11/6/00, Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD: I cannot think of a stronger, more accurate, analysis of ‘biological psychiatry’ than this by David Kaiser, MD, psychiatrist, humane physician. This cannot be said of any psychiatrist who has deserted the 'mind'of their patient, pretending to diagnose and treat the brain, doing this for profit—for their own profit as well as for that of their paymaster, the pharmaceutical industry. My comments are inserted within Dr. Kaiser’s text in brackets […] .

The following article is by David Kaiser M. D.- who has written a number of journal articles and is on the staff of Northwestern University Medical School Hospital. http://myweb.rust.net/~norman/kaiser.html Date: 11/5/00 12:35:42 AM Pacific Standard Time



  As a practicing psychiatrist, I have watched with growing dismay and
  outrage the rise and triumph of the hegemony known as biologic
  psychiatry.  Within the general field of modern psychiatry, biologism
  now completely dominates the discourse on the causes and treatment of
  mental illness, and in my view this has been a catastrophe with
  far-reaching effects on individual patients and the cultural psyche at
  large. It has occurred to me with forcible
  irony that psychiatry has quite literally lost its mind, and along with
  it the minds of the patients they are presumably supposed to care for.
  Even a cursory glance at any major psychiatric journals is enough to convince
  me that the field has gone far down the road into a kind of delusion,
  whose main tenets consist of a particularly pernicious biologic
  determinism and a pseudo-scientific understanding of human nature and mental illness.

[Dr. Baughman: thus my encountering not just parents, but grandparents as well—two generations—that believe that the normal rambunctiousness of their children and grand children are ‘diseases, due a ‘chemical imbalances’ of the brain. No longer can they understand all that is the trying, challenging normalcy of childhood—things they themselves are best-suited, with common sense and parental instinct to care for and guide. Now they see such behaviors as ‘diseases’, as ‘chemical imbalances’ that need diagnosing by psychiatrists and other mental health professionals, and that need, in virtually every case, ‘chemical balancers’—pills. No longer can they see all that is the width and breadth of normal emotions and behavior in themselves, their families, communities. They will have been deceived into believing that all of this need, diagnosis, interpretation, management and treatment from psychiatry and the mammoth, burgeoning mental health (teachers included) industry.]


  The purpose of this piece is not to attempt a full critique or history
  of this occurrence, but merely to present some of the glaring problems of
  this movement, as I believe significant harm is being done to patients under
  the guise of modern psychiatric treatment. I am a psychiatrist trained in
  the late 1980s and early 1990s, and I use both psychotherapy and medication
  in my approach to patients. I state these facts to make it clear that this is
  not an anti-psychiatry tract, and I am speaking from
  within the field of psychiatry, although I find it increasingly
  impossible to identify with this profession, for reasons which will
  become clear below.

  Biologic psychiatrists as a whole are unapologetic in their view that they
  have found the road to truth, namely that mental illnesses for the most part
  are genetic in origin and should be treated with biologic manipulations,
  i.e., psychoactive medications, electroconvulsive treatment (which has made
  an astounding comeback) and in some cases psychosurgery.

[Dr. Baughman: they are unapologetic and dictatorial, but, one-on-one, are easily challenged and intimidated. A young father asked his son’s psychiatrist: "Why the Ritalin?" The psychiatrist responded: "He has ADHD, due to a ‘chemical imbalance of the brain!" The young father then asked: "Show me the lab work!" The psychiatrist hemmed and hawed, because of course there was no lab work there never is, there is never a test or proof of any kind (why I call ADHD, and all biological psychiatry a total, 100% fraud). The young father persisted, saying, "I want to see the results of any tests you have done." The psychiatrist, grew flustered and finally ‘lost it’ at which point he banished both father and son from his office (there is never an examining room), firing the boy as his patient. I am fond of saying that the "Is it a disease—yes or no?" question—if ‘yes’ show me the lab work, the scan, the biopsy report, the x-ray, is, to the biological psychiatrist, like the crucifix to Count Dracula. Both are destroyed by the light of day. Further, I can tell any lawyer, barrister, how to destroy any biological psychiatrist with the light of day in any courtroom.]


