Tuesday, 13 April 2010

How to make a shrink shit his pants

Visiting David M. Allan, M.D.'s blog, your first impression might be a rather positive one. He seems to have got at least something. And yes, he has got something. But, alas!, when it comes to so-called "schizophrenia" the guy hasn't got a clue. No more than any other of the drug-pushers in the business. Watch this - the comments. Watch him get increasingly insecure, defensive, and eventually almost hostile *), although I'm really gentle with him, if I may say so myself.

Isn't it just mind-boggling? I mean, wouldn't you expect someone who has dedicated his professional life to helping people to be curious about different perspectives and opinions, instead of being this dismissive of them, and unwilling to give them a thought? Where's the problem, Dr Allen? Oh. I see, two main problems: 1. If I'm right, it means there would basically be no need for you as a shrink anymore. There would be no need for any shrink anymore. You would have to find yourself another job, maybe even give up on the "M.D." as other medical specialities have certain standards... And if you want to stay in the business, you'd have to start from scratch, as all you've been taught so far is how to help society - get rid of people in emotional distress, as discrete, fast and efficient as possible. You haven't been taught how to help people in emotional crises themselves. 2. If I'm right, and you want to stay in the business, you'd have to do something radical about your fear of yourself, your own "issues", or dysfunctionality... Ugh, yeah, that's tough! Especially the latter is a really nasty one. For any narcissist.
_______________

*) Any resemblance with adjectives you might catch Dr Allen scribble down in his "patients'" charts is intentional. :D
_______________

Oh and, note that in his last comment Dr Allen writes "True psychosis is never a normal variant of anything." This statement doesn't really make much sense, unless you take Dr Allan's at this point presumably rather "disturbed" state of mind ("disturbed" as in "psychosis", yup) into consideration. What he seems to try to say is that true "psychosis", that is being truly disturbed (by/about something)..., has got nothing to do with being human. So, when someone is "psychotic" (disturbed, by/about something, my or Dr Allan's statements for instance...) s/he is not really human. Aha. So much for seeing the person, and not the diagnosis. Thank you for clarifying this for us, Dr Allan!

21 comments:

Mark p.s.2 said...

You chose to write behaviour can make the brain pathways over time. If a person is locked in a cage with nothing to look at , or play with, with their hands, their brain will adjust to the new environment. The environment makes the behaviour.
If mankind is an evolved ape-monkey, the ape-monkey needs things to play with, objects more than 20 feet away, and other people/apes-monkey to interact with who are "sane".
Otherwise the ape-monkey is doomed.

Anyways I came here to write the psychiatric chemicals also change the brain chemically (Robert Whitaker) over time, not just the thinking/environment of the caged ape-monkey.

Marian said...

Mark: The thinking/behavior that changes the brain (neuronal pathways) of course always is a reaction to the environment. That's why I call "sz" "a kind of PTSD". And yes, we have proof of psych drugs to change the brain, and also to cause brain atrophy.

I chose to not simply confront the guy with my own opinions, convictions, and the whole scientific literature in support of them, as I knew it would immediately scare him off, but to present them as possibilities, and ask for his take on it. I could have contradicted him directly, but I wanted to give him a chance to make his case. That he wasn't able to do so didn't surprize me the least, as I know there's no scientific evidence to support his opinion. But I wanted to hear it from the horse's mouth. And he admitted it, resorting to the same "argument" again and again : "Sz is a biological brain disease because I want it to be a biological brain disease."

Susan said...

Gosh I like what you're doing here.... Still new to your blog. Hope you'll drop by and stay in touch too. Susan

David M. Allen M.D. said...

Marian -

A good percentage of (but of course not all) people with severe schizophrenia that have never been treated with drugs have considerable brain atrophy.

As to psych meds changing the brain - I should hope so. Otherwise they would be placebos.

The study of neural networks is in its infancy. According to the line of thinking followed by some anti-psychiatry folks, multiple sclerosis couldn't have been a disease before the microscope was invented because there is no obvious gross brain pathology.

And no, thoughtful critics do not make me shit in my pants, but I don't have a lot of use knee-jerk true believers.

Marian said...

Dr. Allen, the studies that show brain atrophy in allegedly neuroleptic-naïve people weren't really conducted on neuroleptic-naïve people. Cf. Robert Whitaker, Anatomy of an Epidemic.

