Far be it from me –

Drug treatment in medicine and psychiatry – papering over important differences

Joanna Moncrieff

Summary: The treatment of mental disorders with drugs is not the same sort of activity as the use of drugs in medicine. Psychiatric drugs do not target underlying disease or symptom-producing mechanisms; they create an altered state of mental functioning that is superimposed on underlying feelings and behaviours. The ethical implications of the two situations are different.

I am grateful to the editor of Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, Corrado Barbui, for publishing my article about the drug-centred model of understanding drug action in psychiatry back in the autumn of last year, and to Carmine Pariante and Catherine Harmer and Phil Cowen who provide commentaries on the article (1-3). Responding to the commentaries, and engaging in a live debate with Professor Pariante has been helpful in sharpening my ideas, and I am also indebted to some persistent questioners at recent talks I have given!

 Pariante, Harmer and Cowen have…

View original post 2,362 more words

Leave a comment »

The shock of the fall

(2018). The shock of the fall. Psychosis. Ahead of Print.

Source: The shock of the fall

Leave a comment »

Cannabis made me suicidal and schizophrenic – what I want young people to know about the drug.


Leave a comment »

Emotions, Depth, and Dropping the Disorder

Me, Myself and Disability

Yesterday it was my privilege and pleasure to speak at the event ‘A Disorder for Everyone’ in Birmingham – find out more here.  Over the past 24 hours, this blog has got a tonne of interest for which I’m both surprised and grateful.  I will have more thoughts on the things I took away from the conference in coming weeks (uni permitting!) – but for now, this is the talk I gave yesterday – if you like this please check out the rest of my blog and leave me comments, suggestions and feedback!


This talk is a rather last-minute affair.

I had intended to use extracts from my previous blog posts to make some point or other, quite what that point was got changed and rewritten and then forgotten in a fog of sheer terror and stage nerves.  I’ve sung to a very high level without worry, speaking…

View original post 1,419 more words

1 Comment »

What Does Professor Carmine Pariante Think Of Seroxat Making People Suicidal?…

GSK : Licence To (K) ill (Documenting GSK And Seroxat)

Following on from the BBC’s recent Panorama documentary on SSRI’s causing violence in some people, a series of articles defending the use of SSRI’s appeared in the media. One of the commentators (who also appears frequently on twitter defending the use of SSRI’s) is Dr Carmine Pariante.
Pariante is a psychiatrist, from Kings College London, and judging by his tweets he seems to believe firmly in the bio-medical/brain disorder approach to depression and ‘mental illness’. He also seems to have no problem accepting funding linked to various pharmaceutical companies.
“...Dr Carmine Pariante has received Funds for a member of staff and funds for research. Professor Pariante’s research on depression and inflammation is supported by: the grants ‘Persistent Fatigue Induced by Interferon alpha: A New Immunological Model for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome’ (MR/J002739/1) and ‘Immuno – psychiatry: a consortium to test the opportunity for im munotherapeutics in psychiatry’…

View original post 851 more words

Leave a comment »

Making Real Change Happen ISPS Liverpool Declaration 2107


Leave a comment »

I said ma-mama we’re all crazy now

Waiting in the social area to pick up the last of my belongings,  I gaze distractedly at a pair of old socks that have been slung carelessly on top of a pile of books.    It’s 3pm and I’vejust been told I can go home, Section 1 revoked: my stay in hospital is almost over.   Clutching Ken’s arm, I carry a handful of Asda  bags for life, as I steer the suitcase on wheels down the corridor and down to the car park where we quickly pack everything into the boot climb in  the car and head for home, a 30 mile round trip, back indoors with a cup of tea by 4pm.   At 4.20pm the phone rings.   The deputy ward manager sounds frantic.  You’ve gone without your medication she shrills   No, I have some left from my 3 day weekend leave I counter,  and surely you’ve faxed my local pharmacy?   No, she says, you’ll have to drive back to hospital and pick them up.    Five minutes later comes another phone call, and in more measured tones she announces that I am not to worry,  the Crisis team will personally deliver the medication to my door the next day.      Starting to unpack the next morning I realise it is 11 a.m. and there is no sign of the Crisis team.   I have enough medication for one evening.   I make some phone calls.   To my GP first.  She can’t help because she has no paperwork from the hospital and needs to know what the prescription is.  Next  the hospital pharmacy.  They can’t help either, they’ve sent my prescription to the ward.   I’ll have to speak to the ward manager.   The advocacy service say they’ll  phone the ward and find out where my meds are.    Next I phone my local ASDA  pharmacy.   They can’t  help.  So back to square one I ring the deputy ward manager.   Haven’t the crisis team been she asks.  Five minutes later  I receive  a very terse phone call from someone called Will.  Brusquely he tells  me that the nature of his work means that he cannot give me a precise time of arrival, but he will be with me within the next two hours, and will bring with him some paperwork, that I can give to my GP at my convenience.

