There is no singular and uncontested psychiatric view of anything, but it is clear that a naive biomedical pharmaco-centric orthodoxy prevails at the present time.
This poses a substantial threat to the future of mental health nursing, the credibility of psychiatry and the wellbeing of the nation.
This pharmaco-centric orthodoxy refers to the simplistic notion that one has an illness resulting in an underlying biochemical imbalance that can and ought to be corrected by a drug.
As a result, a large proportion of the population being medicated.
I am convinced that we will look back on this era - particularly the last twenty years - with a mixture of incredulity and shame. Insulin coma, lobotomy and unmodified Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), which we now view as crude and cruel treatments, were confined to a small number of people relative to the extent that people are medicated today.
Regardless of evidence of iatrogenic harm, or of evidence-based guidelines which ought to have put a brake on prescribing, and regardless of scandals demonstrating the unscrupulous and sometimes criminal behaviour by pharmaceutical companies in their pursuit of extending markets, the increase in medicalization and medicating of distress has been exponential.
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