‘Psychiatric prejudice’ is a term being bandied about these days, mainly by aggrieved psychiatrists who feel that psychiatry is not being given equal status with other medical specialities. Ordinary people, other doctors and medical students are all prejudiced because they do not appreciate that psychiatry is a proper medical activity, and critics of psychiatry are prejudiced because their analyses undermine this medical point of view (1).
Obviously no one can afford to be labelled as prejudiced, so whether it is conscious or not, this looks like an attempt to silence criticism and shut down debate . If successful it will deny people access to many valid criticisms of psychiatric diagnoses and treatments and to hearing other views about how to respond to mental health problems.
Some of the recent accusations of psychiatric prejudice were made in response to articles in the British press by Danish doctor, Peter Gøtzsche, a leading…
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The number of people suffering from anxiety has doubled in the last five years and more women are affected than men, according to a survey by the Mental Health Foundation (MHF). The survey found that 22% of women say they ‘feel anxious a lot of the time’. In an article about the MHF study in today’s Telegraph, (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-health/10825167/Anxiety-Are-you-anxious-most-of-the-time.html) Beth Murphy, head of information at UK mental health charity Mind, explains: “Anxiety’s a word we use in general to describe worry; it’s hard to know when it becomes something more significant. But in a more clinical sense to be diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder, it’s more than just a little bit of worry.”
Murphy goes on to describe the main symptoms of anxiety. They include: having an irregular heartbeat; a racing pulse; panic attacks; thoughts endlessly going around your head; having trouble sleeping; and not wanting to leave the…
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The recent words of the new RCP president telling us that psychiatric diagnoses are scientific and necessary reminds me of the old childhood saying ‘Pull the other leg, it’s got bells on’. If he was only saying that some people believe it is helpful to understand their problems in terms of a diagnosis, I wouldn’t refute that. We each have to decide what’s right for ourselves.
But scientific? Necessary? People who challenge such views often get accused of presenting unbalanced arguments, which seems ironic to me given the often ‘unbalanced’ views of the professionals supporting the validity of psychiatric diagnosis.
Many years ago, in my other life, I was given a mental illness diagnosis. I thought my diagnosis was depression, and it wasn’t until many years later I read my case notes and found I’d been written off with a diagnosis of Chronic Schizophrenia. Perhaps I was fortunate in that…
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“He’s a psycho” – Professor Adrian Furnham on the importance of cleansing the workplace of undesirables
Have you seen this? Rachel Hobbs of mental health charity Rethink Mental Illness asked me this afternoon. She was referring to the charity’s response to a piece in the Sunday Times headed “I’m sorry, he’s not a differently gifted worker – he’s a psycho”. I’d just arrived home so hadn’t but, sadly, I had already seen the piece that prompted the rebuttal – and been shocked to the core.
The Sunday Times piece to which Rethink had issued a response advises employers of the necessity of screening job applicants and employees to weed out undesirable ones. The author writes:
“There are three important questions. The first is how you spot these people at selection so you can reject them … The second is, given that they have already been appointed, how to manage them … Sometimes it is a matter of damage…
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You might be interested to know of some of these upcoming conferences and meetings. Please note that events listed here are not organised by ISPS.
INTAR 2014 Congress
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 – Friday, 27 June 2014 University of Liverpool, UK
INTAR is the International Network Toward Alternatives and Recovery
“Power to communities: Healing through social justice”
19th Annual International Meeting for the Treatment of Psychosis
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 – Sunday, 31 August 2014 Roskilde, Denmark
The meeting provides a forum for persons and groups who deliver psychiatric services within defined geographical areas. The aim is to discuss the use of dialogical practices, reflecting processes and relational work in the development of forms for treatment of psychotic crises that can reduce the use of hospitalization and medication.
6th World Hearing Voices Congress
Friday, 10 October 2014 – Sunday, 12 October 2014 Thessaloniki, Greece
“Odysseying with the sirens: Struggling towards recovery in times of crisis”
Sponsored by INTERVOICE the International Network for Training, Education, and Research into Hearing Voices
2015 World Congress of WAPR
Saturday, 01 November 2014 – Tuesday, 04 November 2014 Seoul, Korea
Co-sponsored by ISPS
WAPR is the World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation
Schizophrenia Days Conference 2014
Monday, 03 November 2014 – Friday, 07 November 2014 Stavanger, Norway
The largest interdisciplinary mental health conference in Europe
“Evident or Evidence-based? Mental health services under the magnifying glass.”
10th National TIPS Conference
Monday, 03 November 2014 – Tuesday, 04 November 2014 Stavanger, Norway
Early Intervention in Psychosis
At this year’s conference we will be celebrating the fact that it’s now 20 years since we started working on the TIPS study.
The overall theme for the conference is “What have we learnt? Where are we heading?”
Mental Health in Portugal – what avenues?
Friday 7th November 2014
Casa de Alba Therapeutic Community – an Institutional member of ISPS – is organising an international conference together with Évora University.
Conference themes include Group Analysis, Existential Psychotherapy, Hospital and Community Interventions, Therapeutic Communities and ways of reducing medication.
Seminars with António Coimbra de Matos (destinguished educator in psychoanalysis by the IFPE) and Chris Evans (Consultant Medical Psychotherapist in the UK and Co-Director of CORE) as well as number of discussion tables with international renowned professionals.
Call for Abstracts: 3rd of July
Register here: http://www.fundacaords.org/conf2014
Monday, 17 November 2014 – Wednesday, 19 November 2014 Tokyo, Japan
The 9th International Conference on Early Psychosis ‘To the new horizon’
14th ISSPD Conference
Tuesday, 13 October 2015 – Saturday, 17 October 2015 Montreal, Canada
ISSPD is the International Society for the Study of Personality Disorders
For information about forthcoming ISPS events please visit
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Join us for the 19th ISPS International Conference
18-22nd March 2015 at Cooper Union in New York City
From DNA to neighborhood: Relationship and Experience in Psychosis
– An International Dialogue
Continuing Education and Continuing Medical Education offered by the
Institute for the Advancement of Human Behavior (IAHB)