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Why do some Doctors not believe in Schizo?


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I had a Doctor once who told me Psychiatric meds are bad and he would not prescribe me anything, he told me that Schizophrenia and so and so does not exist, see a therapist for talk...

I did not agree with him and dropped him within 2 weeks! I know it exists cause I have relatives who have it, and I have had episodes of it, just horrible, why do some docs not believe in Psychiatric illness's? I am just wondering...

Maybe you have come across a Doc like this!

Thanks, Billy.

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I'm going to split your post into two separate questions, if that's OK, BBB - "Why do some doctors not believe in schizophrenia" and "Why do some doctors not believe in psychiatric medications."

There's actually a body of evidence that suggests that "schizophrenia" isn't just one condition. That evidence says that it's actually a group of quite different problems, which tend to get lumped into the same category - I haven't read a huge amount of that evidence, but I'm inclined to agree. That isn't to say that people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia don't have a problem. There has been so much variation between the experiences of the schizophrenics I've met (I'm a trainee doc as well as a nutcase) that I've questioned whether they can possibly all be the same problem. I have no doubt that they're really ill, or that most of them are really suffering (I've met a couple of psychotic patients who were perfectly happy - so long as they were medicated, the voices were comforting, the delusions were benign and they were able to live alone with a good quality of life.) But there almost seemed to be a few different groups, particularly within paranoid schizophrenia, that seemed like different diagnoses. Hebephrenic schizophrenia as a whole other kettle of fish, and is equally confusing. So that's how some doctors don't believe in schizophrenia.

There's another group of doctors - there's a small degree of overlap, but not much - who don't believe that psychiatric medications work. At all. In my opinion, these doctors are idiots, because they're reading the same papers as I am and coming to totally different conclusions. These doctors subdivide into antipsychiatrists (who believe that the whole psych system is wrong) and critical psychiatrists (who tend to believe that the diagnoses exist, but that the meds don't work.) Thing is, a lot of the trials of psychiatric meds are flawed - the classic studies that illustrate this thinking are the trials of fluoxetine (Prozac.) There's evidence that suggests that Prozac has very little effect, and that its effect reduces to zero if you take account of the patients in the trials who figured that they weren't taking placebos, because they were getting side effects from the meds that you wouldn't get from taking sugar pills. That's probably accurate - but when you look at the patients included in those studies, most of them had fairly mild depression, and some of them were probably just pissed off with their lives, rather than actually suffering from depression. Prozac works if you give it to people with moderate to severe depression, it doesn't work so well for people who aren't depressed. It's obvious, but somehow it gets past these "Critical Psychiatrists." Antipsychiatrists are just idiots, in my opinion (and I'm not qualified yet, so that'd just the opinion of a nutcase who's read a few books.)

To be honest, I think the doctor you saw was in the "idiot" box - the third group of doctors I've met, who seem to think that mental health problems can all be cured with a nice walk in the fresh air. I've been taught by a few of those, and they're the main reason I want to be a pdoc when I "grow up." I'm glad you dropped him and I hope you've found a better doctor, one who'll actually help you!

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