  Although they admit a role for environmental and social factors, these
  are usually relegated to a secondary status. Their unquestioning confidence in
  their biologic paradigms of mental illness is truly staggering.

  In my opinion, this modern version of the ideology of biologic/genetic
  determinism is a powerful force that demands a response. And when I use
  the word ideology here, I mean it in its most pernicious form, i.e., as
  a discourse and a practice of power whose true motivations and sources
  are hidden to the public and even to the practitioners themselves, and
  which causes real harm to the patients at the receiving end.  Biologic
  psychiatry as it exists today is a dogma that urgently needs to be

[Dr. Baughman: this is as accurate a description of ‘biological psychiatry’ as I have seen. Having said that, all that is ‘biological psychiatry’ must now be identified; fingered, exposed to the full light of day, in all of the proper court rooms, especially in those courtrooms that order parents, under threat of loss of custody, to consent to treat and to—themselves actively participate in the treatment of their children with powerful toxic chemicals for the diseases of biological psychiatry that simply do not exist and, what’s more, will never exist.]


  One of the surest signs that dogmatists are at work here is that
  they rarely question or attempt to problematize their basic assumptions. In
  fact, they seem blissfully unaware that there is a problem here. They act in
  seeming unawareness that they are caught up in larger historical and cultural
  forces that underwrite their entire "scientific" edifice.
  These forces include the medicalization of all public discourse on how to
  live our lives, a growing cultural denial of psychic pain as inherent in
  living as human beings, the well-known American mixture of ahistoricism
  and belief in limitless scientific progress, and the growing power of the
  pharmaceutical and managed care industries.

[Dr. Baughman: It is mainly the growing, now-awsome power of the pharmaceutical industry, and unlimited pharmaceutical dollars (drug money) that permeate the US political process, that have brought us to this point. Their acquisition—buying of psychiatry (once a profession) was accomplished without a whimper. Their acquisition of psychology and all else that is ‘mental health’ (an oxymoron) is largely complete as well. ]


  The self-proclaimed visionaries, oblivious to all of this, boast of real
  scientific progress over what they consider to be the dogma of
  psychoanalysis, which had up until recently reigned as psychiatry's
  premier paradigm.

  Now, it is not my intention to defend psychoanalysis, which had its own
  unfortunate excesses, although I do use psychoanalytic principles in the
  kind of psychotherapy I do. However it is quite clear to me that the
  grandiose claims of biologic psychiatry are wildly overstated, unproven and
  essentially self-serving. Biologic psychiatry has had its successes, particularly
  with recent antidepressants like Prozac and newer medications such as
  Medications can effectively improve depression, relieve severe anxiety,
  stabilize serious mood-swings and lessen psychotic symptoms. These
  successes are real in that they improve the quality of life of patients who are
  genuinely suffering. But in reality, i.e., the reality of treating
  patients, medications have profound limitations. I know that if the only tool I
  had in treatment was a prescription pad, I would be a poor psychiatrist.

  The center of treatment will always need to be listening to and speaking
  with the patients coming to me. This means listening seriously to what
  they say about their lives and history as a whole, not symptoms which might
  respond to medications. Although it seems astounding that I would have
  to state this, biologic psychiatrists as a whole really only listen to that portion of the
  patient's discourse that corresponds to their biologic paradigms of mental

