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Are Psychiatrists Hesitant To Say Bad Things About Their Peers?

When Jesse read our Shrink Rap book, he said we were too nice to psychiatrists in it– that we didn’t mention that there are some really bad psychiatrists out there and he thinks part of the venom towards psychiatry comes from the whole rushed 15 minute med-check culture.

I thought about this and I thought, really?  We have a whole chapter called When Things Go Wrong and we discuss a psychiatrist who is not sensitive enough to a patient (though, granted, the patient is overly demanding and overly sensitive–so I guess not the best portrayal of insensitivity by a shrink), one who is rigid in her formulation to the point of almost destroying a family, one who prescribes medication that makes a patient fat and diabetic, and finally, a psychiatrist who is outright unethical and criminal: who defies all boundaries and gives her patient prescriptions for narcotics to bring back to her!  Like how much worse could I make the shrinks? As one Amazon reviewer said,

The authors are careful to include what might be called opposing views. They give some space to the anti-psychiatry movement, and they consider the recent cases of medications that seem to cause suicidal thinking in some patients. But they balance that against the suicidal thinking that is prevented in some other patients by the same medications. They also talk about the influence of drug companies in a fairly open way.

There are no heroes here. The authors aren’t in the business of justifying themselves, and one or two of the fictional therapists we see in the book do spectacularly bad jobs and harm patients.

But Jesse is right,  overall the examples portray psychiatrists who are thoughtful and caring, Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Shrink Rap*

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