Talk:Biological psychiatry/Archive 1

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blatantly POV

Someone added a paragraph to the article that's blatantly POV. I'm reverting the article back to its last form until I can organize a response. I apologize for the lack of citations in what follows, but I'm throwing this out in a hurry. Once I have those I'll get to work on the cleaning up the article itself. Whoever added it (anonymously, at that [and yes, I'm anonymous too, but I will remedy that ASAP and come back here to reveal myself]) seems to be of the opinion that any criticism of biological psychiatry constitutes an attack against the scientific method and the concept of science in general. There's a difference between a critique of the assumptions behind the biologically deterministic school of psychiatry that's been in vogue for a while and that of the more radical anti-psychiatrists who use "biological psychiatry" as an all-purpose epithet MyNameisfor those that don't agree with them that psychic anguish is only the result of the conflict between the free-spirited individual and a repressive society. If only the layers of societal repression could be removed, and people could learn to expand their idea of "normal behavior" then mental illness would cease to exist. In a sense, this use of "biological psychiatry" is the diametric opposite of the beliefs of the ones who posit its existence in the first place. The anti-psychiatrists (in this author's opinion, amongst others) romanticize the plight of people who are seriously suffering as a means of speaking truth to power.

There's another, less radical definition of "biological psychiatry". That there's a journal out there that goes by that moniker indicates (to me, at least) that the term is more than just the creation of anti-psychiatry activists. I've personally known people who consider themselves "biological psychiatrists". I would define "biological psychiatry" in this sense as the theory that depression/schizophrenia/anxiety/etc (what are commonly known as "mental illnesses") that are illnesses and as such are the result of pathological differences in the way their brains work compared to other people, in a manner analogous to other, physical diseases. To this critic at least (one heavily influenced by Stanton Peele, among others), conceptualizing differences in mood and/or perception as purely the result of a disease process denies the role of individual agency and experience in determining how they feel. In particular, the idea that "mental illnesses" are inexorably lifelong, chronic, and relapsing, isn't necessarily borne out by the data (cites to follow), and that conceiving them as such can make it harder for people to get better by encouraging them to view their thoughts and emotions as ipso facto evidence of pathology. You can be anti-"biological psychiatry" without denying a role for biology in psychiatry.

That there are differences in brain activity between "normal" and "mentally ill" individuals does not necessarily imply that the "mentally ill" brain state is pathological. To the extent that the brain is the seat of the mind it follows that there is a physiological correlate to every mental state, associated with different levels of neurotransmitters or receptors, gene expression, etc. It's easy to simply pick two groups of people labled "normal" and "mentally ill" and then proceed to pick them apart in search of differences between the two groups. You'd find plenty. A lot of them might even show strong correlations. But, as they say, correlation does not equal causation. There is dramatic overlap between "normal" brain activity and "mentally ill" brain activity, enough so that it's impossible to look at HVAA or DMT levels in spinal fluid or urine, or glucose or oxygen utilization and make a diagnosis with any reliability. False-color MRIs or other imaging techniques can be manipulated to make minor, possibly inconsequential differences in brain activity seem more dramatic than they are.

Contrast this to diabetes or hypothyroidism. In the former case, insufficient insulin production or a reduced cellular response to insulin is diagnostic. In the latter, low circulating thyroid hormone levels and abnormally high TSH levels are. There are some borderline cases, but if you've got a TSH of 10, something's wrong with your thyroid, or else your pituitary gland. In the case of Parkinson's Disease or Alzheimer's Disease (both of which the author compares to mental illnesses), specific, identifiable neurodegenerative changes are clearly present. The specific causes might not be known at this time, but when you cut open the brain of someone with Alzheimer's disease, it becomes very clear very quick that they have it. It's the same with Parkinson's. In the case of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, no such clear healthy/ill dichotomy can be found. Every so often it seems that someone comes along with a discovery that a gene (or genes) is the cause of alcoholism or drug abuse or bipolar disorder or schizophrenia or depression or... the list is endless. The "discovery" inevitably garners great media attention as an example of the way that modern medicine is conquering all ills, but the retraction a few weeks, months, or years later showing that the correlation isn't the slam-dunk it originally seemed to be usually doesn't. Despite that, these "great discoveries" keep getting trotted out in textbooks and further media reports as examples of the "overwhelming evidence" that mental illness is the result of a dysfunctional brain, with a little lip service paid to the role of the environment.

I'm stopping here before I get too carried away on that. Here are some ideas for expanding the article:

-A better definition of biolgical psychiatry. If there's a journal that goes by the name, there's people actually devoting themselves to its study.

-More examples of the evidence for biological psychiatry, as defined above, without being presented as simply "overwhelming". The biopsychiatric interpretation of the evidence is the most popular right now, but the data lend themselves to other reasonable (and scientific, unlike the relationship between evolution and "intelligent design", say) interpretations.

eg: The higher depressive relapse rates for people who have been on antidepressants and go off of them versus people who stay on them has been commonly accepted as evidence that the drugs work, but as a result of the way antidepressant studies are structured (more on that later) the difference could be interpreted as the result of some kind of biological change making people more liable to depression after taking antidepressants.

-More about the differences between anti-biological psychiatry critiques. Link the radical one to anti-psychiatry and let people who want to learn about it read up on it there. Maybe some examples of psychatric excesses so as to give some perspective on why people might be skeptical of it, without transforming it into a psychatrists-as-amoral-butchers freakshow.

-More balanced coverage about weaknesses in or excesses of the biological psychiatric model, without smearing all critics as being anti-science or the "everyone's ok, it's society that's the problem" model.

One example that comes to mind is the study that came out recently that referred to conservatism as a mental disorder. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 68.47.87.12 (talkcontribs) . 07:04, 24 November 2005

Article as written is highly POV, inappropriate for an encyclopedia, and based on a misconception

This article is extremely biased, and inappropriate for an encyclopedia. The main purpose of an encyclopedia article is to describe the topic, not take positions on it. Simply describing it does not equate to a "pro" position. Furthermore this article as written is based on a misconception: that because the term "biological psychiatry" is frequently used by detractors of the concept, that justifies writing a highly POV disparaging article on the topic.
Examples: abortion is very controversial, but that article mainly describes the topic. Describing abortion in detail does not constitute taking a "pro" position on that. Within the article there's a link to a separate article on Abortion debate. Likewise evolution is very controversial, but that article primarily covers that topic not the controversy. Describing evolution in detail does not constitute taking a pro position on that. There's a link within the article to Creation-evolution controversy.
Similarly this article should primarily cover the topic: biological psychiatry and the basis for that concept. If anybody feels strongly against the associated controversy, they are welcome to write a separate article on that and place a link to it in this article. If you further want to advocate your opinions, there are plenty of opportunities on Usenet and various other discussion forums. However this is an encyclopedia article on a specific topic and not the place for those opinions.
Re "biological psychiatry" being primarily used by detractors, that is not necessarily correct. Of course a Google search will show many such hits, but that is NOT representative of how the term is generally used. You can go to any library, use their search tools and you'll see most of the references are factual descriptions of biological psychiatry or related matters.
To better understand this, consider the term "Yankee". It is often used in a disparaging way, but the Wikipedia article on Yankee doesn't emphasize that. Rather it describes the origin and basis for the term. Likewise this article (like any other encyclopedia article) should focus primarily on describing the topic. Joema 18:54, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
The prime directive of an encyclopedia article is to describe the topic. This is not a Usenet discussion, nor a high school debate. The article should emphasize the topic description, basis for existence, and history. If great controversy is associated with the topic, it should be placed in a separate article.

This article is currently worthless

First of all, biopsychiatry is not a term used entirely by detractors. It's just that one of them (a detractor, that is) wrote this article. Second of all, medicine has its basis in the natural sciences (e.g. biology, chemistry) and it is a widely, if not universally, accepted fact that medical (and by extension, psychiatric) problems arise from some tangible source. In other words, medicine attempts to look for the cause of the problem. Psychological counseling neither diagnoses nor specifically treats any underlying physical (whether it be anatomical or phsyiological) illnesses. See the article called "chemical imbalance theory" for an explanation of why this [flawed] conception of biopsychiatry exists.