[Dr. Baughman: As a neurologist my primary role for each new patient was to determine, by history (subjective) and examination (objective), lab, x-ray, scanning, etc. (objective) whether abnormality—disease, was present or not. About 2/3 or so of patients I saw had no disease but had symptoms that were psychological, that is, emotional and behavioral. Where these were not ingrained and deep-seeded, I would venture brief treatment for them myself. A brief explanation of how, having ruled out physical (organic) disease left the psychological explanation, the only alternative, often went a long way toward relieving the patient’s worries, putting them on a footing to adapt, to ‘pull themselves up by their bootstraps’ and to prevail—getting back to normal. By the early 80’s, psychiatrists had embraced the ‘biological’ model such that all almost every patient I referred to them got was a pill--no talking too, no understanding of where from amongst their life’s travails, their worrisome symptoms might be coming from. At that time I stopped sending patients to them and began referring such patients only to mental health providers without prescription pads. They are much more difficult to avoid nowadays]


  It is the nature of dogma that its practitioners hear only what they want to hear.
   So what are the limitations of biologic psychiatry? First of all,
  medications lessen symptoms, they do not treat mental illness per se. This
  distinction is crucial. Symptoms by definition are the surface presentation
  of a deeper process. This is self-evident. However, there has been a vast and
  largely unacknowledged effort on the part of modern (i.e., biologic)
  psychiatry to equate symptoms with mental illness.
   For example, the "illness" major depression is defined by its set of
  specific symptoms. The underlying "cause" is presumed to be a
  biologic/genetic disturbance, even though this has never been proven in the
  case of depression.

[Dr. Baughman: or in any psychiatric disorder/disease that is known. In not a single one is there a confirmatory, objective finding, abnormality or exam, lab, scan, biopsy, culture, anything—It—biological psychiatry is a total fraud. ]


  The errors in logic here are clear. A set of symptoms is
  given a name such as "major depression," which is then "treated" with a
  medication, despite the fact that the underlying cause of the symptoms
  remains completely unknown and essentially untreated.
   I have seen repeatedly that, for example, once medications lessen the
  symptoms, I am still sitting across from a suffering patient who wants to
  talk about his unhappiness. This process of equating symptoms with illnesses
  has been repeated with every diagnostic category, culminating in perhaps one
  of the greatest sophistries psychiatry has pulled off in its illustrious
  history of sophistries, namely the creation of the Diagnostic and Statistical
  Manual (currently in its fourth incarnation under the name DSM-IV), the bible
  of modern psychiatry.
   In it are listed all known "mental disorders," defined individually by their
  respective symptom lists. Thus mental illnesses are equated with symptoms.
  The surface is all there is.

  The perverse beauty of this scheme is that if you take away the
  patient's symptoms, the disorder is gone. For those who do serious work
  with patients, this manual is useless, because for me it is simply
  irrelevant what name you give to a particular
  set of symptoms. It is an absolute myth created by modern psychiatry
  that these "disorders" actually exist as discrete entities that have a cause
  and treatment. This is essentially a pseudo-scientific enterprise that grew
  out of modern psychiatry's desire to emulate modern medical
  science, despite the very real possibility that psychic pain, because of
  its existential nature, may always elude the capture of modern medical
  discourse and practice.

[Dr. Baughman: Fail to understand that biological psychiatry is an absolute myth and you fail to understand ‘biological psychiatry.’ ]


  Despite its obvious limitations, the DSM-IV has become the basis for
  psychiatric training and research. Its proponents claim that it is a purely a
  phenomenological document stripped of judgments and prejudices about the
  causes of mental illness. What in fact it has done is the defining and
  shaping of a vast industry of research designed to validate the existing
  diagnostic categories and to find ways to lessen symptoms, which has
  basically meant biologic research. Virtually all of the major psychiatric
  journals are now about this, and as such I find them useless to help me deal
  with real patients.

