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2006-2007 Behavior and Social Issues critique of biological psychiatry


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From a scholarly journal devoted to "the contributions of a natural science of behavior to constructing cultures of social justice, human rights, and environmental sustainability."


Behavior and Social Issues Volume 15, Number 2 (Fall/Winter 2006)

Biological Psychiatry: A Practice In Search of a Science

W Joseph Wyatt, Donna M. Midkiff


Abstract and full text at http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/bsi/article/view/372


The rise of the biological causation model in the past thirty years is traced to psychiatry's efforts to regain lost status and to protect itself from intrusions by non-medical practitioners, as well as to the pharmaceutical industry's drive for profits. Evidence in support of the model, including studies of identical twins and of brain structure and function, are less revealing than was earlier thought, due to problems in methodology and interpretation. Organized psychiatry, when challenged in 2003, was unable to provide compelling evidence for biological causation of most mental and behavioral disorders. A paradigm shift away from biological causation and toward environmental causation is called for.



Behavior and Social Issues, Volume 15, Number 2 (Fall/Winter 2006)

Six-to-One Gets the Job Done: Comments on the Reviews

W Joseph Wyatt, Donna M. Midkiff


No abstract, full text at http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/bsi/article/view/388


From the article:


"We are pleased to note that six of the seven responses to our article were marked by approval, and/or thoughtful contemplation, regarding our central theses—that the research said to support biological causation of mental disorders is relatively weak, and that the claims of drug effectiveness are often overstated...."



Behavior and Social Issues Volume 16, Number 2 (Fall/Winter 2007)

Psychiatry’s Thirty-Five-Year, Non-Empirical Reach for Biological Explanations

W Joseph Wyatt, Donna M Midkiff


Abstract and full text at http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/bsi/article/view/1874


This is our third article in a series that began with a special issue of Behavior and Social Issues in 2006. Here we briefly review our central points from the first two articles. First is that over the past thirty-five years, claims of biological causation of mental and behavioral disorders have gone well beyond the research data, for reasons that are largely related to psychiatry’s lost esteem and protection of its “turf,” as well as to the financial interests of the pharmaceutical industry. Our second position is that claims of psychotropic drugs’ effectiveness have been overstated. We respond, as well, to the protestations of Professor Jerome C. Wakefield who defends biological psychiatry. We also provide an update on relevant events within the drug industry since our last article in this series.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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