MS progressively deteriorates neurologic functioning. Always. And nobody has yet overcome MS by talking about their traumas -- and being listened to, respectfully! --, or spending time at a Soteria House. Although the mind is a powerful healer, and psychological factors are proven to contribute significantly to the outcome of real illnesses, these aren't magically cured by mind-power alone. "Schizophrenia" is. Unless the person is deprived of her mind-power by mind-altering, consciousness-reducing substances like neuroleptics.

David M. Allen M.D. said...

Marian,

The vast majority of patients I have treated with chronic schizophrenia over 30 years do NOT report having come from traumatic backgrounds. Since my main interest is family dysfunction, I can guarantee you I go to great pains to investigate this.

Have you ever spent time working in a state hospital with people with chronic schizophrenia? I'm old enought to remember when we used to be able to keep them in the hospital for months with full time observation.

Unlike patients diagnosed with "ADHD" or "Bipolar II" these patients were pretty consistent in their behavior without (and sometimes with) medication and with the way people with this diagnosis have been described for hundreds of years.

A lot of normal people are easily bored and can't sit still, are emotionally touchy and very moody, have temper tantrums, etc. Some of them believe some pretty far out religious dogmas, but so does their social group.

However, the vast majority of people never hallucinate or believe that Martians are following them with ray guns to the point where they run naked on the freeway to get away from them (at least without the benefit of LSD. Bad trips also respond to anti-psychotic meds, by the way).

I am not exaggerating, I assure you.

If you think these are normal psychological phenomena in people, fine. I don't.

Marian said...

Dr. Allen, whether someone is seen (and sees themselves!) as having been traumatized not least depends on how "trauma" is defined by the culture they're living in. It is obvious that a culture which is founded on violence (exploitation, oppression, alienation) needs to deny the fact that reactions to its violence indeed are reactions to violence whenever possible, and define them as "mental illness", an individual defect, so as not to undermine its foundation, and thereby itself.

Have you ever tried to listen to just one single of the objects of your observation without the thought "patient, mental illness, schizophrenia" repeating itself in the back -- if not in the front -- of your mind? Some of your colleagues have. R.D. Laing, for instance. Loren Mosher, Marius Romme, and Dirk Corstens are a few others. And, have you ever heard of the phrase "déformation professionelle"?

I don't know if 2/3 can be called a vast majority. Another thing is that I haven't met anyone yet who hasn't at one point or another in their lives had an auditory or visual experience that turned out to not have an explanation in physical reality, which means that turned out to have been a "hallucination". Just as I haven't met anyone yet who didn't at one point or another in their lives suspect something that turned out not to be true in exact the way they'd suspected, which means that turned out to be a "delusion". Also, I haven't met anyone yet who didn't dream. So, the "vast majority" is more like no one.

Clinical psychiatric language pathologizes natural human experiences in order to create a safe distance to the extreme reactions that reflect but all too clearly the violence they're a reaction to. It is a tremendously useful tool for repression, respectively denial, for everyone incapable of facing and dealing with their own inner violence. As well as it is a uniquely efficient tool to act out the repressed, respectively denied violence.

Duane Sherry said...

Dr. David Allen,

What arrogance.

On the subject of psych drugs changing the brain - you "hope so?"

These aren't small "changes" doc - these are the kind that shut down the higher functioning of the brain.

Check out what Peter Breggin, M.D. has to say about "changes" made to the brain -

http://www.breggin.com

Then, your comment about the study of neuropathyways being in its "infancy."

Well, that's the real problem - front-and-center, isn't it doc? You and your colleagues "treat" as if you were experts in neuropathways, and you are not!

In its "infancy?"... Psychiatry doesn't know squat about the human brain... Not squat!

Bloodletting....

That's how the practice of psychiatry today will be seen years from now... Like the bloodletters of old... You and your colleagues will go down on tbe wrong side of history.

How arrogant of you to ramble on with your comments.

You're not a real doctor... You're a psychiatrist!

Duane Sherry, M.S.

P.S. - No doc, I'm not a "scientologist"... Just a person, like many others who takes time to read, and study, and who has had enough of the injury from your form of "medicine," from your "profession."

Do no harm, doc.... Do no harm!

Duane Sherry said...

Dr. Allen,

Dr. Joseph Mercola says psychiatry is like "killing a mosquito with a cannonball."

Kinda says it all for me.

There are those who say they were helped by psychiatry.... small amts of medicine, small periods of time, etc... They have their "reality"... their opinions based upon their own life events...

But the long-term use of large amts of drugs, long periods of time, and/or in cocktail form... This type of use with children, elderly, as the first-course of treatment, and/or only course of treatment for millions of people... millions!