[Dr. Baughman: I have begun to write an analysis of the fraudulence of all ‘biological psychiatry’ research. The duplicity is unimaginable and it is just this that they count on. ]


   Patients are suffering from far more than symptoms. Symptoms are the signs
  and clues to direct us to the real issues. If you take away the symptoms too
  quickly with medications or suggestion, you lose the opportunity to help a
  patient in a more profound way. As an aside, modern psychiatrists, because
  they have forgotten or dismissed the real power of transference, vastly
  underestimate the extent which symptom reduction is caused by mere
  suggestion. Not that patients should be left to suffer needlessly from what
  are often crippling symptoms. Relief of symptoms is a part of treatment.
  Modern psychiatry would have us believe that this is all treatment should be.
  Meaning, desire, loss and death are no longer the province of the
  psychiatrist. In this process patients are reduced to something less than
  fully human, as they become an abstract collection of symptoms without
  meaning to be "managed" by technicians called psychiatrists.
   This is in the service of medical progress and enlightened scientific
  thought. The biologic psychiatrist will not make the mistake of imposing
  their value systems on patients like in the bad old psychoanalytic days. This
  is, of course, a sham. Modern psychiatry now foists on patients the view that
  their deepest and most private ills are now medical problems to be managed by
  physician psychiatrists who will take their symptoms and return them to
  "normal functioning." This is a bit more than malignant.
   One of the dominant discourses that runs through the DSM-IV and modern
  psychiatry in general is the equating of mental health with "normal
  functioning" and adaptation. There is a barely concealed strain of a specific
  form of Utopianism here which blithely announces that our psychic ills are
  primarily biologic and can be removed from our lives without difficulty,
  leaving us better adapted and more productive. What is left completely out, of course, are any
  notions that our psychic ills are a reflection of cultural pathology. In
  fact, this new biologic psychiatry can only exist to the extent it can deny
  not only the truths of psychoanalysis, but also the truths of any serious
  cultural criticism.

[Dr. Baughman: leaving such problems un-addressed, in fact, denying that they exist as they insert biologic defects of the brain’s hard-wiring and of genes (such as the ‘DNA Roulette’ of Harold Koplewicz of NYU, my alma mater), they give patient’s pills and pills-alone leading to an end-result that invariably equates to net damage for every patient’s encounter with psychiatry.]


