‘Fixing’ our Brains

Thank you, Ross Anderson, for your enlightening column âÄúLabeling us disorderly,âÄù about the justified skepticism of psychiatric diagnoses. Since no one is in a perfect state of mental health, I guess it could be argued that we are all, to some extent or another, âÄúmentally ill.âÄù PsychiatristsâÄô determinations of which one of the vast assortment of brain drugs peddled nowadays that they will prescribe âÄî which you can bet they will âÄî and the dosages thereof, is a âÄùcrapshoot.âÄù These drugs have resulted in âÄúside effectsâÄù of horribly violent behavior; or, as the study which Anderson cites concluded, often have no more effect than placebos. It seems evident that the psychiatric and pharmaceutical industries have successfully brainwashed us into believing that nonthreatening (albeit inconvenient or uncomfortable) feelings or moods must be âÄúfixedâÄù by drugs; and that drugs are the only responsible route to take, versus exploring other, much safer options which have proven successful in changing self-destructive thought processes in which we may be stuck. I do appreciate the fact that some peopleâÄôs brains are physically damaged or abnormally developed from birth, where the âÄúbest guessâÄù prescriptions for them are worth the risk âÄî and in fact are often very effective. However, it is dangerous to unquestionably accept brain drugs from the psychiatrists to âÄúcureâÄù all of our mental âÄúshortcomings,âÄù allowing the psychiatric and pharmaceutical industries to continue to amass sinfully large profits in the name of fixing brains that may not need fixing. Rachel Hudak Office of the General Counsel