When all roads point to the fact that the antidepressants are clinically no better than placebo....

When it comes to neuroleptics (aka second-generation antipsychotics) they don't cure chemical imbalance, they cause it... and in so doing, take years off the human life span!

They are prescribed without informed consent, and most of you docs haven't a clue with how to help someone who has been injured by them... how to help them slowly taper off these drugs!

What is "insanity?"
Who knows.

I would say conventional psychiatry is insane...

When it comes to drugging kids... criminally insane!

One last comment, doc -

Psychiatiry needs to leave kids alone with its drugs!

Any questions, doc?

Duane

David M. Allen M.D. said...

Duane,

ALL psychiatric drugs shut down the higher functioning of the brain, based on what you read from Peter Breggin? Apparently the only "experts" you listen to are the ones you already agree with.

"But the long-term use of large amts of drugs, long periods of time, and/or in cocktail form... This type of use with children, elderly, as the first-course of treatment, and/or only course of treatment for millions of people... millions!"

I absolutely agree with you about that. I wrote a book about it! But please don't tar all psychiatrists with the same brush.

"When all roads point to the fact that the antidepressants are clinically no better than placebo...." Apparently you've never met anyone with a severe melancholic depression whose life was literally saved by antidepressants. I've been watching that happen day in and day out since 1974.

Is your mind completely made up, so there's really no point in trying to argue with you? If so, you won't believe anything I say, so I'll stop here. That's religion, not science.

Ciao

Duane Sherry, M.S. said...

Dr. Allen,

I'm listening.
I'm still unimpressed, and that's okay, doc...

Really, take a few deep breaths..

Here we go again, huh, doc...
The 'lives saved" argument...

The only problem with that argument is the math.

Psychiatry is void of science, and the "saved lives" theory is void of math (actually, basic arithmetic)...

Suicide rates have stayed pretty constant for decades - roughly, 11 out of 10,000 people committ suide - same rate for decads, doc...

Same rate we had BEFORE 1 out of 10 Americans were placed on antidepressants - drugs that are clinically no better than placebo.

What is it about science that you have such a hard time with?
What is it about math, huh?

And, it's not just Dr. Breggin, it's a few others as well... So it is with history many times... Lots of you guys will be jumping on the Breggin, et al train when psychiatry comes to end... Because its days are numbered... A myth cannot live forever, doc.

And, lastly... these comments you make about religion... What is it about religion you have a hard time with.. I consider myself a spiritual man, a person of faith... Faith saved my life a few times.... What's wrong with that, doc?

Let's leave this on a light-side... What'd you say -

"What's the difference between a psychiatrist and God?'

"God doesn't think he's a psychiatrist."

Gotta love it, huh, doc?

Duane

Duane Sherry, M.S. said...

Math - Typo/Clarification.

The suicide rate in the U.S. is approximately 11 per 100,000 (not 10,000, typo).

The reason this number is worth noting, is that it has remained largely unchanged, in spite of the fact that 30 million Americans are on antidepressants!

We have roughly 30,000 suides per year, a thousand times that number of people taking drugs for depressioin, and not a dent in the suidide rate. Do the math!

Numbers are not psychiatry's strong card... E. Fuller Torrey, M.D. has written that "untreated bipolar disorder" results in a ten percent suide rate... These stats are enough to scare the tar outta parents, and caregivers, etc...

Let's do some math, shall we? According to psychiatry, one in 40 people in the U.S. have "bipolar disorder." Psychiatry also insists that many of these people have yet to be diagnosed, and/or treated, and that many are "non-compliant" with treatment.

Assuming by psychiatry's numbers, 2.5% of the population in the U.S. has "bipolar".... or roughly 8 million people. Assuming there is a significant part of this group that has yet to be diagnosed, and/or treated, say 1 million (conservative)....

If one million "bipolars" are untreated in any single year, and the suicide rate is 10 percent amongst this group, we would have 100,000 suicides per year from the bipolar group alone.... We have a third that amt from the entire U.S. population!

Look at the science.
Look at the math.

Now, look at psychiatry.
And what do you see?

Not much.

Duane

Duane Sherry said...

Marian,

Thanks for putting up this post, and allowing for comments...

I didn't mean to leave so many, guess I have a lot of passion in this area.

Haven't heard back from Dr. Allen... not surprising.

These psychiatrists have no science to back up their work, and they know it!

I hope you keep taking good care of your horses, and good care of yourself, Marian.

