is to medicine as
astrology is to astronomy.”
– Leonard Roy
1. Sex and its annoyance
2. Three links about Snowden
3. Marcia Angell and the
I believe I have paid back most of the harm my walk of
but sleeping remains quite
difficult for me.
By now I am convinced it is mostly the supplements I
am taking, but then these also do help with my ME-problems, and that is
part of the difficulty for me: To find the right doses. I certainly
not done so right now, and it also is quite difficult to do, mainly
because there are so many factors that are or may be relevant.
So I'll probably write about that later. For now I provide some links
to Snowden; I do some about the DSMs and Dr. Marcia Angell; and I start
with sex, because that's getting a bit annoying, although it probably
is a fluke.
Sex and its annoyance
It may be my
audience is shifting, but here is the beginning of the latest search
438 from SearchStrings
men and women
women and men
of studying philosophy
is philosophy important
philosophy is important
men with women
The next 15 are just
the same: 4 about the importance of philosophy, 11 about naked women.
This is rather different from how it used to be, that was much
It may be - probably is - a fluke, and I do not know much about my
audience, but hey, young dudes:
My site is not about sex. You are at the wrong address.
I like sex; I very occassionally write about it; and there is an image,
from an ordinary paper, that I published long ago, as a joke about
something else. (And no, there is very little to be seen there,
But that's it. You are at the wrong address. And I put this first, so
that you may know it, and go somewhere else to get satisfied: I
do wish you the best, and lots of satisfactions, but once more: This
site is not about sex or nudity.
So there. (I am not much annoyed, but this is just to set the records
straight: If you are really interested in sex or nudity - and
there is nothing wrong with that - then you should very probably
look elsewhere. And indeed: one of my reasons to be reticent about it,
is that there are extremely many other sites that are dedicated to it.)
Three links about Snowden
I have meanwhile looked at
more about Edward Snowden than I like, though that is not his fault,
and have seen all manner of opinions about him, mostly not really
interesting, and also not really worth reading.
So I'll save on this for the moment, except for three items
The first is a video from The Young Turks aka TYT, which has
the merit of asking "What would you do - if you were 29, got $
200.000 a year, lived in Hawaii with a hot girl friend?", which is all
true of Edward Snowden, with Uygur answering that he probably would not
have done it - which is fair enough, as this answer applies to almost
The second is a good piece by Daniel Ellsberg
- the man of the Pentagon
Papers (<- Wikipedia) - who explains why he thinks this is good,
important and brave.
Here are Ellsberg's first three paragraphs:
The third is a link to the
nakedcapitalism site, where there is a link to the interview Potrias
and Greenwald made with him in Hong Kong on June 6, 2013. My reason to
provide that link is that it seems a reasonable site, and it does not
In my estimation, there
has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward
Snowden’s release of NSA material – and that definitely
includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago. Snowden’s
whistleblowing gives us the possibility to roll back a key part of what
has amounted to an “executive coup” against the US constitution.
Since 9/11, there has
been, at first secretly but increasingly openly, a revocation of the
bill of rights for which this country fought over 200 years ago. In
particular, the fourth and fifth amendments of the US constitution,
which safeguard citizens from unwarranted intrusion by the government
into their private lives, have been virtually suspended.
The government claims it
has a court warrant under Fisa – but that unconstitutionally sweeping
warrant is from a secret court, shielded from effective oversight,
almost totally deferential to executive requests. As Russell Tice, a former National Security Agency
analyst, put it: “It is a kangaroo court with a rubber stamp.”
I do intend to return to the subject, but not while it is the most
important thing on the internet.
3. Marcia Angell and the DSMs
I mentioned Marcia Angell
(<- Wikipedia) before, in the context of the DSM-5, and do so again
The reason she is important is that she is a smart and prominent
medical doctor (and also is some other things: read the Wikipedia on
her), and she wrote sensibly about quite a few things, notably about
medicine in the US.
In the context of the DSMs, she wrote two quite important
pieces, in June and July 2011, both in the New York Review of Books,
both fairly long and very well researched, and both presented as
reviews of sets of books:
I strongly recommend
that you read both pieces if you are at all interested in psychiatry.
(And please note that the first in the series comes in a series of
three, with links at the end to the other two parts, and the second in
the series has two different bits.)
Now I am going to quote and comment some, with a proviso, which is
this: I presuppose at least some knowledge of my dsm-5 series, for I'll mostly
though not only quote to support my views that are in that series.
(Here it should be noted that I am a psychologist and a philosopher,
who is ill.)
First as to all of the "pure hearts" dr. Allen Frances - the chief
editor of the DSM-IV - repeatedly wrote about. Here is dr. Maria Angell:
Of the 170
contributors to the current version of the DSM (the DSM-IV-TR),
almost all of whom would be described as KOLs, ninety-five had
financial ties to drug companies, including all of the contributors to
the sections on mood disorders and schizophrenia.
And I note that - very
probably - this is by their official statements only, which are
Next, one of the books Angell reviewed is Whitaker's "Anatonomy of
an Epidemic" and quotes him i.a. as follows:
summarizes the growth of industry influence after the publication of
the DSM-III as follows:
Yes. That's also one of the
reasons I was enthusiastic about Dr Insel's
retraction of his support for the DSM, that
he in turn retracted (partially).
In short, a
powerful quartet of voices came together during the 1980’s eager to
inform the public that mental disorders were brain diseases.
Pharmaceutical companies provided the financial muscle. The APA and
psychiatrists at top medical schools conferred intellectual legitimacy
upon the enterprise. The NIMH [National Institute of Mental Health] put
the government’s stamp of approval on the story. NAMI provided a moral
In any case, my own point of view is that psychiatry is not
a real science, but is a pseudoscience that is all about money, that for over 30
years have been mostly made by prescribing drugs to patients, that
mostly have no real factual foundation.
The two fundamental points most men entirely miss about psychiatry are
(1) there is extremely little known about how the
brain works, and
(2) there is a lot known about how people can be deceived.
And that is what you get, in most cases you get to see a psychiatrist:
A deceiver, who is in it for the money he makes, and who these days
makes money by prescribing pills of extremely dubious efficacy to the
patients, where also hardly anything is known about their long term
effects, that are prescribed for currently 400 diagnosed
"disorders", that are only "defined" by lists of symptoms, that are
only "known" to be partially consistently applied, but to be of
totally unknown validity.
The one thing that is absolutely certain is
that it is extremely remunerative for psychiatrists and for Big
Pharma to sell pills to naive patients.
Back to the review. One of the books dr. Angell reviews is Carlat's "Unhinged:
The Trouble with Psychiatry" who is, in my opinion, someone who
wants to be all things to all men, which is impossible.
In any case, here he is about the great advantages of not being a
Freudian and not doing talk therapy:
Like most other
psychiatrists, Carlat treats his patients only with drugs, not talk
therapy, and he is candid about the advantages of doing so. If he sees
three patients an hour for psychopharmacology, he calculates, he earns
about $180 per hour from insurers. In contrast, he would be able to see
only one patient an hour for talk therapy, for which insurers would pay
him less than $100.
Note that in fact the real
dollars seem to be higher, these days. Also, the work is a lot easier.
But - being all things to all men - he is sometimes fairly honest:
And he [Carlat -
MM] sums up:
Then again, that astonishment
needs some astonishment: It seems to be not so, for very many
patients. Besides, one main reason is that you do not know what
you are trying to cure to start with. (And he doesn't say he cures
them, either: he says something much vaguer.)
Such is modern
psychopharmacology. Guided purely by symptoms, we try different drugs,
with no real conception of what we are trying to fix, or of how the
drugs are working. I am perpetually astonished that we are so effective
for so many patients.
