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Joy and Dismay over Shrinking Psychiatry

by Stephen Cook United Kingdom: psychiatrists' Royal College admits alarm over shrinking numbers of young doctors wishing to associate with unpopular profession.

The "Joy" mentioned in the title refers to all those who have fought so hard over the years to end psychiatric human rights abuses and expose the great psychiatric con that has laid waste to the mental health of nations. Morale is understandably high in the human rights camp as the feeling strengthens that the battle to defend the public from psychiatry is being won. But there is dismay too in psychiatric ranks at growing signs that people are turning away from it in search of safer and more genuine solutions to the problems of living. The Royal College blames what it calls doctors' negative attitudes' to the subject in highlighting a shortage of people willing to risk entry into what has always been a fraught and controversial profession dogged by a dismal reputation and public dislike. Exactly what is meant by a "negative attitude" is unclear and one wonders if this comment means psychiatry is paving the way for the invention of yet another of its infamous bogus mental illnesses. If so, let me suggest a name for it. How about "Human-Abuse Abhorrence Disorder (HAAD)" or "Hippocratic Oath Loyalty Disorder (HOLD)" or Junk Science Rejection Disorder (JSRD) or even "Prefer To Help People Not Kill Them Disorder (PTHPNKTD)" Sarcasm aside) the more likely reason for many trainee doctors being unwilling to touch psychiatry with a barge pole is that doctors by nature are healers. They like to make people well and a close look at psychiatry reveals that that is not what psychiatry does. Whatever it is that psychiatry is doing, making people well is not part of it. One could in fact be forgiven for concluding after watching psychiatry at work for a while that regardless of what it SAYS it is doing, it is in actual fact fulfilling two vital roles. One is to boost profits for the drugs manufacturers by convincing people that mind altering drugs are needed to combat various pandemics of made-up mental

illnesses. The other is to make the population docile. The Royal College meanwhile fears that the decline in medical graduates moving into psychiatry is threatening the UK's academic standing in the discipline. "The single most important threat facing psychiatry and the care of people with mental illness in this country is the inability to attract our own medical graduates into psychiatry," said Rob Howard, dean of the college. "Academically it's a complete disaster because the very best people won't think of coming into psychiatry, and scholarship won't move on in this country............we'll lose our academic edge and our place as a world leader," he added. Many people on the other hand are of the opinion that there was no glory to be had for the UK in being a world-leader in a German pseudo-science with blood on its hands. Evidently the proportion of UK nationals among the graduates sitting the college's membership examinations has declined t less than 10 per cent, which speaks volumes in favour of the innate integrity of native-born young doctors. It is my understanding however that this trend is also reflected in the United States where persuading native born doctors to join a profession held in low esteem by the public and medicos alike has also become a problem. 'Not Real Doctors,' Say Doctors Professor Howard said: "Lots of other doctors don't think we're real doctors'. They will tell young doctors: You don't want to do that, you're a real doctor,'... There's a stigma at every stage. Even when they've finished their two foundation years, they tell their bosses they're thinking of being a psychiatrist and they come under lots of pressure." [Continued on next page . . .]

[.... continued] This should really come as no surprise as psychiatry has long been unpopular with the rest of the medical profession and the reasons for it are not difficult to fathom. No doctor who fails to cure almost all his patients and indeed makes the majority worse after treatment than they were before treatment started is going to be respected by professionals who do their jobs well. Professor Howard admitted. "It's never been particularly popular so the baseline we've dropped from isn't particularly high." UK psychiatry, like psychiatry in the US, is now becoming reliant on foreign doctors and academics. Concern about the fall in applications is so great that the college has called on highprofile figures to urge medical students to specialize in psychiatry. It is not yet clear how many high profile figures are going to want to be associated with a profession of such poor reputation and such low standing in the eyes of doctors and of the public. Professor Howard said that improved teaching in university medical schools might help. "I don't think psychiatry has been taught in a very inspiring way. We're thinking about how to make the curriculum more sexy and exciting," he said. It may however take more than PR gloss or "sexy" teaching methods to rescue psychiatry from its demise. Its problem is that is a hodgepodge of guesswork and never-proven theories that relies, in lieu of actually making anyone well, upon drugging people and is based on bogus science, entering "mental illnesses" into its "diagnostic manual" by democratic vote at conferences rather than scientific test. Its problem is that it does not know what makes Man tick and has shown time and again that it cannot predict human behaviour. It is as much a failed and outmoded endeavour as the use of leeches or the exorcism of demons and these underlying problems, psychiatry's lack of foundations, will have to be addressed if anyone is to prevent it sinking into the sand. The growing tendency of young doctors to shun psychiatry and stick with medicine is however appropriate because modern medical knowledge renders psychiatry as obsolete as the leechadministering physicians of yesteryear.

All the purported mental illnesses psychiatry has been so wont to attack with brain butchery, chemical or surgical, have been found to be but symptoms of underlying, undetected and untreated physical ailments. Cure the underlying physical illness, allergy, food intolerance, nutritional deficiency and so forth and the patient will experience a resurgence. An early symptom of Lyme Disease is, by way of example, is depression and Lyme Disease is easily curable with regular medicine. The Royal College of Psychiatrists is also encouraging student associates to join the professional body, and is hosting summer schools for undergraduates interested in moving into psychiatry. However, Professor Howard said, "The recruitment crisis is everybody's problem and everybody's business." Psychiatry's demise is in fact psychiatry's problem and is no more a problem for the rest of society than a shortage of foxes is for the hen house.

About Stephen Cook I am a professional writer, author and copywriter. I have several published books and a newspaper column and have published several hundred articles under various pseudonyms. As well as a writer I have run businesses (okay, I admit it: not very well), worked in human rights and social reform and, currently, in drug rehabilitation (I am a withdrawal specialist and detox specialist). Back in the seventies I was, for a while, a hippy and I have also been in the British Territorial Army (Parachute Regiment) as well as been threatened with murder by London gangsters. I have been happily married for almost thirty years and have three children and three grand children. Professional Services