Putting Humanity and the Humanities Back Into Medicine

The relationship between medical art and science is changing rapidly, with the science now overwhelming the art. Doctors more and more function like technicians, not healers. A knowledge of the humanities is crucial if doctors are to treat patients, not lab tests.

The Magical Healing Power of Caring & Hope in Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy works at least as well as drugs for most mild to moderate problems and should be used first. A good relationship is much more important in promoting good outcome than the specific psychotherapy techniques that are used.

Privatization Has Been A Colossal Flop

Privatization is no more than a cover story for tax evasion by those who don't need public services and would greedily deny them to those who do.

The Latest Hypocrisy In SVP Expert Testimony

Rape is a always heinous, ugly, violent, and cruel. But the violence and cruelty that are part of all rapes should not be confused with the motivated violence and cruelty of Sexual Sadism that requires victim pain to generate excitement. Rape is a crime, not a mental disorder. Sexual Sadism is both.

How About Informed Consent for All Medication?

Why not require doctors to get written informed consent from their patients for all use of medication. This would make for much better informed consumers and reduce careless over prescription of medication.

Pro/Con: British Psychological Society Report On 'Psychosis'

What does it mean to hear voices or have strange beliefs? The British Psychological Society has just published a new report offering a radically new approach to answering this question. I debate the pros and cons of the report with its lead author.

Diagnosing and Curing Our Sick Health System

Many tens of billions of dollars are spent every year by the medical/industrial complex to perpetuate bad and expensive medicine. Our politicians are already bought and paid for. The smart money is on this Goliath. Only an outraged public and informed patients can contain harmful over diagnosis, over testing, and over treatment.

Is Expert Testimony In Court Cases Really Expert?

Expert testimony in many trials is pretty worthless. Each side presents an extreme set of opinions that in opposite ways distort the complex reality. The jury cancels them out or makes a pretty blind choice between them.

Putting the Mind and Soul Back Into Psychiatry

Twenty-five hundred years ago Hippocrates said, "It's more important to know the patient who has the disease than the disease the patient has." We need to treat the whole person and avoid both a mindless and a brainless psychiatry.

Why Are Medical Mistakes Our Third Leading Cause of Death?

Medical error is now the third leading cause of death in the U.S.- 440,000 deaths a year caused by hospital mistakes and who knows how many more in outpatients. The cause is reckless over-testing and over-treatment in a chaotically disorganized medical nonsystem with perverse profit incentives

Psychiatry and Recovery: Complementary or Competitive?

There is wide agreement that mental healthcare is a mess and that we should all be ashamed that 600,000 of the severely ill are in prison or homeless on the streets. Psychiatry and recovery should be emphasizing their common ground, not their much less important differences.

We Should All Be Ashamed

For those suffering from severe mental illness, this is the worst of times. Because of inadequate treatment and housing, the mentally ill are extremely vulnerable to arrest for avoidable nuisance crimes- it is as simple as stealing some food from a store, sleeping on a bench in a public park, or shouting back at voices in the middle of the night.

Are Homegrown Terrorists "Lone Wolves" or "Stray Dogs"?

Are homegrown terrorists political/religious "lone wolf" extremists or mentally ill "stray dogs"? Jumping to a mental disorder diagnosis misses the context and may reduce the effectiveness of our response.

Recovery From 'Schizophrenia'

Schizophrenia comes in many forms and there is no one-size- fits-all way of recovering from it. Here is one man's inspiring journey from patient to therapist.

Are Religious And Political Extremists Crazy?

It is a mistake to assume that political and religious extremists who commit violent acts must be motivated by mental disorder.

Finding Middle Ground Between Psychiatry and Anti-Psychiatry

We can't afford the fight between die hard defenders of psychiatry and its most fanatic critics. Reasonable people on both sides must find common advocacy ground to save the hundreds of thousands of severely ill who are homeless or inappropriately in prison and to make sure that medication is used only when needed.

Perverse US Drug Policies Promote Drug Addiction and Deaths

How can politicians face their consciences and constituents when drug companies cause more deaths than drug cartels?

How Parents Can Protect Their Kids From too Many Pills

Nelson Mandela said: “There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children.” We should be treating our kids with fewer drug-company-pushed pills and with more love, understanding, and exercise.

How Not To Talk To Someone Dying Of Cancer

We over-train our doctors on the overvalued technical aspects of medicine and undertrain them in the undervalued relational skills that have always been at the heart of healing.

Treating the Ailing Doctor-Patient Relationship

Modern medicine places too much focus on lab results, too little on the person; and too much reliance on hyped medical magic, too little on Hippocratic human caring. Patients want and aren't getting more than just pills from their doctors. As Hippocrates put it 2500 years ago: "It is just as important to know the patient who has the disease as the disease the patient has."

The Hall Of Shame- Who Is Failing The Severely Ill?

The institutions that should be defending people with severe mental illness are failing them and instead are focusing on the mildly ill and worried well. This neglect leads to inadequate treatment and housing and unnecessary imprisonment and homelessness.

Treatment Before Tragedy: A Mother's Plea

This is a mother's passionate plea that puts a face on the plight of the severely mentally ill. Deprived of adequate treatment and decent housing, they are housed in jails or left homeless on the street.

Is This the Worst Time Ever to Have a Severe Mental Illness?

It is probably worse having a severe mental illness now in the United States than it has been in most times and most places. We have proven tools to help the severely ill, but neglect them because of stigma and short-sighted funding misallocations. Hundreds of thousands are in prisons and additional hundreds of thousands are homeless on the streets.

Stigmatizing and Shunning the Severely Ill

This is the worst of times for people with severe mental illness–many hundreds of thousands rare locked away in prison or languishing homeless on the streets. We are shunning them because of stigma and a misplaced preoccupation with the promise of future neuroscience research.

Will $650 Million Solve the Mystery of Mental Illness?

The huge $650 million donation to determine the genetics of mental illness will probably not much speed up the laborious process of teasing out the ridiculously complicated relationships. Meanwhile we are shamefully underfunding care for current patients.

The US Can't Afford to Continue the Death Penalty

Death penalty cases are extravagantly expensive and drain funding from programs that might actually reduce crime.

Mass Hysteria Leads to a Terrible Injustice

An innocent man has been imprisoned for 27 years for a crime that never happened. He was a daycare bus driver accused of incredible sex crimes by 3 to 5-year-old children who had been cajoled and bullied by police, therapists, parents, and prosecutors. It's long past time for this grave injustice to be righted.

The Mind Of The Mass Murderer

We can figure out the typical demographics and psychological profile of mass murderers, but this won't be enough to predict and prevent the crimes. Instead, we need a sensible gun control policy that balances the protection of individual civil rights with the protection of public safety.

Pharma Claims Constitutional Right To Push Dangerous Drugs

California is suing five drug companies for their illegal off-label marketing of narcotic drugs that cause more deaths than illegal street drugs. Simultaneously, drug companies are making the outrageous claim that the constitutional right to free speech should allow them to push untested and often dangerous off-label uses of medicines.

10,000 2-3 Year Old Toddlers Are on Stimulant Drugs for ADHD

How crazy is it to drug babies? About 10,000 2-year-old and 3-year-old toddlers are being inappropriately subjected to stimulant drugs for carelessly diagnosed ADHD. Who knows how much damage will be done to them?

Pages