  It is then no surprise that this psychiatry thrives in
  this country presently,where such denials are rampant and deeply embedded.
   I am constantly amazed by how many patients who come to see me believe or
  want to believe that their difficulties are biologic and can be relieved by a
  pill. This is despite the fact that modern psychiatry has yet to convincingly
  prove the genetic/biologic cause of any single mental illness. However, this
  does not stop psychiatry from making essentially unproven claims that
  depression, bipolar illness, anxiety disorders, alcoholism and a host of
  other disorders are in fact primarily biologic and probably genetic in
  origin, and that it is only a matter of time until all of this is proven.
  This kind of faith in science and progress is staggering, not to mention
  naïve and perhaps delusional..
   As in any dogma there is no perspective within biologic psychiatry that can
  effectively question its own motives, basic beliefs and potential blind
  spots. And thus, as in any dogma, there is no way for the field to curb its
  own excesses, or to see how it might be acting out certain specific cultural
  fantasies and wishes. The rise and fall of biologic determinism in a culture
  likely has complicated and interesting causes, which are beyond the scope of
  this paper. A few comments will have to suffice.
   This is a culture increasingly obsessed with medical science and medical
  health as a sign of virtue. It is not surprising that our psychic ills would
  be pulled into this dominant medical discourse, essentially medicalizing our
  specific forms of psychic pain. It seems to me that modern psychiatry in step
  with a culture which created it, assumes any suffering to be unequivocally
  bad, an impediment to the "good life" of progress, productivity and progress.
  It is now almost heresy in psychiatry to say that perhaps suffering can teach
  us something, deepen our experience, or point us to different possibilities.
   Now if you are depressed or anxious, it has no real meaning, because as a
  biologic illness similar to, say, diabetes, it is separate from the world of
  meaning and merely is. Now any thoughtful person knows that something as
  fundamental as depression has meanings such as loss, facing mortality,
  unlived desires. lack of power or control, etc., and that these meanings will
  continue to exist even if Prozac makes us feel better. There is much more to
  life than feeling better or living without pain, and only a superficial and
  pathologic culture would deny this. Yet conclusions such as "depression is a
  chemical imbalance" are created out of nothing more than semantics and the
  wishful thinking of scientist/psychiatrists and a public who will believe
  anything now that has the stamp of approval of medical science. It seems to
  me that modern psychiatry is acting out a cultural fantasy having to do with
  the wish for an omniscient authority who armed with modern science, will
  magically take away the suffering and pain inherent in existing as human
  beings, and that rather than refusing this projection (which psychoanalysts
  were better able to do), modern psychiatry has embraced the role
  wholeheartedly, reveling in its new-found power and cultural legitimacy.
   I would be remiss if I left out the obvious economic factors in psychiatry's
  movement toward the biologic. Pharmaceutical corporations now contribute
  heavily to psychiatric research and are increasingly present and a part of
  psychiatric academic conferences. There has been little resistance in the
  field to this, with the exception of occasional token protest, despite its
  obvious corrosive and corrupting effects.
   It is as if psychiatry, long marginalized by science and the rest of
  medicine because of its "soft" quality, is now rejoicing in its new-found
  legitimacy, and thus does not have the will to resist its own degradation.
  The fact that the drug companies embrace and fund this New Psychiatry is
  cause enough for alarm. Equally telling is a similar embrace by the managed
  care industry, which obviously likes its quick-fix approach and simplistic
  approach to complicated clinical problems.
   When I talk to a managed care representative about the care of one of my
  patients, they invariably want to know what medications I am using and little
  else, and there is often an implication that I am not medicating aggressively
  enough. There is now a growing cottage industry within psychiatry in
  advocating ways to work with managed care, despite the obvious fact that
  managed care has little interest in quality care and realistic treatment
  approaches to real patients. This financial pressure by managed care
  contributes added pressure for psychiatry to go down a biologic road and to
  avoid more realistic treatment approaches.
   What this means in real terms is that psychotherapy is left out. There has
  been a triple partnership created between this New Psychiatry, drug companies
  and managed care, each part supporting and reinforcing the other in the
  pursuit of profits and legitimacy. What this means to the patients caught in
  this squeeze is that they are increasingly overmedicated, denied access to
  psychotherapy and diagnosed with fictitious disorders, leaving them probably
  worse off in the long run.

[Dr. Baughman: I do not think managed care’s dalliance with the pill model of psychiatry will last or that it is so different in managed care than in what remains of fee-for-service mental health. Given nothing but a pill, patients are not better off for long, nor do they have an illusion of being better off for long (as long as it takes for placebo effect to wear off) . Come the time that the vast majority come back to managed care’s door, not better off but worse, managed care will take note and will adjust and will find what it takes to get people symptom free and staying that way, not forever at their door]