"...which they believe places undue emphasis upon biological theories and psychiatric drug treatment, rather than objective diagnosis of medical pathologies and psychological counseling."

First of all, who are these critics? Scientologists, no doubt. Second of all, what is "objective diagnosis" in the context of psychological counseling? The answer is, it doesn't exist. Psychological counseling and diagnosis of medical pathologies are diametrically opposed. Psychology is not (currently) a science, nor is it objective, by any means.

Lastly, let me point out that without "biological theories" medicine would cease to exist. Without these theories, we simply wouldn't have the sort of advanced technology that we do. Let me end this by saying: All medical problems have a biological basis, whether we know what it is or not. With conditions of an unknown etiology, remember that: Absence of evidence is not evidence of abscence.

- Fuzzform (not logged in, using school computer) Mar. 3rd, 12:31 EST.


I've removed the following paragraph, as it is highly misleading and totally against all notions of NPOV. I think it should, at most, be used in a "Criticism" section, definitely not as a main description of this field. More partisan stuff will show up in this section.

"...used mainly by critics of mainstream mental health practice to describe what opponents of psychiatry believe are unproven and subjective diagnostic and treatment practices in modern psychiatry. References to biological psychiatry are used specifically by critics to denote the biological model of mental health, which they believe places undue emphasis upon biological theories and psychiatric drug treatment, rather than objective diagnosis of medical pathologies and psychological counseling."

This entire article is pretty much worthless right now. I moved the criticism out of the initial description and into the "Criticism" section. The entire article is criticism. No neutral references to the discipline whatsoever. And certainly no rebuttals to or reasons for any of the criticism. The article starts denigrating biopsychiatry before the reader even knows what it is. One neutral sentence isn't quite enough. I'll keep working on it, and if it changes drastically, please leave any comments on this page (especially relating to edits). Fuzzform 00:10, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Only one tag removed

The article is indeed POV. However, I removed the “disputed” tag since I cannot see factual inaccuracy in the article.

The article can be saved introducing in the first paragraphs biological psychiatry as the psychiatric profession views it. Only after that the controversy could be presented (there is no need for another article; the recently re-written Anti-psychiatry article is enough).

On the other hand, there are errors of logic in the “Rebuttals to criticism” section. The sort of reasoning “If it responds to medication it must be biological” has been refuted by psychiatrist Colin Ross in his article “Errors of logic in biological psychiatry”. I read Ross’ article in a book he co-edited with Alvin Pam. When I bought “Pseudoscience in Biological Psychiatry” ten years ago I only paid $50. It now costs $165 in Amazon Books! [1]. However, it is worth reading Ross and Pam’s critique of biopsych. (Of course, you can see for free Ross’ web page [2].)

Though the initial paragraphs in the Wikipedia article are anti-psychiatry POV, the last paragraphs are pro-psychiatry POV. This makes the article no less POV but more POV! Consider the last paragraph:

It is also worth noting that all medical conditions are caused by biological factors, whether those factors are anatomical or physiological. A disorder with unknown etiology is still rooted in biology (despite the fact that the origin is unknown - absence of evidence is not evidence of absence), whether the problem is a product of somatic of neural malfunctioning.

I have written a whole article about this sort of tricky argument. Though it has not been published (I live in Mexico and don’t have editorial connections with other countries), an English version of it can be read in my own web page. Please take a look at it [3]. Cesar Tort 17:43, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Dualism?

Just reverted the dualist epithet. Thomas Szasz is perhaps the best known critic of bio-psychiatry. He is not a dualist. Like me and many other critics of biopsych, Szasz is totally agnostic. We don’t even believe in post-mortem survival. —Cesar Tort 23:40, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Without some sort of dualism, what is there to influence that is not biological, and accessible to drugs? Would you describe it as a non-cartesian dualism or in some other way? Midgley 03:22, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for your presence in this page and for your edits. You are very welcomed here! This page needs more people like you.
It is not a matter of Cartesian vs. non- Cartesian dualism. It is possible to be a materialist and to fight against involuntary psychiatry as well. I myself am a fan of CSICOP and the secular humanists. There is even a CSICOP fellow, Robert Baker, who recently passed away, who wrote a book stating that bio-psych is a pseudoscience [4]. In a nutshell, neurology is true science and a genuine branch of medicine; biological psychiatry is not, as can be seen in the arguments in the Anti-psychiatry article. Biopsych is similar to phrenology or Lysenkoism. As to your specific question, please take a look at neurologist Elliot Valenstein’s “Blaming the brain: the truth about drugs and mental health” [5]. —Cesar Tort 06:50, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
Thank you. Is the phrase being used a good one? "Biology" seems to me to be orthogonal to "involuntary". I mean one may have involuntary talking treatment, and voluntary biological - drug surely - treatment. In the UK also under the Mental health Act it is entirely possible for people to not accept any drug treatment even if their medical attendants think it is very clear that it would be beneficial to them.
There is a distinction between "not entirely understood" and "know nothing about" and some of this article seems to have been based on ignoring or eliding that difference. The mind is more complex than the hardware it runs on, but that doesn't stop some things being known about it well enough to improve. There is an evidence-based psychiatry movement. Midgley 08:34, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
The word “biopsych” is a code word used to oppose involuntary psychiatric drugging, electroshock or lobotomy. In 1998-1999 I took a mental health course in Manchester’s Open University. If I remember correctly, the 1983 Mental Health Act does not warrant at all the liberties you mention to users. As to your last paragraph, I believe that neurologists, psychologists (on the science side) and biographers and autobiographers (on the humanities side) can handle the mind problem. But psychiatry has absolutely nothing to do with hard sciences. You can also take a look at the book “Pseudoscience in Biological Psychiatry” [6]. —Cesar Tort 09:21, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
You make good points in your informative postings. I was perhaps lazy in pointing at our MHA - I meant it defines the rather limited times and scope of compulsory treatment, and outwith that (and common law and so on) treatment can be resisted, and is. Doctors in general, and nurses and otehr professions allied to medicine (PAMs) as much so, are not only content with that, but don't want extensions of it such as the mental health bill rattling around Parliament currently. The general population may though. Midgley 09:55, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
Codeword is what i was getting at. There are perfectly good words for all those concepts, and they are more clear and specific, and without etymological problems than the codeword. (Part of the definition of a code vis a vis a cipher is that the words in a code are arbitrary. here a word which appears to have a meaning is being used for something not quite the same. There has been some over-categorisation in the general area of activity and discussion. It would be better in many ways to use "JKLIV" than "Biological" because the definition would then be from scratch.)Midgley 09:55, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
My impression is that psychiatrists come in many flavours, and that they start off as medical students and junior doctors and get a grounding in the scientific basis of medicine as we all do. I think it exaggerates to say they and their specialty have nothing to do with hard sciences. On one model this would be slightly similar to condemning computer programmers for having nothing to do with the soldering of the hardware their programs run on. Midgley 09:55, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
Biopsych has really nothing to do with hard sciences: just as Soviet psychiatry in communist times had nothing to do with real science, but only imitated the scientific method. Another book I may recommend on this very subject is Szasz’s “Pharmacracy” [7], though for the moment you can take a look at my own article [8]. Only neurology is a true hard science. —Cesar Tort 11:29, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
I suspect that despite, or alongside, the excesses of a police state mediated through the cover of psychiatric institutions and language, there were people trying to improve the quality of life of other people with mental illness. Many things go on at the same time, some of them better than others, and some of them more firmly rooted than others. Midgley 11:45, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Vague, uncited, POV. Parked here

"Criticisms of mental health marketing practices and pharmaceutical treatments have seemingly had little impact on the growing solidarity between the pharmaceutical industry and the mental health professions. Instead, the influence of 'biological psychiatry' appears to actually be strengthening, as evidenced by the growing political and economic clout of the industry."