Cheered by this news I finish unpacking the suitcase.    The time is  almost up when there’s a knock at the door.   There peering at me is Will and a lady hovering behind him.   Come in, I beckon and I shout downstairs to Ken who heads  up to the kitchen to see who is here.  Will introduces me to Julie.    I offer Julie a chair but she declines, saying she has been driving.   Will looks me up and down and looks at the chair with the  back rest and asks if it is my chair.   No I say you can sit anywhere.  Ken sits down, Will sits down I sit  down.   And we all stare at each other.   Then comes a series of intrusive, disconnected and personal questions from Will.   He then says  he’s never me me before.    Stating the obvious maybe, but triggering a series of questions in my mind about the very nature of this Crisis team.   How do these meetings work, are  they assessing me?   Someone they’d never met?  Are they going to give me the correct medication if they have never me me before? I steer the conversation round to my medication and ask if I can please have the 7 day prescription so I can let the surgery know and organise it from there.   Did this prescription start in the hospital booms Will.   Yes, I falter.  Well you cannot stop it he says, accusingly   Excuse me?  I never said I was going to stop it, I say,  I said I’d discuss with my GP a timescale for tapering it off.   Julie says very little.   Ken says how tired he is.   I start to fidget and Will and Julie eventually get the message and say  they’ll get out of my hair, and they leave.    How dare these people visit me, offer opinions, quiz me, presume to judge me and act in such an egocentric way?  Six days later normal service has resumed; I am sitting in the safety of my trusted GP’s room.  She and I discuss my options;  she sorts out some appointments.  It is calm and measured.   I’m ok again, I’m back in the real world.    I don’t need the biomedical illness model, I need it like a pounding headache.    I need calm caring people surrounding me, I don’t need crazy.

Leave a comment »

It isn’t too late, go get stuck in!

We Are Sheffield Students

First year of University is a lot like riding the Super Tram. At first you don’t really know how to navigate your way around those coloured lines on the map. You can only remember some of the stops as the trams speed around the city and you hop on and off, letting it take you to new and exciting places.

University life is a lot like this; you are given an outline of how your first year should be, you are offered all these thrilling experiences, but, in reality the amalgamation of course deadlines, term dates, lecture times and society meet times, it’s impossible to remember everything going on. In my first few weeks at University, I felt a bit lost. I was struggling to remember when and where I was meant to be.

View original post 367 more words

Leave a comment »

Sweden – an unexpected discovery

We Are Sheffield Students

One of the best things about doing a science-related PhD is that travelling abroad to attend international conferences is positively encouraged. These meetings are invaluable opportunities to gain experience in presenting work in front of academic audiences; network with colleagues from around the world; pick up new ideas for future experiments and to scout out future jobs. And of course, it’s a great excuse to visit somewhere new!

A VERY busy, bustling conference!

View original post 617 more words

Leave a comment »

Starting the long and windy road to becoming a Doctor – how to survive starting a PhD

We Are Sheffield Students

It is coming around to that time of year again when campus will be crawling with people; excited freshers starting their university experience, 2nd and 3rd year undergraduates back again for another jam-packed year, and let’s not forget, all those new and continuing postgraduates.

It can be just as daunting for a new PhD student as it is for a fresher. Moving to a new city, having to make new friends, starting a brand new course, it can all be very overwhelming, even if this is at least the second time of doing so. But with a few hints and tips, starting a PhD can be such an exciting time for any student.

View original post 538 more words

Leave a comment »

Policy Press Blog

Publishing with a purpose

Alan's Blog

For what it's worth.....

Dr Goat's Blog

Putting hoof to keyboard to bring you views from the farmyard on public health, public mental health and related issues. And goats. These views are my own, and do not represent those of any organisations or endorse any political perspective - but whatever I'm eating may have been stolen.

Social Anxiety Revealed

the blog of the book

the free psychotherapy network

free psychotherapy for people on low incomes and benefits

An' de walls came tumblin' down

about writing and social anxiety


The yearly literary festival in the heart of Buckinghamshire

Keeptheban- news

Campaigning to protect the 2004 Hunting Act

more follows

Because politics isn't just something that happens in the Palace of Westminster

the main offender

Tales of living with borderline personality disorder, working in mental health and all the bits in between.


Just another WordPress.com site


4 out of 5 dentists recommend this WordPress.com site


Exploring best practice and research in sexual violence. A loud voice in the fight against victim blaming. Written and Managed by Jessica Eaton, Doctoral Researcher in Forensic Psychology


Politics For The People

Cortical Chauvinism

A site discussing autism related issues

Not quite curvy; definitely real

Tales of a mental mental health campaigner...

%d bloggers like this: