Hi! I love dialogue about this kind of stuff!
I do have some issues with psychiatry. However, I’m not going to go all Tom Cruise on anyone and proclaim that psychoactive drugs are crutches. From a personal standpoint, I truly believe that medication shouldn’t be the first option. There are many psychotherapies that have tons of evidence to support their efficacy. Many people rush into medication because that’s all they are aware of, and that’s all the doctors do for them. People want quick fixes, and are not willing to put the work into truly changing behaviors. Additionally, we have been seeing a change in the view of psychological disorders. More and more research is highlighting the rewiring of neural networks and deemphasizing the role of neurotransmitters.
Saying all that, there are many circumstances that medication must be used as a first option. There are times we need to use medication just to get the individual to a point where they can go to therapy and get the most out of it. There are obviously many populations that benefit greatly from medication, and many that need medication . I’m not against medication at all, I just think we should examine every individual on a case-by-case scenario and evaluate if they should try a psychotherapy first before medication. This is more of an assessment issue and really depends on whether an individual goes to see a medical doctor first, or a psychologist.
My problems with psychiatry vary from issue to issue. While there are psychiatrists that prescribe medication AND perform psychotherapy, I have noticed less and less of them doing this anymore. Currently in our healthcare debacle, it appears that psychiatrists are used mainly for medication management. Individuals see a psychologist for therapy, and then get referred to psychiatrist to get their medication. I just think a lot of that should be eliminated. I have always been a proponent of training clinical psychologists for prescription privileges, so we can streamline mental healthcare for our patients. I also believe that psychiatry as a discipline needs to place more emphasis on psychotherapy. We have seen time and time again in the research literature that psychotherapy + medication almost always results in the best outcome. Primary care doctors are so overloaded they might just hand you a prescription for a psychoactive drug and never see you again (as they did with me). This is dangerous, and inefficient.
So there’s a little about my views on psychiatry (and primary care doctors as well). As a whole, I’m a centrist in the overmedicated society debate. We definitely prescribe too much, but we can not get rid of them as they are extremely helpful to some people, and get people to a point where they can start to work on their behaviors. I do think there needs to be a reemphasis on psychotherapy first, or at least in addition to medication.
(Oh and the American Psychiatric Association that writes the DSM definitely needs to let some psychologists in on their revisions for the DSM. They operate behind closed doors and do not let anyone in on their discussion. This is detrimental to the field because psychologists use this manual too.)
I wouldn’t advise you against psychiatry at all. I would advise you to keep psychotherapy as a mainstay in your practice and/or research though. There are many evidence-based therapies that are extremely effective.
Thank you! I have some harsh criticisms of psychiatry sometimes, but definitely open to dialogue. Yay for anything related to psychology.
Thank you! I love me some psychology, so don’t be shy.
Thanks! I just noticed that post on the radar. Very exciting.
You can only see it on the high resolution version. It is just outside the well-defined rings, toward the top left. It looks like there is a reddish hash mark on each side of it.