What is psychiatry? A healing branch of medicine or a massive heartless global business controlled by men and women in the pharmaceutical industry for profit?

Medicine includes a number of specialties, each having its specialists. For example, cardiology,  respiratory medicine, gastro-enterology, neurology, and so on for the the different organs and sytems in the body. The brain, part of the central nervous system, comes under neurology.

Doctors learn about the anatomy and physiology of the body and then learn about pathology: what goes wrong and causes illnesses and diseases and injuries. All this has been growing for more than two thousand years based on experience.

They learn how to diagnose what causes different conditions. For example, shortness of breath is a symptom (what patients complain of) and a sign (what doctors can detect and see). The diagnosis depends on what is causing the shortness of breath. Is it asthma, a chest infection, a heart condition, anaemia or another pathology? The doctor examines the patients and orders tests to help discover what is causing the shortness of breath. Once the diagnosis is clear the doctor can treat the patient.

Psychiatry is usually regarded as another medical specialty and like other specialists psychiatrists have trained as doctors before specialising in psychiatry. In practice, psychiatry is not like any of the other specialties and it is difficult to justify calling it a medical specialty. There is nothing wrong, nothing pathological, with the body to account for whatever condition the patient is suffering with. Examination reveals nothing wrong: all parts of the body, including the brain, are working normally. No tests help because they are all normal.

Then how can psychiatrists diagnose what is wrong and decide what treatment, if any, to give? This is an important question because the effects of a psychiatric diagnosis can ruin people’s lives, work and relationships, and the effects of psychiatric treatment can be even worse, not only while taking it but also for years after stopping it.

The trouble is, we were not told this. Of course we trusted the doctors and deep down we still do and we want to believe they are honest. We believe they know what they are doing and what is safe and what is harmful for us. But in the last few years the truth has been gradually coming out and being made known to us.

We can only hope that most doctors, and certainly the ones we see, do not know enough about the psychiatric treatments they prescribe, because if they do know …

Most of us want to trust doctors; after all, who else could we turn to for help? But the whole profession has been smeared and tainted by the influence Big Pharma have had on training doctors and persuading them how to treat psychiatric conditions. Now more and more people are saying, ‘I never want to see a psychiatrist again – they don’t know what they’re doing and that makes them dangerous. You can’t trust them.’