Today’s New York Times column by David Brooks just made my day. His point is to request real people’s descriptions of how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting their mental health. He is appealing to an audience of millions of readers, so he’ll get many and varied responses which may become a useful research data base.
But the most spectacular aspect of this column is the fact that it makes no mention whatsoever of any DSM “disorder” or any psychiatric “treatment”. The mental health orthodoxy is very dramatically missing! Brooks quotes five current experts, but none of them are identified as psychiatrists, although two actually are. One of those two, Dr. Martha Welch, M.D., is in fact a professor at Columbia University’s Department of Psychiatry.
That means Dr. Welch works in the same academic department run by Jeffrey Lieberman (of my own “Somebody take that man’s picture” experience).
So why didn’t David Brooks mention that Dr. Welch is a psychiatrist, or at least put “MD” after her name? Why didn’t he credit Lieberman’s Department of Psychiatry at Columbia? Why didn’t he write about any specific mental illnesses or chemical imbalances, or at least acknowledge that emotional and behavioral problems are most properly medical issues for which psychiatrists should ideally be consulted?
Maybe it’s because he understands his public well enough to know they don’t like psychiatry, or even despise it, and certainly they aren’t interested in reading any more Jeffrey Lieberman-type bullshit? It’s been a century since the Jeffrey Lieberman’s of the world have been in charge of mental health. They have accomplished nothing except higher rates of disability, higher incidence of suicide, and overall debilitating social and human degradation.
Lieberman isn’t taking Brooks’ attitude well. He threw a tantrum on Twitter which, ironically, disrespected not just Brooks but his own colleague at Columbia by implying she’s not a real expert in mental health. I’ve seen Lieberman do this before. He’s a jealous little boy who knows better than the New York Times about how they should use their own editorial space. He’s not interested in helping people, or he would at least acknowledge some of the things that David Brooks gets right (e.g., relationships are of utmost importance — what’s so “sophomoric” about that?!).
Lieberman is only interested in one thing. He’s the Pablo Escobar of the mental health world, not because he runs drugs, but because he thinks drugs are his own route to power.