Your words about taking responsibility, and moving toward new ways of thinking is helping change, and save lives. I hope you always remember that!

Duane

Duane

Marian said...

Duane,

thank you for your kind words, and for taking the time to come by and comment! And don't worry, you can't leave too many comments. :)

No, it's not at all surprizing that you didn't hear back from Dr. Allen. Silence ("I'll stop here") and/or personal attacks ("you won't believe anything I say") are the usual response when factual arguments run out. And isn't it just mind-boggling how this inability to communicate, to really listen to the other without prejudice, as well as the personal attacking has its counterpart in the way these people treat their "patients"? In their refusal to listen respectfully, and treat the other as an equal human being? In their pathologizing and labelling of them?

I don't care whether Dr. Allen is into family dysfunction, or whatever else he claims he's into. A statement like "The vast majority of patients I have treated with chronic schizophrenia over 30 years do NOT report having come from traumatic backgrounds" (BTW, me thinks, Dr. Allen missed out on "syntax 101" at school, or maybe I missed out on something, and "chronic schizophrenia" is the name of a neuroleptic I've just never heard of?? Well, it would be quite an appropriate name for a neuroleptic... ) IMO is unmistakable proof of his own lack of communication skills. Seen in the light of both the research (Hammersley, Read, 2007, for instance), and countless of what Dr. Allen, perfectly in line with general biopsychiatric practice, undoubtedly would call "anecdotes".

BTW, I wrote a comment yesterday, me too, but couldn't get it posted for some reason. I'll include it here, for what it's worth:

David M. Allen M.D. wrote: "Apparently you've never met anyone with a severe melancholic depression whose life was literally saved by antidepressants."

No one's yet died from "depression", "severe melancholic" or other, or from any other "mental illness". To claim anything else is pure unscientific fear mongering.

"That's religion, not science."

Religion is belief. Like in "It is believed that depression/sz/bipolar disorder/(insert a label from the DSM-IV) is caused by a chemical imbalance (bla bla bla)", and in "Zoloft/Seroquel/Effexor/ (insert the psych drug of your choice) is believed to correct this imbalance."

The "illnesses" we're talking here, aren't even scientifically proven to be illnesses, not to mention of the kind psychiatry wants everybody to believe. Still, Dr. Allen's higher brain functioning seems to fail him, and give way to what looks like religious dogmatism to me, as soon as we talk so-called "psychosis", respectively "schizophrenia".

What more is, true science always questions itself, and is always open to new perspectives on a given problem. While Dr. Allen's, just as biopsychiatry's in general, is a closed, circular argument. He hasn't been able, neither here, nor at his own blog, to answer the question why "psychosis"/"schizophrenia" can't be anything else but a biological illness, but by begging the question: because it is. Neither has he been able to explain the recovery rates of widely non-medical approaches like Soteria or Open Dialog. He hasn't been able to supply any substantial evidence in support of his views on "psychosis"/"schizophrenia". All he's basically done is "shut down", become "catatonic", and refuse to answer my questions. That is religion, not science.

Duane, you might as well try and debate with a brick wall.

Duane Sherry said...

Marian,

Every time I read one of your comments, whether on your own blog to a reader, and/or on another site, such as Ron Unger's or Rossa Forbes', I learn something.

Every time. And that's pretty nice, in my book.

You've always impressed me, Marian. With all the things you know, and with the deep respect you show other people.


I really hope you're doing well, spending time with those horses of yours!

Hey, by the way, we got a puppy... She's a yellow lab, border collie mix... only six months old, but boy, is she smart!

And a sweet dog, too. Her name is Samantha.... We call her "Sam."

Our son would love to have a horse (loves to ride)... maybe one day, if we move out to the country. In the meantime, we're all enjoying Sam.

My best, Marian.

Glad you're out there, helping expose psychiatry, and giving hope for recovery!

Duane

Duane said...

Marian,

In fairness to Dr. Allen...

I emailed Dr. Allen (when he failed to respond any longer on your blog) - privately through his website.

I told him I was concerned about the drugging of kids more than anything else.

He sent an email back saying that he shared this concern, and encouraged me to spend more time on his blog.

I don't know, Marian....

If, at the end of the day, we're able to keep these docs from drugging kids... If we could just do that, we would have done something anyway.

Starting my own business, so I'll probably be pretty busy... If you don't hear from me for a while, that's why.

Be well,

Duane

Marian said...