   It is quite depressing to listen to the discourse
  of modern psychiatry. In fact, it has become embarrassing to me. One gets the
  strong impression that patients have become abstractions, black boxes of
  biologic symptoms, disconnected from the narratives of their current
  and past lives. This pseudoscientific discourse is shot through with
  insecurity and pretense, creating the illusion of objectivity, an inevitable
  march of progress beyond the hopeless subjectivity of psychoanalysis.
  Psychotherapy is dismissed and relegated to non-medical therapists.
   I actually have no objections to real science in
  the field, if, for example,it can help me make better medication decisions or
  develop newer and better medications. But in general, biologic psychiatry has
  not delivered on its grandiose and utopian claims, as today's collection
  of medications are woefully inadequate to address the complicated
  clinical issues that come before me every day. This is all not terribly
  surprising, given what I have outlined in this piece. There will be no substitute
  for the difficult work of engaging with patients at the level of their lived
  experience, of helping patients piece together meaning and understanding in
  the place of their pain,fragmentation and confusion.
   Patients these days are not suffering from "biologic illnesses." What I
  generally see is patients suffering from current or past violence, traumatic
  loss, loss of power or control over their lives and the effects of cultural
  fragmentation, isolation and impoverishment that are specific to this culture
  at this time. How this manifests in any individual is absolutely specific;
  therefore, one should resist any attempt to generalize or classify, as
  science forces us to do. Once you go down the route of generalization, you
  have ceased listening to the patient and the richness of their lived
   Unfortunately what I also see these days are the casualties off this new
  biologic psychiatry, as patients often come to me with many years of past
  treatment. Patients having been diagnosed with "chemical imbalances" despite
  the fact that no test exists to support such a claim, and that there is no
  real conception of what a correct chemical balance would look like. Patients
  with years of medication trials which have done nothing except to reify in
  them an identity as a chronic patient with a bad brain. This identification
  as a biologically impaired patient is one of the most destructive effects of
  biologic psychiatry.
   Modern psychiatrists seem unaware of what psychoanalysts know well, namely
  how powerful are the words that a patient hears from an authority figure like
  a psychiatrist. The opportunity here for suggestion, coercion and
  manipulation are quite real. Patients are often looking to psychiatrists for
  answers and definitions as they struggle with questions such as who am I, or
  what is happening to me. Of course we all struggle with these questions, and
  the human condition is such that there are no definitive answers, and anyone
  who comes along claiming they have answers is essentially a fraud.
   Biologic psychiatry promises easy answers to a public hungry for them. To
  give a patient nothing but a diagnosis and a pill demonstrates arrogance,
  laziness and bad faith on the part of the psychiatrist. Any psychiatrist
  needs to be continually aware of the very real possibility that they are or
  can easily become agents of social control and coercion.

[Dr. Baughman: they are becoming this at a very rapid rate and they revel in the power and in their allegiance both with political might and monetary—corporate might ]


   The way to resist this is to refuse to take on the role assigned through
  cultural fantasy, namely the role of omniscient dispenser of magical potions.
  As a whole, modern biologic psychiatry has enacted this role with particular
  vigor and enthusiasm.  At the level of individual patients this means a growing
  number of over-diagnosed, over-medicated and disarticulated people less able
  to define and control their own identities and lives.

[Dr. Baughman: As a medical-therapeutic pretense the net outcome is invariably negative. In sum, this is a monstrous crime]


  At the level of our culture this has meant an impoverishment of
  the discourse around such questions as what is wrong with us, as "scientific"
  answers replace more potentially fruitful and truthful psychological and
  cultural questioning. If psychiatry is to regain any semblance of legitimacy
  and integrity, it must strip itself of false and hubristic scientific
  claims and humbly submit itself to the urgent task of listening to individual
  patients with patience and intelligence. Only then can we have any real
  sense of what to say back to them.
   The sole philosophic basis for this New Psychiatry is the championing of
  empiricism above all other measures of truth. Something is valid only if it
  can be demonstrated through the experimental method, otherwise it is
  disregarded or relegated to "subjective" experience, which is presumed to be
  inferior. This dominance of empiricism is not limited to psychiatry, and one
  can easily trace the invasion of the "hard" sciences into the "soft' or
  social studies.
   On a larger cultural level this can be detected in the public's infatuation
  with "studies," statistics and so on. This hegemony of empiricism over other
  ways of thinking and knowing represents an unprecedented modern achievement
  that has thoroughly infiltrated the cultural psyche, to the point now where the
  average person believes easily the claims of the biologic psychiatrist.
   Now, as is clear from my views already expressed, a social science dominated
  by empiricism is a vulgar science, and there is a vast tradition in
  philosophy from Plato to Nietzsche, which in my view irrefutably demonstrates
  this. However, this is well beyond the scope of this piece. Suffice it to say
  that modern psychiatrists, like all "scientists"  these days, have not time
  for the basic philosophic questions that have engaged the most brilliant
  minds of the past. Who needs questions about virtue when there is important
  data to collect? These biologic psychiatrists never think to ask themselves
  whether their own precious methods are perhaps standing on very shaky ground,
  e.g., their own disavowed prejudices about what constitutes the good life.
   Empiricism is one way of knowing, but certainly not the only or best way.
  Biologic psychiatrists often use the standards of empiricism to answer their
  critics, in effect saying that their claims are scientifically "proven" and
  thus unassailable, clearly a tautological argument. I would further add that
  that in my view many of the claims of biologic psychiatry do not even hold up
  to their own standards of empiric science, for example their claims about the
  biological and genetic bases of many mental illnesses.
   In my view, the methods of experimental science are inappropriate and
  misplaced when it comes to understanding the complexity of the human psyche,
  as they can only objectify the mind and remove subjectivity from the heart of
  human experience, thus creating an abstract entity in place of a human mind.
  It is no wonder that psychiatry declared the 1990s the decade of the brain
  instead of the decade of the mind. In their pursuit of the human brain, they
  have quite literally lost their minds.
   One way to unmask the dogma that is biologic psychiatry is to ask the
  question what kind of human being is being posited as desirable, "normal," or
  not disordered. Judging by the DSM-IV, it would be a person not depressed or
  anxious, without perversions or sexual "dysfunction," in touch with
  "reality," not alienated from society, adapted to their work, not prone to
  excessive feeling states and generally productive in their life pursuits.
  This is, of course, the bourgeois ideal of modern culture. We will all fit
  in, produce and consume and be happy about it. Anyone who dissents by choice
  or nature slips into the realm of the disordered or pathologic, is then
  located as such by medical science and is then subject to social management
  and control.
   Now psychiatry has always provided this social function, as admirably shown
  by Foucalt and others. I would submit, however, that modern psychiatry, under
  the guise of medical and "scientific" authority and legitimacy, has surpassed
  all past attempts by psychiatry to identify and control dissent and
  individual difference. It has done this by infiltrating the cultural psyche,
  a psyche already vulnerable to any kind of medical discourse, to the point
  where it is a generally accepted cultural notion now that, say, depression is
  an illness caused by a chemical imbalance.
   Now when a person becomes depressed, for example, they are less able to read
  it or interpret it as a sign that there may be a problem in their life that
  needs to be looked at or addressed. They are less able to fashion their own
  personal or cultural critique which could potentially lead them to more
  fruitful directions. Instead they identify themselves as ill and submit to
  the correction of a psychiatrist, who promises to take away the depression so
  they can get back to their lives as they are. In short, the very meanings of
  unhappiness are being redefined as illness.
   In my view this is a dismaying cultural catastrophe. I do not mean to
  suggest that psychiatry is solely to blame for this, given how wide a
  cultural shift this is. However, I do think that psychiatry has not only not
  resisted its role here, but actually has fulfilled it with considerable
   Thus, in my view the whole phenomenon of biologic psychiatry is itself a
  symptom or acting out of a larger, underlying cultural process. Unhappiness
  and suffering are not seen as resulting from real cultural conditions; for
  example, the collapse of traditional institutions and the ever-increasing
  hegemony of rampant consumerism in American culture.
   Nor is suffering seen in the context of what it means to exist as a human
  being in any historical period. Historical and existential discourse about
  unhappiness is increasingly supplanted by medical discourse, and biologic
  psychiatry has served as one of the major mouthpieces for this kind of
  pseudoscientific and frankly pathetic medical discourse about what ails us.

