Saturday, September 30, 2017

What's Psychiatry Got to Do With Life Anyway...?

 Yes, your doctor is an expert, but what does that really mean?

The fact is, modern medicine - and especially psychiatry - isn't concerned with most of what's important about life.

Think about it.  When you go to see your head shrink, what do you talk about?

  • How many hours did you sleep?
  • How's your appetite?
  • Where's your mood been?
  • Are you taking your pills?
  • How's your concentration?
  • How's your energy? 


Mostly, it's stuff that's so boring or self-involved you wouldn't bother to bring it up in meaningful conversation.

The fact of the matter is your doctor is an expert in brain circuits, processes and tissues - and the pills that interact with them.

Everything else in life is off the table.

Your average doctor wasn't trained in that, doesn't study it, doesn't keep up with it, doesn't have a professional opinion to offer on it.

But that's the point.  Most of what people get concerned about or into trouble with has very little to do with the weird brain stuff your doctor is into.

Here are some examples: 


1. Human Needs We all Have.  


Like most of us, you probably have some areas of real life challenge- material, social, occupational, creative, spiritual, developmental - that trouble you. But psychiatry doesn't deal with that.


2. Discrimination, Bias, Prejudice


Like most of us, there are probably some places in your real life where you don't quite fit in or other people put you down. This may well trouble you. But psychiatry doesn't deal with that.


3.  Social Betrayal

Like most of us, there are probably some areas some relationship challenges.  You go to someone close for help, but they either don't get it or they flub it up.  You go away feeling worse rather than better. This may well trouble you. But psychiatry doesn't deal with that.


4. Institutional Betrayal


Like most of us, there are probably times you've gone somewhere for help but didn't get it.  Or there were organizations who were supposed to help you, but they ignored you, humiliated you, or dropped the ball.  You go away feeling worse rather than better.  Everyone in your life thinks it's all your fault.  This may well trouble you. But psychiatry doesn't deal with that.


5. Resulting Harms and Losses


This stuff adds up.  It may be wearing you down.  But psychiatry doesn't deal with that.

6. Duration & Pervasiveness of Suffering

A lot of different bad stuff may have happened. It may have been happening for a long time. You may just be sick and tired of being sick and tired.  But psychiatry doesn't deal with that.


The reality is all of your suffering could be coming from stuff like this.  But psychiatry isn't about that.  That isn't their expertise and they don't ask about it.  They just tell you it's your brain.









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