Medical diagnosis

When doctors diagnose a condition it means they know, more or less, what treatment to give for it, or that there is no safe and effective treatment.

Diagnosis in medicine is made by following the diagnostic proceedure which has developed through generations of experience. This includes giving a name to a particular condition, with a clear description of the condition, based on findings from  examination, pathology from tests (what exactly is wrong with the body), its cause, its prognosis (what is likely to happen based on generations of doctors’ experience with other people who have the same condition) and its treatment.

The treatment also has a name, and how it works is known, as are the effects, side effects and the effects of reducing, withdrawing and stopping the treatment.

Example for a medical diagnosis:

Name: chest infection, based on the following:

Examination: short of breath, fever, coughing up sputum, hearing through a stethascope crackling sounds typical of chest infection

Pathology: X-ray of chest shows site of infection; bacteria in the lungs seen in sputum under the microscope

Prognosis: (A) (in a fit strong young man or woman) good prognosis; (B) (in an unfit frail elderly man or woman) not good, could get worse and lead to death

Treatment: (A) physiotherapy – review; (B) physiotherapy and antibiotics – review

Treatment effects: if it is the right one, the antibiotic kills the bacteria and the patient recovers; physiotherapy helps with this; side effects: antibiotics can cause allergy, diarrhoeoa; if stopped too soon the infection might get worse and be more difficult to treat because bacteria mutate and change rapidly and become resistant to the antibiotic.

Psychiatric diagnosis

All medical and psychology students, all doctors, all psychiatrists and all patients should watch and listen to what Dr James Davies discovered about the charade of diagnosis and treatment: the very foundations of psychiatry.

All health-service managers and regulators and pharmacists and politicians and journalists also have a duty to study and act on what Dr Davies reveals in the video above and in his book, Cracked: Why Psychiatry is Doing More Harm than Good.

Diagnosis in psychiatry is not based on doctors’ experience as diagnosis in medicine is. Unlike diagnosis in medicine, diagnosis in psychiatry is based on subjective interpretations of what is seen, conjecture and assumption and these are all subject to the influence of personal views and biases of the doctor.

There is no clear objective description of the condition (emotion, moods and feelings cannot be seen in another person, or measured or even deteceted by a scan or any other technology – this is why it can only be based on assumption). An examination does not find any pathology (nothing is wrong with the body, including the brain), the cause of pschiatric condtions is not known, the prognosis is not known, there is no safe and effective medical treatment.

Treatment is rigidly tied to diagnosis. Treatment is not free, it has to be paid for. Enormously large profits are made from it. This, inevitably, affects the diagnosis. Therefore, it is ultimately based on profits, not on medical knowledge or research.

Millions of dollars are spent by the pharmaceutical industry on marketing and advertising in order to maximise profits regardless of whether treatment is safe or effective.

Nevertheless, doctors in general practice and psychiatry give people drugs and electroconvulaive therapy (ECT – electric shocks through the brain to cause convulsions), without knowing what these treatments do. They disregard the research findings that the treatment is about as effective as placebo (sugar pills), that all too often the treatment causes untold suffering with unbearable side effects that lead to suicide and occasionally to murder. Either the doctors do not know, or they turn a blind eye to the fact that reducing or stopping the drugs can be even worse than the side effects and both be worse than the condition the treatment was given for.

We have to hope and assume that doctors do not know enough, do not know how harmful the psychiatric treatments they prescribe are or how they work. It would be unthinkable that they know and yet prescribe them.