Consider the plight of general practitioners
21st March 2014
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Those driven by a high and caring purpose in the best Hippocratic tradition, who want to be left to get on with the job of caring for people’s health to the best of their ability.

It has been suggested that doctors are not getting enough time to assess mental health patients thoroughly enough. Today however, primary care doctors, specialists, or otherwise, can be criticised, bullied or treated like a ‘fringe’ dweller for practising traditional, workable, diagnostic medicine instead of bowing to pressures and prescribing psychiatric drugs for various mental problems.

Many GPs have acknowledged there are numerous physical conditions that can cause emotional and behavioural problems, and the vital need to check for them first. It follows then that relying on psychiatric drugs to suppress emotional symptoms, without first looking for and correcting a possible underlying physical illness, could simply be giving patients a chemical fix, while leaving them with an illness that could worsen.

It has also been suggested that the health service is “designed around hospitals and medicines rather than identifying and treating psychological disorders.”

This highlights a pervasiveness about the mental health thinking that appears in primary care medicine today. It is largely due to the “success” of psychiatry’s diagnostic systems, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the mental diseases section of the International Classification of Diseases. These have been heavily promoted as vitally necessary, mental disorder standards for non-psychiatric doctors.

In fact, in 1998, the World Psychiatric Association produced a ‘Mental Disorders in Primary Care’ kit to induce GPs to diagnose mental illness. It was a kit primarily designed to garner more business for the mental health industry. What psychiatry traditionally lacked in science was being compensated for through the use of marketing. It’s good business, but bad medicine.

Beyond the many valid medical reasons for non-psychiatric doctors to resist the mental health vision of psychiatrists, there is also the matter of preserving their professional integrity and reputation.

Medicine has advanced on a scientific path to major discoveries and cures, but psychiatry has never evolved scientifically and is no closer to understanding or curing mental problems.

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About the Author

Citizens Commission on Human Rights UK

Member since: 22nd January 2014

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) is a watchdog over the mental health field. There are over 280 CCHR groups in 31 countries, staffed and supported by passionate people with a commitment to...

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