Duane: I don't deny that Dr. Allen does some good, has some insight [chuckling]. The problem with him is that these insights are restricted to areas where it is sort of hip and trendy to have insights. Thinking a little "progressively" in these areas doesn't put him professionally at risk in any way. He might make a few personal enemies among his colleagues, but he won't lose his professional reputation. By and large, he's a camp follower.

He acknowledges trauma when the person is labelled with BPD. Fine. He thinks, kids shouldn't be put on psych drugs. Even better. But who has the --unrestricted and unquestioned -- power to decide who of his "patients" is going to have their trauma acknowledged, and be labelled with BPD, and who won't, getting labelled with "sz"? He. Does he have any ethical concerns regarding his actually god-like power to decide who will be helped, and who won't, who actually will have their lives destroyed, and eventually lose it? Does it in any way bother him that it is he, who has the full responsibility for I don't know how many people ending up in chronicity, with a both physically and spiritually lousy, and getting ever lousier for every day that goes, quality of life, and eventually dead, while, if only he wanted to, he could help these people overcome their crisis, achieve a personal growth most people, Dr. Allen himself included, never get the chance to achieve, and move on to live more fulfilled lives than most people ever get the chance to live? No. He doesn't give a shit. He happily sacrifices these people to his ego's needs. That is what, frankly, pisses me off about his kind. And it pisses me even more off than the across the board trauma denial practiced by most of his colleagues. At least, there's no mistaking these people. What Dr. Allen engages in is the art of construing double binds in order to appear blameless: "Oh, but look, I do acknowledge trauma!" while he so absolutely doesn't.

Duane Sherry said...

Marian,

I don't believe in conventional psychiatry for the reasons you just mentioned.

I don't like the labels, or the "treatment."

Neither is therapeutic...

Ironically, the power of the psychiatry comes from delusional thinking.... The behavior of the profession...

And the injury it causes without acknowledgment... void of any concern for others, especially people who are in vulnerable positions....

It's dangerous profession, filled with very dangerous people. That's my call.

Work and play.... good friends, exercise, getting out in nature, getting some sunshine, laughter... These are the best therapies in my mind.

Duane

Duane Sherry said...

Marian,

These wanna-be "doctors" create disability!

Why can't they get that through their thick skulls? !!! -

http://davidmallenmd.blogspot.com/2010/10/freddy-freeloader-and-minnie-moocher.html#comments

I've had enough... taking a break... someone elses turn for a while.

Take care of yourself, and those horses, Marian!

Duane

Marian said...

Duane, you did what you could. He's too afraid of the truth to be able to face it.

His "It's because of all those bipolars, not because of the disabling drugs" nonsense can be easily debunked. Just take a look at the recovery rates for "sz" specifically. Here in Denmark it's virtually 0%. No one gets ever declared fully recovered. 20 - 30% can do some kind of work, study, or something, many of them not full-time. The rest, 70 - 80%, is on disability. In Northern Finland, a good 80% go back to work or school, full-time. And they're independent from any further help from the system. In Northern Finland drugs are used crisis-specifically, and extremely sparingly, if at all. In Denmark they're "a cornerstone in treatment". Dr. Allen hasn't read Bob's book, because Bob writes about this. And it is clear proof of the disabling properties of the drugs. As clear as could get.

I've mentioned both Open Dialog and Soteria to Dr. Allen in the comments at the other post. You can see what happened. He went "postal", to use his own expression. He's specialized in counseling for "borderline" and related "disorders". But before he specialized, he used to do what the vast majority of shrinks do: he drugged people. That is, he ruined their lives. He has innumerable lives on his conscience. And he hasn't got the calibre to admit it, neither to others nor to himself.

Duane Sherry said...

Marian,

IMO, the conscience serves a purpose - to keep us from doing things that create guilt, and/or to have us change what we are doing if/when the guilt becomes unbearable.....

These "doctors" (they are not doctors, they are monsters in lab coats) refuse to listen to their own consciences (they ignore them) because the guilt would be too intense - from the lives they've injured/destroyed...

So, the vast majority continue to do what they've always done, and/or refuse to make amends to the countless people they've hurt, because they ignore the conscience.

These are not "medications" that they use with their patients...

When used as a sole-source of "treatment", for the long-term, and in large amounts, they become mind-altering, brain-damaging, body-injurying, spirit-numbing drugs...

These wanna-be "dotors" use them anyway!!!

They keep doing what they do, because they ignore their own consiences....

A holocaust survivor was interviewed toward the end of the war...

When she was asked to describe her captors, she responded -
"They were all doctors."

Himmler and Rudin would be proud.

Duane