November 22, 2014
Business and Society
Term Paper - Psychiatry v. Society
Psychiatry v. Society
"Okay, I'm just curious, what exactly is the difference between Adderall and Crystal Meth?" I asked the doctor sitting across from me, he shrugged and replied," technically the only difference is that Adderall is a legal form of methamphetamine and crystal meth is illegal and intended for recreational use." I was shocked, "so they are literally the same thing?" "Mhmm," was his response, with no further explanation as he continued writing the prescription. I left the office in shock. It hit me that in order to help me focus on my academics, I was just told by a "professional doctor" or so I thought, that the best thing for me to do was begin taking crystal meth. All I could think of was an image I had seen in middle school, of a before and after picture of a lady who had taken "meth," that was shown in a drug prevention meeting I had been forced to attend. I was extremely confused because this seemed like it was going against everything I had learned as a young child about not taking drugs, as well as my assumption that if a doctor tells you to do something, you should do it and that they know more than I do when it comes to my health.
This realization is what led me to become very interested in the psychiatric industry and to do some further research. In my findings I realized the large amount of opposition and critique of the psychiatric industry as a whole. The most helpful resource in my research was the website for the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights, which identifies itself as "a watchdog, investigating and exposing psychiatric human rights violations (A)." The CCHR is a nonprofit "watchdog" for the mental health field and can be accredited to for enacting more than 150 laws that have been passed to promote human rights and individuals from abusive practices.
My topic is the Psychiatric Industry versus society. I believe that psychiatry has become a detriment to our society and remains largely focused on maximizing profits, with little regard to the well being of society. I will begin by defining psychiatry and its practice and give a brief history on it, including some of the major abuses that existed in this arena in the past. I will then highlight the major issues with the industry today, first by challenging the industry as a whole and it's validity as a "medical" field despite its complete lack of scientific research and testing to support it's diagnoses. How it has widened the range of what constitutes a person to be "mentally ill" and that according to them every single one of the 6 billion humans on the planets could be considered "mentally ill" and suffering from one if not several of the disorders they have listed in their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Disorders. A major component of the issues with the psychiatric industry involves the pharmaceutical industry and their symbiotic dependence on each other for profit, and further reveals the lack of ethical conduct throughout both industries. I will finish by focusing in on 3 of the most common "disorders" that are diagnosed today - ADHD, depression and anxiety, and for each disorder I will cover a specific drug that has been prescribed to patients with each of the 3 disorders, and the negative impacts that have ensued.
I want to begin by defining psychiatry. According to the American Psychiatric Association, "A psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental health and emotional problems. Because of extensive medical training, the psychiatrist understands the body’s functions and the complex relationship between emotional illness and other medical illness. The psychiatrist is thus the mental health professional and physician best qualified to distinguish between physical and psychological causes of both mental and physical distress. Psychiatrists are physicians who