Why Psychiatry Holds Enormous Power in Society Despite Losing Scientific Credibility

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/why-psychiatry-holds-enormous-power-society-despite-losing-scientific-credibility

By Bruce Levine
January 6, 2015

“What’s a guy gotta do around here to lose a little credibility?” asked ProPublica reporter Jesse Eisinger in a 2012 piece about top Wall Street executives who created the financial meltdown but remain top executives, continue to sit on corporate and nonprofit boards, serve as regulators, and whose opinions are sought out by prominent op-ed pages and talk shows.

Wall Street is not the only arena where one can be completely wrong and still retain powerful influence. Influential “thought leader” psychiatrists and major psychiatry institutions, by their own recent admissions, have been repeatedly wrong about illness/disorder validity, biochemical causes and drug treatments. In several cases, they have been discovered to be on the take from drug companies, yet continue to be taken seriously by the mainstream media.

While Big Pharma financial backing is one reason psychiatry is able to retain its clout, this is not the only reason. More insidiously, psychiatry retains influence because of the needs of the larger power structure that rules us. And perhaps most troubling, psychiatry retains influence because of us—and our increasing fears that have resulted in our expanding needs for coercion.

But before discussing these three reasons, some documentation of psychiatry’s lost scientific credibility in several critical areas.

Psychiatry’s Lost Scientific Credibility

DSM Invalidity. In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic bible, the DSM, was slammed by the pillars of the psychiatry establishment. Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the highest U.S. governmental mental health official, offered a harsh rebuke of theDSM, announcing that the DSM’s diagnostic categories lack validity, and he stated that “NIMH will be re-orienting its research away from DSM categories.” Also in 2013, Allen Frances, the former chair of the DSM-4 taskforce, published his book, Saving Normal: An Insider’s Revolt against Out-of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life.

Biochemical Imbalance Theory Debunked. It was a great surprise for NPR reporter Alix Spiegelin 2012 to discover that the psychiatric establishment now claims it has always known that the biochemical imbalance theory of depression was not true. Ronald Pies, editor-in-chief emeritus of the Psychiatric Times stated in 2011, “In truth, the ‘chemical imbalance’ notion was always a kind of urban legend—never a theory seriously propounded by well-informed psychiatrists.” NIMH director Insel had already told Newsweekin 2007 that depression is not caused by low levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin. However, psychiatry made no serious attempt to publicize the fact that the research had rejected this chemical imbalance theory, a theory effectively used in commercials to sell antidepressants as correcting this chemical imbalance—an imbalance psychiatry knew did not exist.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/why-psychiatry-holds-enormous-power-society-despite-losing-scientific-credibility

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Why Psychiatry Holds Enormous Power in Society Despite Losing Scientific Credibility

Professor Lynn Conway on Dr. Kenneth Zucker

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Professor Lynn Conway on Dr. Kenneth Zucker

24-Year-Old Trans Man Dies By Suicide in Pittsburgh

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sue-kerr/24-year-old-trans-man-die_b_6401542.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices


On Saturday, December 13, 2014, 24-year-old Andi Woodhouse died by suicide near the 10th Street Bridge in Pittsburgh. Andi was from Lebanon, PA. He was in Pittsburgh temporarily for some services and he worked at a local McDonald’s.

I remember reading about his death, but he was misgendered in the original article. I had no idea he was part of our community.

Andi’s ex-girlfriend Kasey saw my post about Leelah Alcorn and reached out to me on Facebook. Andi’s family is grieving very deeply and hopes to organize some sort of closure event memorializing Andi as well as encouraging other young trans people. The tentative plan is to meet Saturday, January 3 near the 10th Street Bridge.

Andi’s family has requested that memorial contributions may be made to Mental Health America of Lancaster County, 630 Janet Ave., Lancaster, PA 17601 or Transgender Foundation of America, 604 Pacific Street, Houston TX 77006.

I did not expect once again to be blogging about the impact of the death of a young trans person, not 24 hours after my most recent post. Do I just copy the words from the previous day? Do I focus on setting up a memorial? What do I do except feel angry and sad?

Andi was right here. He walked the streets that I walk, his life ended on a bridge I cross regularly. He was right here in Pittsburgh and we didn’t know. He was right here, just blocks from community resources that I help to build and support and promote. He was right here.

I knew this day was coming, a day that I wrote about the death of a member of our community here in Pittsburgh. I just did not anticipate how much it would hurt. And how much it would be about my feelings.

Andi is the third trans person to die by suicide in a month in addition to Leelah Alcorn and Jay Ralko. Pittsburgh police are also searching for 34-year-old Andre Gray, a gay man of color who has been missing since October.

Rest in peace, Andi. I hope we can help your family and friends find peace, too…

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sue-kerr/24-year-old-trans-man-die_b_6401542.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on 24-Year-Old Trans Man Dies By Suicide in Pittsburgh

Texas police officers: Freedom means freedom for everyone

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Texas police officers: Freedom means freedom for everyone