Proven Wrong About Many of Its Assertions, Is Psychiatry Bullsh*t?
September 23, 2016
In the current issue of the journal Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry , Australian dissident psychiatrist Niall McLaren titles his article, “Psychiatry as Bullshit” and makes a case for just that.
The great controversies in psychiatry are no longer about its chemical-imbalance theory of mental illness or its DSM diagnostic system, both of which have now been declared invalid even by the pillars of the psychiatry establishment.
In 2011, Ronald Pies, editor-in-chief emeritus of the Psychiatric Times, stated , “In truth, the ‘chemical imbalance’ notion was always a kind of urban legend—never a theory seriously propounded by well-informed psychiatrists.” And in 2013, Thomas Insel, then director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), offered a harsh rebuke  of the DSM, announcing that because the DSM diagnostic system lacks validity, the “NIMH will be re-orienting its research away from DSM categories.”
So, the great controversy today has now become just how psychiatry can be most fairly characterized given its record of being proven wrong about virtually all of its assertions , most notably about its classifications of behaviors, theories of “mental illness,” and treatment effectiveness/adverse effects.
Among critics, one of the gentlest characterizations of psychiatry is a “false narrative ,” the phrase used by investigative reporter Robert Whitaker (who won the 2010 Investigative Reporters and Editors Book Award  for Anatomy of an Epidemic) to describe the story told by the psychiatrists’ guild American Psychiatric Association (APA).
In “Psychiatry as Bullshit,” McLaren begins by considering several different categories of “nonscience with scientific pretensions,” such as “pseudoscience” and “scientific fraud.”
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