Needs work, or abandoning. Midgley 03:26, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

I vote for abandoning. —Cesar Tort 06:53, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Alzheimer’s disease? Biological psychiatry?

I have great problems with the phrase: “Much of the criticism attributed to biological psychiatry centers on the fact objectively defined pathological conditions have been found for only a select few mental illnesses, such as Alzheimer...”

Historically, if a psychiatric condition is found to be biological, it is withdrawn from the psychiatric field and studied by neurologists. And there’s the rub with all of this neurology vs. psychiatry, hard- or pseudo-science issue. Alzheimer is absolutely unique: it’s exactly in the border of neurology and psychiatry. But it’s not a paradigmatic psychiatric disorder. These are schizophrenia (dopamine pseudoscientific theory); depression (serotonine pseudoscientific theory); ADHD (ibid.), and many more. It is therefore unwise to mention Alzheimer: it may be misleading for the Wikipedia readership.

As to the article’s opening paragraphs, I have been in psychiatry libraries and have seen mainstream psychiatry manuals with the title BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY. So it’s not used only by critics...

I am curious if you have read the main Anti-psychiatry article, Midgley? —Cesar Tort 18:50, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

I expect I swung the meaning of the opening too far - crisp, clear, but incomplete. Its next iteration will be better, I expect. I read anti-psychiatry (and I'd met it) but I know the article has been edited since, and IIRC it was described as major edits... The psycho-geriatricians are an increasing specialty who deal with general medicine ("internal medicine" for Americans I think), neurology obviously, and psychiatry. There is a risk of ending up characterising a doctor as nothing to do with science in their psychiatry practice, and all to do with it in their neurology practice, when they are actually dealing (holistically even) with patients running minds on damaged and degenerating hardware. Same doctors, same patients... As Humpty Dumpty might say, given that "Biological psychiatry" is a code for (see earlier) and means what those using it (WP: Owning the words perhaps) decide it means, perhaps someone writing a textbook or journal with the same words on the cover is not writing about the same thing? Relative, essential, or confusing. Midgley 21:17, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
The Anti-psychiatry article was re-written by me and others last month. It is precisely the re-written article, not the original article (very bad written by the way), which you might find interesting.
If you read the re-written article you will see that only neurologists deal with damaged hardware; never psychiatrists. And yes, I agree with you: since it is used by both sides, the “Biological Psychiatry” term is indeed confusing! —Cesar Tort 21:36, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
I'll make time for that. Possibly tomorrow. I'm unsure how many topics there are here, and where to slice them up - certainly there is something worth having around these articles. Midgley 23:00, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Shaky clause

..."rather than objective diagnosis of medical pathologies and psychological counseling."

However one spells counselling, I suspect this clause has deeper troubles, starting off from a POV forumulation, and continuing through an absence of the demonstration of objective diagnoses of _psychiatric_ medical diagnoses where the question is begged. In short, I doubt that this represents the polar opposite of the first clause in the sentence in which it lies, still. Midgley 21:22, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Cull

If no objections, with the help of other editors I will unmercifully cull and re-write this article as I did with the Anti-psychiatry article. —Cesar Tort 10:44, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Breggin

Yes Midgley, please correct my English when you feel it necessary. Spanish is my native language so my phrases need syntactic correction and clarification. (BTW, Breggin studied psychiatry in Harvard; has written a dozen of psychiatry books; founded the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology; founded the only peer-reviewed journal I know devoted exclusively to criticize biopsych, and has been called to Congress to talk about the dangers of Ritalin.) As I said above, to make the article NPOV we could first present biological psychiatry as mainstream psychiatry perceives the field. A paragraph may be needed above the “Critics” section. —Cesar Tort 13:43, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Caesar's English is very good. Ratehr than correcting anything I might strip some redundancy out of sentences, something I do to any writing, except my own. Midgley 14:38, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Ombudsman's edit

"rv: cursory examination of Midgley's edits indicates insertion of pov, spin, or worse; even the copy edit re: reference vs references, after consideration of context, is dubious at best" I am displeased by this unWP:CIVIL [[WP:NPA|personal attack. I am unsurprised that a large reversion by User:Ombudsman comes with no discussion or justification on this talk page because it is his common practice. What can be done to restrain this? Midgley 22:02, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

NPOV tag removal?

The article may still need changes, additions or modifications. As I said above, English is not my native language.

However the re-written article looks NPOV to me. Any objections to remove the NPOV tag? —Cesar Tort 15:35, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Much better. I've made an edit to the opening paragraph that is seeking precision rather than a change of meaning. Midgley 17:04, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Add further info?

I see the article has been significantly improved from the earlier state, which is great. I have a fair amount of additional info (definitions, history, etc) I'd like to add. Is that OK? Wikipedia says "be bold", but I didn't want to surprise everybody if I add a bunch of stuff. Joema 23:12, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Of course you can contribute! The only rule is that the edition should be NPOV. —Cesar Tort 23:37, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Discuss changes

As previously discussed, I've integrated a lot of new material. It's essentially a total re-write. I hope it's obvious it was an ambitious, laborious project.

My goal was to produce an article worthy of an encyclopedia (that's what Wikipedia is, after all): scholarly, neutral, informative, and well-referenced.

I'm not a healthcare professional, and am completely agnostic about biological vs behavioral determinants to mental health. However an encyclopedia should prioritize describing the topic, not debating it, critiquing it, or editorializing on it. This descriptive-oriented approach is standard practice at of other encyclopedias, and for good reason. To do otherwise damages the scholarly impartiality, usefulness and ultimately the very legitimacy of the encyclopedia.

Please discuss any questions, issues or problems here. (remark by Joema) (Please sign with 4 tildes Midgley 19:25, 11 April 2006 (UTC))

I've cleaned up the references quite a bit. Some names of authors and journals need further editing, as they are incomplete. Access dates are also needed for all web-based sources. Also, I've added a few "citation needed" tags to uncited pieces of information. Fuzzform 20:14, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll work on that. Joema 21:13, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

NPOV tag

Biological psychiatry is a pseudoscience like phrenology and Lysenkoism, as can be demonstrated in the writings of several non biological psychiatrists and mental health professionals: [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16]. There is even an entire peer-reviewed journal devoted exclusively to debunk bio-psychiatry [17]. The totally re-written article is pro-psychiatry propaganda. —Cesar Tort 04:15, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

What do you think the article should say? --WikiCats 11:10, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

A problem here is that the term is being used for different things by different people. I suspect that while articles could be written about each use, any of those, or an article about all uses is unlikely to satisfy any group. A lot of it looks like alternative doctor-knocking rubbish, but that may just be the view you'd expect from a doctor. Midgley 12:04, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

I propose that the short NPOV article edited by Midgley and me replace the existing long POV article and then try to work together on a NPOV basis if the article edited by Midgley and me is going to be extended. —Cesar Tort 16:30, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Incidentally, I agree with you Midgley that alternative medicine is rubbish. As stated above, I am a fan of CSICOP and the skeptics (I even contributed with a note in Skeptical Inquirer to debunk the “wall face” appearances of Belmez, Spain). However, criticism of phrenology, Lysenkoism or biopsych is not “alternative medicine”. —Cesar Tort 17:31, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
The article is NOT pro-biological psychiatry, any more than the article on abortion is pro-abortion or the article on evolution is pro-evolution. The main purpose of an encyclopedia article is to describe the topic. Think of it as an elaborate dictionary. Describing the topic and the underlying basis DOES NOT equate to a pro position on the subject. The NPOV tag is entirely unwarranted. Joema 23:24, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
I am not alone in this opinion. In his 17:59, 13 April 2006 contribution to the article, Ombudsman wrote: “this article has become a poster child for extreme ivory tower pov pushing”. —Cesar Tort 23:53, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Incidentally, evolution is real science; biopsych is not. —Cesar Tort 23:57, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Just like you have very strong feelings against this topic, and claim it's not real science, millions have strong feelings against evolution and claim IT is not real science. From an encyclopedia standpoint, that makes no difference. The purpose of an encyclopedia is describe and explain the topic. Doing so does not equate to taking a position on it. I understand you may want to convince others of your position, and that's fine -- but not in an encyclopedia article. I sincerely entreat you, please do not continue this. You have many avenues to persuade others of your position. Please don't use an encyclopedia article for this. If necessary this can be escalated, but I beg you -- please save everybody the time. Put anything you want in the anti-psychiatry article. Or create your own specific anti-biological psychiatry article. But please, please don't continue putting that into this article. Joema 00:10, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
I could say exactly the same about the article Midgley and I edited and you took over: please, don't continue putting that into this article. —Cesar Tort 00:17, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm going to have to side with Joema on this one. The critics of biopsychiatry are criticizing certain aspects of it yes, but I have yet to see any claims that it is a pseudoscience. Perhaps you came to this conclusion abrubtly due to some unpercieved bias - I surely hope you are not another Scientologist seeking to smear the notion that perhaps there is a biological basis for all medical conditions. After all, we are just a gigantic complex of molecules, organized into cells, tissues, and in the end, the organism - humans. So if you would like to debunk something, try psychology. After all, that wasn't considered a science until fairly recently, and it still incorporates incorrect and non-empirical conclusions in varying degrees. If you would like to include a "Criticism" of biopsych, feel free to add a section toward the end. But please don't change the intro to say "biopsych is a pseudoscience" or anything of that nature, because it is no more a pseudoscience than psychology. (P.S. you do realize the article already incorporates criticism of biopsychiatric theories?) Fuzzform 04:10, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Citation number 17: all of the contributors to this journal are in the fields of "divinity", "psychology", "psychoanalysis", "spirituality", "author", "survivor" (those last two greatly puzzle me), "mind-body medicine", "phenomenological psychology". All of these draw conclusions through deductive reasoning. None of them use empirical, or inductive reasoning to come to conclusions. Biopsychiatry does use empiricism as its basis; using MRI, EKG and many, many other quantitative methods, the physical/biological nature of mental illness can be investigated. Ergo, psychology is a pseudoscience, biopsychiatry is not. But still, feel free to add criticism, if you can find specific examples. Fuzzform 04:18, 14 April 2006 (UTC)


Write out what you want to say here so the other editors can have a look at it. --WikiCats 04:23, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Why psychiatry is a pseudo-science

No: I am not a scientologist. I am not a psychologist either.

Didn’t Fuzzform misrepresent citation number 17 (Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry: An International Journal of Critical Inquiry)? The journal’s founding editor that debunks biological psychiatry is a psychiatrist himself: Peter R. Breggin, MD. The editors are Jonathan Leo, PhD, and Laurence Simon, PhD; the associate editors are David Cohen, PhD; David Jacobs, PhD; Jay Joseph, PsyD; Stephen E. Wong, PhD, and Michael McCubbin, PhD.

Also, the editor of Pseudoscience in Biological Psychiatry is a psychiatrist [18].

In a nutshell, as a Popperian philosopher of science would easily notice, the way bio-psychiatrists present their hypotheses on the diverse neuroses and psychoses —biological diseases “of unknown etiologies”— makes them non-falsifiable or irrefutable biological hypotheses. “Thus, an irrefutable hypothesis is a sure-fire sign of a pseudoscience” (Terence Hines). —Cesar Tort 05:02, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Cesar, I appreciate you think psychiatry is a pseudo-science. People have strong opposing feelings about many subjects: evolution, abortion, The Holocaust, etc. However encyclopedia articles on those subjects should prioritize documenting the topic, not being a forum for dissenting opinion.
There's no shortage of venues to express your feelings and persuade others. But this encyclopedia article is not that place. I beg you, please, please, use those other avenues. Feel free to write a Wikiepdia article on anti-biological psychiatry. Start your own discussion forum. But I earnestly entreat you, please don't continue this. I beg you with all my heart -- please. Joema 05:31, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
I could also beg you, Joema, not to delete the article I edited with Midgley: but you nuked it.
Also, Holocaust deniers and creationists are crackpots. I hate Holocaust deniers and despise creationists. On the other hand, psychiatrist Peter Breggin, the founding editor of the journal that criticizes biopsych, and the other mental health professionals, are sane people. Why don’t you better address my Popperian argument? After all, biopsychs, not their critics, say that they study biomedical entities “of unknown etiology”. —Cesar Tort 05:49, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Hi guys (and perhaps, gals). I was referred to this page to offer an opinion. I've read through the article and talk and, as its stands, i think it isn't too bad, but there are still a few problems about neutral tone. For example we cannot say: a central theory of biological psychiatry (monoamine hypothesis, popularly known as the "chemical imbalance theory") is deeply flawed in its original form. or Since the monoamine theory is certainly wrong in its initial formulation, and likely incomplete even in the current form, it would appear that much of biological psychiatry is based on a shaky foundation. Both are highly POV and thus it must be attributed if they are to remain.
I also happen to think that the article loses focus, it should be more factually descriptive of what biopsych is (from both the majority (pro) and minority (anti) POV) and less a critique of its flaws. I agree that much of the content would much better linked to another article on the controversy of chemical imbalance. However, the argument that it is a pseudoscience is easily cleared up in policy, WP:NPOV says:
If we're going to represent the sum total of human knowledge, then we must concede that we will be describing views repugnant to us without asserting that they are false. Things are not, however, as bad as that sounds. The task before us is not to describe disputes as though, for example, pseudoscience were on a par with science; rather, the task is to represent the majority (scientific) view as the majority view and the minority (sometimes pseudoscientific) view as the minority view ''
In terms of this article, I interpret that as follows. Whether something is psuedoscientific or not is not relevent in regards to how it is presented in an encyclopedia (after all we adopt a neutral point of view, not a scientific point of view). Therefore we describe biopsych according to what the majority view is (and i'm pretty sure that majority view is that biosych is not pseudoscience) AND we state what the minority view is (i.e. that anti-psychiatrists, some religious groups and assorted others believe that it is a pseudoscience). From my discussions with Cesar, i think he believes that the "majority scientific view" on this subject does somehow infringe what defines pseudoscience (i appreciate that is an oxymoron, but i hope you can see what i mean). That may be the case, but its got good enough for Wikipedia to call it a pseudoscience. For our purposes, "scientific" is what current mainstream science accepts and "pseudoscientific" is what the current mainstream calls a pseudoscience. So as long as we state what the majority and minority beliefs are, we should have no problem, as both should be explained neutrally. Thus the question is not whether biopsych can fulfil the criteria of a pseudoscience, but does anyone dispute that the scientific mainstream currently treats it as a science and those that call it a pseudoscience are in a minority? Rockpocket 06:52, 14 April 2006 (UTC)


I have no objections with your comments Rockpocket but I wonder if you read the article I edited with Midgley (who is quite a skeptic of alternative medicine). Anyway, that article was nuked. But I agree that the minority view deserves a space in the article even if it is just 25%. Take a look at the flaming debate about the Mother Teresa article (MT for short). Almost the entire world is convinced that MT was a saint. However, a tiny minority believes she was an evil and selfish old woman. I wrote at the end of the current debate in Talk:Mother_Teresa: “A single individual may be right and the rest of the society wrong. That’s what I learnt in John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty and Orwell’s 1984. Hitchens is no Wonkum. All I am asking is some space for people like him in the MT article”. In other words, the majority view about biopsych doesn’t mean that it’s real science. That’s the ad populum fallacy. Like the MT article, 25% of space should be conceded to critics. —Cesar Tort 08:44, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
"Almost the entire world is convinced that MT was a saint." I would just like to point out that this is a baseless claim. Perhaps the religious believe this, the Christians, but they are not "Almost the entire world". Fuzzform 23:54, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Of course! I was using hyperbole. —Cesar Tort 00:54, 15 April 2006 (UTC)


I haven't read past versions of the article (yet) - i was simply commenting on the most current version. I'm afraid your comment "the majority view about biopsych doesn’t mean that it’s real science" may indeed be true, but as i explained, is completely irrelevent for our purposes as Wikipedia editors. Billions of people believe in a God, yet religions are not primarily represented in Wikipedia as ad populum fallacy. Neither are you correct that 25% of the article must be conceded to critics. As Ande B argues below, the importance of the criticism in the article is is judged by how influential the opposing view is in reality. Thus in some articles critism may cover as much as 50% of the article (see animal testing, for example, where animal rights is a very high profile and culturally influenctial viewpoint) and others a simple sentence saying there are critics who oppose this. As it happens there is an entire article that describes the anti-psychiatry movement. Thus here, i would suggest a short section summerising the critical viewpoint and a link to that page. Al also agree that standard policy is to not include criticism in the intro. Rockpocket 17:29, 14 April 2006 (UTC)


I've got to agree with Rockpocket, above, only more strongly: this article reeks of POV and original research. I don't know how Cesar Tort has arrived at the notion that the ad populum fallacy applies in this instance and I'm concerned that the article, as envisioned by Cesar Tort, would have the same problems that would arise if a creationist wrote an article about evolution and promptly labeled it "pseudoscience." And I can't agree that 25% of any article should be "conceded to critics." In some articles, the mere mention that there are critics may suffice. This page seems to be a candidate for a "Needs Expert Attention" template. Ande B 09:13, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
The article that Midgley and I wrote was NPOV. I really don’t understand what you are talking about. In the MT article 25% is, in fact, conceded to critics, even if they are a tiny minority compared to the billions of Christians. I think that Rockpocket’s evaluation of the article is fairer that yours. —Cesar Tort 09:21, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

I have not looked at the MT article and have no interest in doing so. What is appropriate to that article is not related to this one. Particularly since MT's actions and reputation are matters of social, cultural, and religious opinions. Religious and political based articles are likely to have good reason to include serious or even lengthy discussions of criticisms. This article is not of that type.

I have attempted to remove the strong POV in the introductory paragraphs. I was apalled when I clicked on the link to a reference that supposedly supported the statement that a biological psychiatry theory was "deeply flawed" when the referenced article did not say that. Beyond that, the article was from Psychology Today, a widely circulated magazine but a popular magazine, not one that is properly cited for such an evidentiary claim. Now it may be that the reference was footnoted in error, but those types of problems need to be fixed.

Moreover, it is not good form to include an argumentative attack on the subject matter of an article within the introduction. Criticisms belong later in the article, after an adequate explanation of the topic has been given. Ande B 10:09, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

I wrote the "deeply flawed" statement and I agree it may be poorly worded. I agree criticisms (if any) belong later in the article. However the Psychology Today article was based on several peer reviewed papers which I cited later in the article. One of those researchers was quote in the Psychology Today article saying: "It is not possible to explain either the disease or its treatment based solely on levels of neurotransmitters". Yet the original monoamine hypothesis does just that. That is a clear example of a deeply flawed theory, and there's very little disagreement on that among neurobiological researchers today. I can provide more references if needed. However the first section as now re-written looks fine to me. Thanks Joema 13:19, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
More on why "deeply flawed" is not judgmental but accurately summarizes the facts in language approachable to the broad Wikipedia readership.
"some, if not all, depressions are associated with an absolute or relative deficiency of catecholamines" (Schildkraut JJ, 1965). That's the catecholamine ("chemical imbalance") hypothesis as originally stated. By contrast:
"It would appear that the primary pathophysiology of depression is neither a NE[56] nor serotonin deficiency." http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/412866_4
Again, I agree the "deeply flawed" wording might be improved, also that it fits better later in the article. However I wanted to be clear it wasn't made up or without credible corroboration. Joema 13:47, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Hi Joema, thanks for your clarification of your cites and the peer review articles, which I'm always happy to see. But the overall message of the Psychology Today article did not present the information in the manner so strongly suggested in the prior phrasing. My primary concern with the intro was not simply that there was criticism of the earlier hypotheses of MAOI action but that the statement causes an uninformed reader to conclude that flaws in understanding the basis of MAOIs are the equivalent of a total repudiation of the value of any pharmacological agent in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. I got the message you posted & I'll finish this chat on your talk page. Ande B 14:24, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
This doesn't look like the right article to explain why psychiatry might or might not be a pseudoscience. The anti-psychiatry article already does that. Neurodivergent 14:58, 16 April 2006 (UTC)


There is a partial quote above ... here is the next line from that article:-

"However, NE and serotonin circuit dysfunction together may mediate many of the symptom clusters of depression, such as:
   * NE -- poor attention and memory, decreased concentration, reduced socialization, and altered states of arousal; and
   * Serotonin -- poor impulse control, low sex drive, decreased appetite, and irritability (Figure 3)."

Whatever is going on is complicated, our measurements lack precision, and that which allevites a condition is neither thereby shown to have its absence cause that condition, nor is an absence of showing that any inication that the empirical treatments have not in fact worked. Modern science is to a large extent empiricism, and the demonstration that theories are at an early stage does not indicate that the empirical work is less of a science.

Psychiatry has a scientific basis, in the soft sciences of sociology and psychology as well as in harder ones such as pharmacology and biology. Simplifying the target of the argument is erecting a straw man, and not helping produce an encyclopaedic article to inform the putative reader. Midgley 21:39, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Major reorganization is needed

I realize that a lot of work has been done on this article during the last month or so. Still, it has organizational problems that we should be able to remedy by doing a bit of re-shuffling. Right now, the article is organized to reflect its "historic" development. I think this is a mistake. Most readers don't want to know the history from Hippocrates forward, they want to learn the current scope and understanding of the field. So I suggest that we move the historical information toward the end of the article so that we don't lose readers before they get to the real substance.

There are two other concerns I have about the organization. The first is that the lead-in starts with a bulleted list. These types of lists are helpful but they pose a barrier to understanding when placed up front. That first section would benefit from a slight re-orientation of the paragraphs.

The other, perhaps more difficult to resolve issue is the amount of space devoted to some sort of back and forth argument about the physiological basis for the effects of MAOIs when used to treat depression. Treatment of depression is a considerable issue by itself. In this article, it sort of ambushes the reader, making it appear that, because we do not yet fully understand the mechanisms by which MAOIs work, treatment with MAOI is suspect, regardless of its clinical efficacy. And it fails to acknowledge any of the many other treatment modalities for that condition or any other condition. I suspect that some of this material was written in response to prior versions of this article which were, for lack of a better word, total bunk.

I suggest that the MAOI material be reduced or merged into a more appropriate article, such as Monoamine oxidase inhibitor, depression or anti-depressants, where it could get the attention of readers trying to understand that class of drug.

For this article, it might work better if there was an overview section(s) titled something along the lines of "specific psychiatric problems and their treatments." Then provide a quick summary of each major diagnosis alnog with a synopsis of the types of treatment modalities currently employed. I think that Joema has been working on much of this and might be the best person to streamline the material.

These are just my thoughts after wading through a couple comparative versions of this article. Ande B 16:24, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

I think they are all very sensible proposals and i support them. I think it also helps to point out that length does not equal quality. Since much of the information here is covered in article like Monoamine oxidase inhibitor and anti-psychiatry, there is a strong argument for placing a link saying 'Main article: Anti-psychiatry' then just a brief overview of that POV here. Rockpocket 17:34, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree with all of the above proposals. Your assessment is correct and the suggestions for improvement right on target. I'll start on that. Joema 17:59, 14 April 2006 (UTC)


“I suspect that some of this material was written in response to prior versions of this article which were, for lack of a better word, total bunk” (Ande B). This article has been re-written three times, including the present one. Is Ande B talking about the first or the second article? If s/he refers to the article I edited with Midgley, is this comment fair? Midgley earned Wikipedia’s Ruben Pseudoscience Barnstar “for heroic defense of reality against those who would impose the pseudoscience of their belief system”. And once we re-wrote the biased article Midgley, not me, removed the NPOV tag of that article that Joema nuked a few days ago. —Cesar Tort 23:37, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Hello, Cesar. I appreciate that you tried to put togethor an article on this topic. I also appreciate that there seems to be some type of on-going edit dispute about both the content and form of the piece that was going on long before I got here. I actually have a hard time comparing your edit with the latest ones since they both have serious, though quite disparate, difficulties. The earliest versions (which seem to be your work product) were quite clearly written and, although neutral in tone, had a misplaced emphasis on criticsim of the topic rather than elucidation of it. The discussions on this talk page suggest that you have a misunderstanding of what consitutes evidence for purposes of establishing the scientific legitimacy of this field of medicine. This is what leads me to believe that the current condition of the article relects the efforts of someone(s) trying to answer the arguments put forth on this talk page but, unfortunately, having the opposite effect of what may have been intended. The current article's problems stem largely from unfortunate word choices, a style that gives the impression of being original research, and a misguided effort to providedetailed covereage of issues that side-track the article. And Cesar, I apologize for mistaking some of the later edits for being your work rather than someone else's Ironic, isn't it? Ande B 01:20, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Cesar, I must beg you to stop opposing the simple fact that the article is, in its current form, of more encyclopedic value than it would be if it began by saying that biopsych is a pseudoscience. Rocketpocket describe the exact reasons for this description, and I pointed out why biopsych is not a pseudoscience in the above section. If you want to criticize biopsych, then add a "Criticism" section and stop trying to hijack the article. This is a group effort, and compromises must be made, yes, but Wikipedia has guidelines which must be followed in order to make this as encyclopedic as possible. Fuzzform 00:01, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Your reply is a total non sequitur. I was merely referring to Ande B’s comment. —Cesar Tort 00:50, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, Cesar, I see that some of the dynamics here have not been very productive to the cooperative spirit. I hope I don't end up making things worse. No-one is well served by the current state of affairs and if we don't get past some of these talk page arguments, we'll never get this project to resemble a professional article. Ande B 01:20, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Well: I think I can agree with that :) Cesar Tort 01:30, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Progress reports

  • Joema, I hope you don't mind that I broke of your progress report into a fresh section. I'm hoping it will make it easier for everyone to folow along and track contributions. You certainly seem to be hard at work! Ande B 18:58, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Ande, sorry about the delay. Hopefully I can work on this more today. However a few comments on your previous suggestions: "amount of space devoted to some sort of back and forth argument about the physiological basis for the effects of MAOIs". More accurately, physiological basis for monoamine cause of and remedy for depression. MAOIs are just one class of drug that achieves that. But I agree there's maybe too much space on back-and-forth issues about basis for monoamine theory. OTOH this is one of the key underlying issues of biological psychiatry, plus one that's most familiar to the general audience as the "chemical imbalance" theory. To not spend a fair amt of space on this is like discussing the American Civil War without discussing slavery as a key theme. You're right it should be structured differently, plus maybe reduced in size a bit.

However there's already a separate article on Chemical imbalance theory. Normally you'd want to avoid duplication of material between this one and that, but that article is not in great shape. E.g, it has more material on controvery/criticism than on describing the basis for the topic, an all-too-frequent Wikipedia problem these days.

You're right the main purpose of any article is document and describe, not analyze and critique. This article probably needs some improvement there, although a lot of that came from the Braslow article, which was a professional-level article from the Harvard Mental Health Letter. So actually there wasn't much analysis and critique, but a historical treatment that could have given that impression. You're right about the history being moved further down the article.

BTW because of the ample references, it maybe gave the evidence of original research, but there was none. Almost every statement was taken from or paraphrased from a credible source, most of them peer-reviewed literature.

Some other issues that need handling: clarify Depression vs other conditions. Article spends much space on depression, but that's only one condition. To a degree that's appropriate since the monoamine theory was based on depression and a good % of current work (plus drugs familiar to the audience) is on depression. But it's only one condition so other coverage is needed.

Another matter is research vs clinical work. While the average reader considers biological psychiatry exclusively in the clinical context, the other side is research. Much biological psychiatry research takes place, a lot of it published in the journal Biological Psychiatry.

The point about removing the bulletized list at the beginning is good.

So several things need addressing. I'll make a first pass at it today, then everybody can take a look. Joema 13:38, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

  • Joema, I'm not one of your professors demanding an immediate re-write! Especially during what is a much needed spring break for many of us. But I think we all appreciate your level of commitment. As to the "appearance of original research," after you and I chatted, I realized what you were trying to do with the cites. Part of this is simply stylistic and part is probably no more than editorial stages along the way to a final product. I've been teaching research and writing classes since the early 80s and I just recognize some of the common stumbling blocks that trip people when they attempt to write in an unfamiliar style or form. My guess is that you could put together a great paper for a class literature search assignment. Those same skills can be used for other types of projects. Ande B 18:58, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
OK, I just put up a rough cut based on your suggestions. Take a look and please comment. Joema 02:06, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
How the heck did you do all that editing in a single day? Joema, I think this is looking good. I hope you have not dumped your previous drafts because they did contain a lot of good info that can be adapted for other uses. Are you going to move some of the MAOI material into another article? It was pretty detailed and I think those interested in that medication would be interested in reading about it. Ande B 02:20, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
The Wikipedia software maintains all previous versions in non-deletable form. Just by pressing the article "history" tab, then clicking on the date/time, those can be examined. You're right some of the removed information could probably be used in the "chemical imbalance" article. After we're done here, I'll examine that. Let me know your thoughts on the current version. Joema 08:41, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Hi Joema, yeah, I know that wiki saves our work, so I really don't know why I said that! It was just a way of saying that your previous material should not be tossed aside never to be used again, there was alot of good work there that can be put to good use. Hope you have a good Easter break. Ande B 18:38, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Tag-pushing

In the above discussion it remains unclear why there is a {{NPOV}} tag on the article. Disagreement with the premises of biological psychiatry or with its adherents is not a valid use for the tag. The only reason for it would be that the portrayal of biological psychiatry is biased.

I note that the editor who placed the tag, namely Cesar Tort (talk · contribs), has not made any attempt to "restore balance". This is a form of POV-pushing by tag placement. I'm removing it now and await constructive comments on the talk page, as well as constructive edits to the article. JFW | T@lk 19:31, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

You might notice that this article has been undergoing considerable edititng efforts during the last week. Several people have been worknig through certain problemed issues on this talk page but Joema has been doing most of the work on the article itself. If you can contribute more, that would be great. If you have major changes in mind, I think it might help to post your suggestions on the talk page first. Right now, we are trying to avoid an edit war by coordinating our efforts. I agree with your removal of the POV tag. Ande B 20:06, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Ombudsman reverted the POV tag that JFW removed. I agree with Ombudsman. Please wait a few hours while I write a critique of Joema’s article. —Cesar Tort 20:43, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Cesar, by all means write your critique. But the current article, although not comprehensive, is definitely not POV. There is an article on Anti-psychiatry where your disputes with BioPsy belong. This article is only trying to explain what BioPsy is as understood by the scientific / medical community. Ande B 21:22, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

This is a good article. I can see why Ombudsman regards it as POV, but it is a very good piece of NPOV writing. The only adverse thing that I woudl say about it is that it is an article about one use of a term used by at least two populations to mean quite different things. Ombudsman tends to the other meaning. I'm not sure it is a very useful term in either direction, myself, but it probably needs a cunningly constructed opening paragraph or note making this clear, and/or a different article titled provisionally Biological psychiatry as a dismissive synonym for all conventional psychiatry. —Preceding unsigned comment added by midgley (talkcontribs)

