatric illness nor the effectiveness of medication, basically she told me that her entire career is a sham.  She sits there and collects massive amounts of money from pushing diagnoses and medications, and pushes her weight around locking people up in hospital and forcing them to take medication, and meanwhile there is no solid basis for her entire career and every action she takes within it.

To comment on the previous post, the difference between psychiatry and psychology is that psychologists give therapy while psychiatrists rarely do and pretty much just label and give medications.

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For a review of the sum of studies done to test the effectiveness of psychiatric drugs, which shows the lack of supporting scientific evidence and the proof of the damaging effects of these drugs, read Dr. Elliot Valenstein's "Blaming the Brain".  It was recommended on Dr. Michael J. Hurd's website a long time ago.

In Canada, forced psychiatric treatment and drugging, and ECT (although not as common), are very common.  I am currently forced to take an injection of Clopixol every two weeks.  Every two weeks, my mental health case worker (whom I do not choose to have) calls me and says if I don't come in for my injection they will have to send the police, take me to the hospital, and force me to take the injection.  I have been locked up in the psych ward at the Richmond General Hospital multiple times, against my will, when I was not a threat to myself or to other people.  It has driven me crazy over the years, literally.

I can order a review panel, with a psychiatrist, a member of the community, and a medical doctor to review my certification once every 6 months.  But that review panel isn't much of a way of upholding my individual rights as the members of that review panel can (and did) order me to remain under certification, under forced stay in a locked psych ward.  I got evicted from my apartment because the review panel wouldn't let me out to pay the $100 I owed in rent to my landlady.  I ended up homeless.

I'm worried because Clopixol has been known to cause heart defects in the long-term, but I am court-ordered to take it for the next year at least.  There has been a class action law suit regarding the last anti-psychotic they had me on: Risperdone.  I went totally psychotic while I was on that drug.  Perhaps it was caused by the drug?  I'll never know, since the effects of these drugs aren't even properly known.  As a female, however, it devastatingly made me grow hair on my chest which has never gone away, and made me miss my period for a whole year.

Thanks DreamSpirit for your story and opinions; they really gave me insight into my own experience and the courage to do something to stand up for myself.  And I think you're right: Ayn Rand would have considered modern-day psychiatry as a violation of individual rights.  And that one post, with the quote from Letters proves it; she said forced lock up and treatment would be a monstrosity.  It is a monstrosity I am all too familiar with.  It has F**&&##ed me up big time over the last 15 years.

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Why is it that you are under forced psychiatric treatment? Or circumstances leading to it? It sounds like less about psychiatry, more about law being applied wrongly.

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I doubt that a free market would sanction much of what comprises modern psychiatry. Basically the field labels negative, albeit normal emotional states as mental disorders that warrant medical intervention even though there is little to no evidence that such is the case. The government codifies the treatment of these alleged disorders as a medical specialty and forces medical students to attend schools that include the specialty in their curricula, and the FDA again helps legitimize psychiatric conditions by deeming them to be valid "indications" for treatment and approving of the drugs used to treat them, which insurance mandates force insurers to pay for. A free market, in which patients had to pay for drugs out of pocket and clinicians' reputations depended on them being thinkers rather than followers, would demand better evidence that these conditions represent real medical issues and that the drugs are of true long-term value.

As for what Ayn Rand would think of the field, I think the following quote about emotions is applicable:

Just as the pleasure-pain mechanism of man’s body is an automatic indicator of his body’s welfare or injury, a barometer of its basic alternative, life or death—so the emotional mechanism of man’s consciousness is geared to perform the same function, as a barometer that registers the same alternative by means of two basic emotions: joy or suffering. Emotions are the automatic results of man’s value judgments integrated by his subconscious; emotions are estimates of that which furthers man’s values or threatens them, that which is for him or against him—lightning calculators giving him the sum of his profit or loss.

What are psychiatric patients doing by taking anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drugs if not simply suppressing the function of their emotional mechanisms?

 

Edited by happiness

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