Next, here is dr. Angell on dr. Frances - and note the first word:
Even Allen Frances,
chairman of the DSM-IV task force, is highly critical of the
expansion of diagnoses in the DSM-V. In the June 26, 2009,
issue of Psychiatric Times, he wrote that the DSM-V will
be a “bonanza for the pharmaceutical industry but at a huge cost to the
new false positive patients caught in the excessively wide DSM-V
net.” As if to underscore that judgment, Kupfer and Regier wrote in a
recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association
(JAMA), entitled “Why All of Medicine Should Care About DSM-5,”
that “in primary care settings, approximately 30 percent to 50 percent
of patients have prominent mental health symptoms or identifiable
mental disorders, which have significant adverse consequences if left
untreated.” It looks as though it will be harder and harder to be
And as to this last
named couple of fraudian shrinks:
As I said: I have harvested
quotations mostly with a view to supporting my own opinions, and not
with the intention of giving a fair summary of dr. Angell's articles,
which I do think are very fine (but which are hard to adequately
At the end of the article
by Kupfer and Regier is a small-print “financial disclosure” that reads
Prior to being
appointed as chair, DSM-5 Task Force, Dr. Kupfer reports having
served on advisory boards for Eli Lilly &
Co, Forest Pharmaceuticals Inc, Solvay/Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, and
Johnson & Johnson; and consulting for
Servier and Lundbeck.
Then again, it is not likely she was much pleased by them, for there
appeared the next month three letters, to which she replied:
Again, I am not going to to
quote with any view to give the writers their dues. All I am saying is
that they were by Drs. Oldham, Carlat and Friedman & Nierenberg,
and are, for the most part, quite dishonest, in my opinion - it's about
their incomes, after all.
But I will quote two bits. First, from Carlat:
There is no
question that among the medical professions, psychiatry is the most
scientifically primitive. We have no more than the most rudimentary
understanding of the pathophysiology of mental illness and we have
resorted to tenuous and ever-shifting theories of how our treatments
Quite so - except that in my
opinion "scientifically primitive" is too optimistic, indeed in view of "the most rudimentary understanding": There is hardly any real science
there: it's almost all pseudoscience.
The second bit I'll quote is this total rot by Friedman &
psychiatric illnesses are diagnosed on the basis of signs and symptoms.
With the exception of substance-induced disorders, we do not know the
cause of most mental disorders. But medicine is no different; aside
from infectious diseases, the cause of diseases like cancer,
hypertension, and arthritis is unknown.
No, you liars: Cancer,
hypertension and arthritis are clearly existing medical conditions,
unlike something like 390 of your 400 utterly
Finally, Marcia Angell did reply, quite well also, but probably not
quite happily. I'll quote two bits. First the beginning:
Quite so. It is as if dr.
Angell had been discussing theology with theologians - which indeed is
where it is at, for the greatest part, but with the exception that the
"theologians" who are shrinks pretend to be scientific.
Marcia Angell replies:
All three of these
letters simply assume that psychoactive drugs are highly beneficial,
but none of them provides references that would substantiate that
belief. Our differences stem from the fact that I make no such
assumption. Any treatment should be regarded with skepticism until its
benefits, both short-term and long-term, have been proven in
well-designed clinical trials, and those benefits have been shown to
outweigh its harms. I question whether that is so for many psychoactive
drugs now in widespread use. I have spent most of my professional life
evaluating the quality of clinical research, and I believe it is
especially poor in psychiatry.
Finally, here is Dr. Angell on Dr. Oldham, who wrote a very fraudulent
Contrary to Dr.
Oldham, I did not say that mental disorders were invented in order to
create a market for psychotropic drugs. What I did say is that the
boundaries of mental illness are being stretched for a variety of
reasons—to increase drug company sales, to enhance the income and
status of the psychiatry profession, and to get insurance coverage or
disability benefits for troubled families. It may be that, as Oldham
says, the disorders that these medications treat have been around for
all of recorded history, but they weren’t necessarily considered
“disorders,” rather, simply emotional states or personality traits.
Just as a cigar is sometimes only a cigar, unhappiness might have been
considered just that, not a medical condition.
That is: You are being conned when a site says that to see a video on
(That may be justified, quite rarely, but I do not like being lied to,
ME/CFS (that I prefer
to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search
is a disease I have since 1.1.1979: