I can’t recall ever linking to an article in the Huffington Post before. It’s not a site I read regularly, but once in a while they publish something worth reading. Today it was an article by psychiatrist Dr. Peter Breggin, on Our Psychiatric Civilization.
I disagree with Dr. Breggin’s stand on some issues, but he nails the issues in this article pretty well.
Numbing down Western Civilization with psych drugs so people can’t feel real emotions and don’t know what to do with them when they do, is not the answer to the emotional problems people face.
Real help is to be had in real communication with people.
My favorite part of his article: When someone with a problem talks with his rabbi, priest or minister, when they say “Get help” they mean “Get help elsewhere”. I believe that the education of priests, rabbis and ministers is so laden with non-workable psuedo-medical psychobabble that they don’t really understand (because it makes no sense!) that they don’t have anything workable to offer.
What’s wrong with helping someone yourself? Be a good listener, for starters. Friends let friends discuss their problems. Let them cry or rage and don’t run away from their problems yourself by telling them to get help elsewhere. Don’t offer them sympathy, but do offer them empathy and understanding, without evaluating for them or telling them what they ought to do to handle. All such offered solutions are usually rejected anyway. They’ll feel better and have a different perspective on it when you’re done. Real communication can occur between one spiritual being and another, and when it does, it is magical and transformative.
Tweaking someone’s brain chemistry so he can’t FEEL his emotions or hear his conscience telling him he’s done something wrong he should confess, is NOT the answer to his problems.
I do respect Peter Breggin’s efforts to help people get off psych drugs and to help them realize that a psychiatric label is just so much mumbo-jumbo.
He represents a small but growing segment of psychiatry that realizes it is now just a pawn of the drug companies, there to try to legitimize their criminal marketing of unsafe, harmful psych drugs.