Good point, and that's why the opening sentence that defines Biological Psychiatry is taken straight from Webster's Dictionary. That is the official definition. People use many terms in pejorative ways, but you won't see every such encyclopedia article elaborating on these, or even including those usages. Where needed, simply mentioning that usage is sufficient and this article does that.
Yet another problem is the other usages are non standard, so there's no unified consensus on the meaning. E.g, is the pejorative Biological Psychiatry dismissive for ALL conventional psychiatry, or just the biological variant? Does that mean there should be three definitions? Or is it pejorative for just over-use of pharmacology, but accepting of some biological psychiatric methods? Does that mean there should be four definitions? Who decides that, and by what authority? I agree writing a separate anti-biological psychiatry article is probably the best way to handle this. That's how the Evolution and Abortion articles were handled. Joema 22:04, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Joema’s article: a critique

Biological psychiatry, or biopsychiatry is an approach to psychiatry that aims to understand mental disorder in terms of the biological function of the nervous system. It is interdisciplinary in its approach and draws on sciences such as neuroscience, psychopharmacology, biochemistry, genetics and physiology to form theories about the biological bases of behaviour and psychopathology.

This is totally inaccurate and misleading. Nancy Andreasen, the editor of the American Journal of Psychiatry, the most financed and influential journal of psychiatry, recognizes in Brave New Brain, a book published in 2001, that (1) there has not been found any physiological pathology behind mental disorders; (2) nor chemical imbalances have been found in those diagnosed with a mental illness; (3) nor genes responsible for a mental illness have been found; (4) there is no laboratory test that determines who is mentally ill and who is not; (5) some mental disorders may have a psychosocial origin. A better proof of the inaccuracy of Joema’s opening statement can hardly be found. It is worth saying that Andreasen’s book has been tagged as “the most important psychiatry book in the last twenty years” by a book reviewer.

Cesar, note "aims to understand.." and "...form theories". I matters not how successful the field is or is or otherwise, Joema's sentence is a perfectly accurate and appropriate summary of what the field covers. Your points of difference are irrelevent to what the field aims to achieve and how it does it. Rockpocket 06:15, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
While there is some overlap between biological psychiatry and neurology, in general neurology focuses on disorders where gross or visible pathology of the nervous system is apparent, such as epilepsy, cerebral palsy, encephalitis, neuritis, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis, among others. There is some overlap with neuropsychiatry, which typically deals with behavioural disturbance in the context of apparent brain disorder.

Again, for the reasons expressed above this is totally inaccurate and misleading. Neurology is a real science based on biological markers. Ironically, in “biological” psychiatry there are no such markers, as Andreasen made it all too clear. The following illustration shows why neurology is science and “bio” psychiatry is not.

Presently, diverse concepts of disease are compelled to coexist by authorities in medicine, the pharmaceutical companies, the media and even politics and the law —in a word the status quo: what Thomas Szasz has called “Pharmacracy”. The suggestion that, say, AIDS and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) are radically different kinds of disease —or more precisely, that the later is not a disease at all— is so politically incorrect in today’s pharmacratic society that it is dismissed out of hand. But due to the lack of biological markers in biopsych we may conclude that, while AIDS is genuine disease, ADHD is merely a diagnosis. And there is the rub of this controversy.

Biological psychiatry and other approaches to mental illness are not mutually exclusive, but may simply attempt to explain the phenomena at different levels of explanation. Because of the focus on the biological function of the nervous system, however, biological psychiatry has been particularly important in developing drug-based treatments for mental disorder.

As can be inferred from Andreasen’s book and many other standard psychiatric textbooks, there is no lab test in the profession for mental disorders. Therefore, the above statement is, once more, grossly misleading.

Biological psychiatry is a broader field than commonly-mentioned disorders (e.g, depression, schizophrenia) and associated drug treatments. On a research level, it includes all possible biological bases of behavior.

“...all possible biological bases of behavior”. Wow. Can biopsych explain my behavior: for example why I fight in Mexico against the psychiatric drugging of children and even toddlers? “All possible biological bases of behavior” is psychiatric megalomania, also called God complex in the profession. I would be dumfounded if an article with such a sentence finds its place in a serious encyclopedia.

Again, i feel you may be missing the point here, Cesar. "It includes all possible biological bases of behavior" means the field encompasses research into all types of behaviours (which is very true), not that it can - or ever will - be able to explain all behaviours. That the community even try such research may be "megalomania", but it is nevertheless true that they do. Rockpocket 06:15, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Although the "chemical imbalance" hypothesis has been significantly revised since 1965, many newer medications (such as fluoxetine and other SSRIs) were developed based on the underlying theories of the hypothesis. More recent research points to deeper underlying biological mechansisms as the possible basis for several mental health disorders.

While it is true that these drugs produce changes in the activity of a neurotransmitter, “it has not been possible to demonstrate that any biochemical abnormality is associated with any of the subgroups of depression”. These are words of Elliot Valenstein in his book “Blaming the Brain: The Truth About Drugs and Mental Health”, page 102. Valenstein, a neurology professor, devotes several technical chapters of his book to support his argument. His views are widely shared and quoted among the mental health practitioners that oppose biopsych.

Also missing in the article is any mention of adverse effects of SSRI drugs. Serious criticism of these drugs have been published. Over 40,000 reports of adverse effects from Prozac alone have been submitted to FDA since it was first marketed. No other drug comes close.

A perfect statistic to include in the Prozac article, but that really isn't relevent to this article. Rockpocket 06:15, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Modern brain imaging techniques allow noninvasive examination of neural function in patients with mental health disorders. With some disorders it appears the proper imaging equipment can reliably detect neurobiological problems which correlate with a specific disorder.

The specific imaging techniques, magnetic resonance imaging studies or other, ought to be mentioned in the text. For the moment suffice it to say that, for instance, the blood perfusion that can be seen with the imaging techniques is not considered a biological marker in the medical profession. “Biological marker” is physiopathology, histopathology or the presence of pathogen microorganisms in the patient. Andreasen and the psychiatrists recognize that they cannot demonstrate any of these true biological markers that they postulate in the 374 human behaviors classified in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-IV. If they could do it, psychiatry as a specialty would have disappeared and its body of knowledge would have merged in neurological science.

Another source of data indicating a significant biological aspect of some mental health disorders is twin studies. Identical twins have the same DNA, so a carefully constructed study can determine the degree to which genetics influences the development of a particular mental health disorder.

When co-twin stdies have been examined by critics, it appears that schizophrenia is a folie a deux, or some variation of shared paranoia where each twin plays a central part in the other’s delusional system, as pointed out by D. Jackson and others since the 1960s. The entire genetic studies in biopsych are a muddle. Critics contend that most of these studies are not solid and that there is sophistry in the way inferences are drawn from data (the reason is that bio-shrinks are aprioristically convinced that there must be a genetic cause for unwanted behaviors). Biopsych claims, based mainly in family studies, cannot disentangle the potential influences of genes and insulting environment. The claims are also based in small methodologically-flawed twin studies whose results can be explained by non-genetic factors. “Not surprisingly, then, years of efforts to find genes for mental disorders have come up empty”. These are words that appear in a book released this January [19].

Biologic treatments of mental health disorders is not limited to drugs. Non-drug biologic treatment diet and exercise modifications, or in some severe cases transcranial magnetic stimulation or electroconvulsive therapy.

This is truly amazing. Please read the section about electroshock in the Anti-psychiatry article. In my clinical experience I personally know people who have lost vital memories after the so-called electroconvulsive therapy.

