Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dangerous nonsense by Elizabeth Bernstein in today's Wall Street Journal

It amazes and mystifies me, that in order to suggest perfectly rational collaboration and non-confrontational help among family members, a writer for a well-respected publication would find it necessary to promote absurdities and tortured, irrational, anti-scientific propaganda.

Today's Wall Street Journal contains a featured health & wellness article by Elizabeth Bernstein entitled, "A Way Out of Depression: Coaxing a Loved One in Denial into Treatment Without Ruining Your Relationship."

Bernstein's basic point is, if somebody you love needs help, try to understand them and talk them into getting it without pathologizing them or offending them. Fine, who would argue with that?

But the writer bases her advice on the claim that a common symptom of depression is denial or lack of awareness, also known as anosognosia. This is said to be "a physiological syndrome that makes a person unable to understand that he's sick."

This is dangerous and degrading nonsense.

Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia and all other mental disorders are defined completely and authoritatively in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition Text Revision ("DSM-IV-TR"). All symptoms are listed for every mental disorder. Not a single mention of anosognosia is to be found anywhere in the 943-page volume.

The next (fifth) edition of the DSM is due out in a couple years. The American Psychiatric Association has an entire website devoted to DSM-V, which can be searched efficiently to find scores of references about depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and how all these disorders will be defined, diagnosed and treated in the future, with all the additional research since DSM-IV was published in 1994. But one searches in vain on this website for any mention of anosognosia.

The question that's begged: Why did Elizabeth Bernstein insert this "physiological syndrome" which is not relevant enough to ever be mentioned in the psychiatric manual, into her article as a supposed common symptom of depression?

Anosognosia is a fairly obscure term coined in 1914 with regard to certain brain injuries and neurological conditions. It's causes are unknown. It's use in relation to mental patients who refuse treatment is new and controversial.

Over the past nine years, I've worked with a lot of people who refuse psychiatric treatment and don't believe they are mentally ill. I've worked with a lot of their psychiatrists, too, and their security therapy aides, and their social workers, and all the other state nuthouse staff who get paid for holding and treating people whether they like it or not. These guys never talk about anosognosia. They know their jobs.

I can tell you this: The only reason anyone would claim that a common symptom of depression is lack of awareness, denial, or anosognosia, is to justify "treating" someone against his or her will.

The only point is to be able to forcibly drug someone - that is, get five or six enforcers to hold her down screaming, as a doctor violently injects neuroleptic poison into her body - while still pretending it's for a "patient's" own good.

There is nothing else behind this, in Ms. Bernstein's article in today's Wall Street Journal. Ms. Bernstein may not make the connection. The Journal's editor may not feel responsible for such ugliness. But that is the only point.

The irony is that Ms. Bernstein's article really wants to suggest the opposite of forced treatment. But that's the trouble with psychiatry, it doesn't work, it's an enforced lie.

The nuthouse psychs I work with don't make stupid excuses like "anonsognosia" because they don't have to. With court orders, locked cells and armed security, they're pretty free to brutalize the people they control.


  1. I was falsely accused of being depressed one time. It was the most absurd experience of my life. The broad definition of depression is failure to derive enjoyment from life. I enjoy and derive great amusement from whatever I do. If I get bored with it and don't like it, I go do something else. Life's real simple like that. But mental health people can't make any money off of simplicity, so they have to baffle everyone with their bullshit, Ms. Bernstein being case in point.

  2. "With court orders, locked cells and armed security, they're pretty free to brutalize the people they control."

    You're talking the truth there!

  3. I am a person with bipolar disorder who has greatly benefited from Dr. Amador's information on anosognosia. Along with dignified treatment and compassion...I was slowly able to gain insight into my disorder.
    I suspect anosognosia will become more widely known...and not suppressed by people with contempt prior to investigation.

    1. Nice BIG PHARMA ad ploy!! Check out Dr. Joanna Montcrieff's great book, THE MYTH OF THE CHEMICAL CURE and Robert Whitaker's ANATOMY OF AN EPIDEMIC and Dr. David Healy's MANIA: A SHORT HISTORY OF BIPOLAR DISORDER and Dr. Peter Breggin's YOUR DRUG MAY BE YOUR PROBLEM and his many other books and web articles on poison psych drugs to see that so called bipolar disorder is a total fraud invented by BIG PHARMA in bed with psychiatry to push their lousy epileptic drugs rebranded "mood stabilizers" and the lethal atypical antipsychotics that cause brain damage and early death by up to 30 years due to all their other lethal effects. If you want to poison yourself that bad enough, but please don't try to force it on others!

    2. So, what you're saying is that it took awhile for them to twist your mind into believing something was wrong with you?

      Guess what? Some people are sometimes moody! It's normal.