  I am increasingly astonished about how unable the average patient is now to
  articulate reasons for their unhappiness, and how readily they will accept a
  "medical" diagnosis and solution if given one by a narrow-minded
  psychiatrist. This is a cultural pathologic dependence on medical authority.
  Granted, there are patients who do fight this kind of definition and continue
  to search for better explanations for themselves which are less
  infantalizing, but in my experience this is not common. There is a
  frightening choking off of the possibility for dissent and creative
  questioning here, a silencing of very basic questions such as "what is this
  pain?" or "what is my purpose?"
   Modern psychiatry has unconscionably participated in this pathology for its
  own gain and power. It is a moral, not scientific issue at stake here, and in
  my view this is why many astute Americans rightfully distrust this New
  Psychiatry and its utopian claims about happiness through medical progress.
   So what kind of psychiatry am I advocating here? First of all, I think it is
  unclear whether the field can extricate itself from its current infatuation
  with technology and its own power to use it. When one reads psychiatric
  journals now, one senses a dangerous giddiness about the field's
  "discoveries" and "progress," which in my view are wildly and irresponsibly
  overstated. All the momentum, which is mainly economically driven, is pushing
  psychiatry towards further biologism.
   What I am advocating is a psychiatry which devotes itself humbly to the task
  of listening to patients in a way that other medical practitioners cannot.

[Dr. Baughman: …and the way psychiatry still did in the 60’s and 70’s. I shared an office at this time, in Grand Rapids, Michigan with a humane, caring psychiatrist. He made no pretense that he diagnosed and treated ‘brain diseases’ as is the claim, uniformly, today.]


  This means paying close attention to a patient's current and past narrative
  without attempting to control, manipulate or define it. From this position a
  psychiatrist can then assist the patient in raising relevant questions about
  their lives and pain.
   The temptation to provide answers or false solutions should be absolutely
  avoided here. Medications are used judiciously for lowering painful symptoms,
  with considerable attention paid to the psychological effects of medication
  treatment. Diagnosis should play a secondary and small role here, given that
  little is known about what these diagnoses actually mean.

  Above all, coercion, normalization and control need to be
  assiduously guarded against, as these are natural temptations that arise
  out of the dynamics of power that exist between psychiatrist and patient.

[Dr. Baughman: all on the mental health team--teachers, all school personnel, counselors, social workers, psychologists, local police, pediatricians, general and family practitioners, neurologists, child neurologists, adult and child/adolescent psychiatrists, have succumbed to the power trip of ‘brain diagnosis’ and of not only pontificating about the brain of another, but taking charge of it, the child, the family, by calling in the police and courts to enforce their mutual diagnoses and their prescriptions—and no just their IEPs—their Individualized Educational Prescription, nothing but another empty pretense to being medical practitioners.]


   A more humane psychiatry, if it is even possible in today's cultural
  climate, must recognize the powerful potential of the uses and abuses of
  power if it is not to become a tool of social control and normalization. As I
  have outlined in this piece, these abuses of power are by no means always
  obvious and self-evident, and their recognition requires rigorous thought and
  self-examination. The psychiatrist plays a particular role in cultural and
  individual fantasies, and an intelligent psychiatrist must be aware of the
  complexity of these fantasies if he is to act in a position outside these
  projections and fantasies. This requires real moral awareness on the part of
  a psychiatrist who wishes to act intelligently.
   What I am advocating for in outline form as stated previously are the
  minimal requirements necessary for the field of psychiatry to reverse its
  current degradation. What is essential at this time is for psychiatrists and
  other clinicians to speak out against the ideology known as biologic

[Dr. Baughman: US biological psychiatry has positioned itself , regarding monetary and political power, exactly where the ‘biological psychiatry’ of Nazi Germany had positioned itself prior to and in the early, pre-holocaust months of WWII. Biological psychiatry today, with all of the involuntary control it seeks in forcing it’s treatments upon us, is the biggest threat to the American, democratic way of life to appear in our midst since the creation of the Union. Psychiatrists, even ‘biological’ psychiatrists all went to medical school and all know the difference between having disease (abnormal) and not having disease (normal). They all know in making their disease, chemical imbalance pronouncements that they have adduced a diagnostic abnormality, that they have not proven the presence of disease. For them to say so to the patient or parents of a child, nonetheless is a knowing violation of the right to informed consent and is tantamount to medical malpractice.]