Your arguments are now contrary, Cesar. I distinctly remember discussing with you how ECT needs to be in the anti-psychiatry page as it is one of the "brutal so-called treatments" that biopsych's use. Now you appear to be contesting, in this page, the fact the it is listed as a treatment they use. So which is it? You are confusing a statement about the facts (biopsych uses ECT as a treatment) with your opinion (ECT is a brutal, ineffective, pointless treatment) Rockpocket 06:15, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Before treatment can begin for any mental health disorder, correct diagnosis is crucial. This is because treatments that are effective for one condition might make a different condition worse. In other cases apparent mental health disorders could be a side effect of a serious biological problem (e.g, concussion, brain tumor, hormone abnormality) requiring medical or surgical intervention.

Once again this is extremely misleading: it is confusing neurology with biopsych. I reiterate: there are no known biological markers in the profession. In September 2003 the American Psychiatry Association itself acknowledged that “brain science has not advanced to the point where scientists or clinicians can point to readily discernible pathologic lesions or genetic abnormalities that in and of themselves serve as reliable or predictive biomarkers of a given mental disorder or mental disorders as a group […]. Mental disorders will likely be proven [my emphasis] to represent disorders of intracellular communication; or of disrupted neural circuitry.”

In other words, there is no evidence that mental disorders are biological.

SSRIs, Lithium salt, Haldol, Prolixin, Trilafon, Risperidone, Seroquel [...]. An important point in modern history of biological psychiatry was discovery of modern antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs. Thorazine, an antipsychotic, was first synthesized in 1950, and [...]

Lithium and the neuroleptics produce even more serious adverse effects than antidepressants. Users develop Tardive dyskinesia and Akathisia after taking such dangerous drugs. This must be mentioned in the article.

Recent research indicates a biological "final common path" may exist which both electroconvulsive therapy and most current antidepressant drugs have in common. These investigations show recurrent depression may be a neurodegenerative disorder, disrupting the structure and function of brain cells, destroying nerve cell connections, even killing certain brain cells, and precipitating a decline in overall cognitive function.

Another unsupported claim, already addressed above. Patients with purely psychological problems falling into the hands of bio-shrinks will not be helped: they will merely be tranquilized. The psychiatric drugs or ECT will suppress and cover-up the symptoms but will not affect the underlying, existential disorder.

Increasing evidence points to various mental health disorders as a neurophysiologic problem which inhibits neuronal plasticity.

Once more, misleading the reader. That DSM disorders are neurological is not even claimed in the DSM-IV itself!

Lastly, by identifying the neurobiologic "final common path" into which most antidepressants funnel, it may allow rational design of new medications which target only that final common path. This could yield drugs which have fewer side affects, are more effective and have quicker therapeutic onset.

This looks like a futuristic statement (and as such violates Wikipedia’s policies). —Cesar Tort 00:06, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

I actually agree with you here, hehe! That does sound a bit like the last few lines of a research grant proposal. I guess you could get away with it by adding on a "biopsychiatrists believe..." Rockpocket 06:15, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

I respect that you have strong feelings against the article Cesar, but it seems you have not listened to the above statements made by JFW, Joema, Ande B, or myself. Furthermore, it seems you have searched the Wikipedia policy pages for random policies (taken out context) to support the pushing of your own agenda. You have not been able to contribute anything constructive to the article by tearing it apart in the above spiel. It seems that arbitration will inevitably be needed. For the time being, I am going to remove the neutrality tag. If you wish it to be reinstated, make your reasons clear (use the tag {{POV-because|Reason}}), and furthermore, please start a vote to find a consensus for whether or not it should even be there at all. 24.147.141.127 00:48, 17 April 2006 (UTC)


I'm sorry, Cesar, your comments are so far gone they aren't even wrong. All you have done here is repeat what you have said before, that you disagree with the standard descriptions and mehodologies and that you have found a few articles or authors who agree with you. I'm long familiar with Szasz and his position has been influential in many cicrles, particularly those motivated by economics and politics, who have created the despicable practice of booting seriously ill mental patients into homelessness on the streets. There is plenty of evidence supported by the medical profession that strongly discredits the social political complaints of Szasz ond others who simply don't like the use of certain therapies.

You seem to be under the impression that because you can point to some supposed "authority" that your viewpoint is therefor the "correct" one. But you are appealing to authority in the same manner that creationists appeal to the authority of Behe and Dembsky to "prove" that creationism is "right." Never mind that they, and you, are happy to ignore the "authority" of the great majority of experts to whom you are philosophically opposed.

Just because Szasz has said something or Andreasen has said something does not mean they have proven anything at all. It just means they have said something. Just because a book reviewer has liked what they had to say does not in any way prove that your position is right, either.

You have basically said nothing that could be considered a useful critique of Joema's current draft or that provides support for your own view. That there are indeed many questions to be answered about the underlying mechanisms that cause or treat mental disorders is not relevant to the fact that these treatments are, in fact used, that they have been shown to be efficacious to most physicians and patients, and that the profession continues to seek a better understanding of the associated biological processes. Nor is it relevant that you know of people who have lost memories from ECT. This article doesn't take a position as to whether the treatments and research are the best approaches to mental illness, it just states what those treatments are and that there continues to be on-going research.

Some (if not most) medications have side effects. Some have paradoxical effects or are ineffective in a certain portion of the population. So what? That is not relevant to the fact that they are used for certain purposes. Nor is it relevant to the fact that they have contributed greatly to the well being of many suffering from mental illness. Sure, some physicians are careless or ignorant about the use of some medications. The same can be said about any medication or treatment modality, including the use of antibiotics and expensive new drugs for stomach ulcers that are no more, and at times less effective than older, cheaper drugs. I don't think any reasonable person would support misuse of prescription medication. That is not what this article does.

Your constant placement of the Neutrality Dispute template appears to be done in bad faith as an attempt to create a forum for your views in an article on a topic you you have strong views about. The WP is not a forum for your arguments. It is not to be used as your soapbox. Ande B 01:06, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

BTW, it's not "my" article -- while I did a fair amount of the initial work, Fuzzform (a biochemistry student) had substantial contribution. Ande B.'s contribution, though small in quantity, was great in value -- it resulted in a significant improvement in structure and approachability.
Virtually every sentence in the article is backed by a reference. It is mainstream medical opinion. The first sentence is a good example -- it's essentially verbatim from Webster's Dictionary. The main mission of an encyclopedia is to document the topic, not provide a forum for contrary opinion. The evolution article doesn't have large sections devoted to the controversy -- that is in a separate article. The Adolph Hitler article doesn't have a criticism section saying he was a bad guy; it just documents his life history and actions.
You may have strong contrary feelings about the topic, but an encyclopedia is not the place for airing those, whether directly or using other authorities as your mouthpiece. I cannot over emphasize that: even for topics people vehemently disagree with or find repulsive, the mission of an encyclopedia is to describe and explain, not critique. E.g, even the article on pedophile activism doesn't critique that -- it mainly describes and explains it. Describing the topic according to mainstream thought and without significant contrary opinion DOES NOT equate to taking a pro position. Rather that is an encyclopedia's function. It is not a classroom debate.
An encyclopedia article should be unemotional, detached, scholarly -- as if written by Star Trek's Mister Spock. It should primarily describe the topic according to mainstream thought: definition, history, and basis, not present major contrary opinion. That is how Britannica, Encarta, World Book, etc do it, and for good reason. To do otherwise moves toward a pro/con Usenet-style debate. It dilutes the value and credibility of a reference. Every move in that direction diminishes Wikipedia and the value of all substantive contributions. Unchecked, it will ultimately threaten the very legitimacy of the institution.
Anybody interested in how it should be done can go look up Psychiatry in Britannica or Encarta. Do we want Wikipedia to be a credible reference or a newspaper editorial page with pro/con columns?
Unlike a regular encyclopedia, with Wikipedia you can write an entire article detailing a contrary position. I'd estimate Cesar could have written a large Anti-Biological Psychiatry article for the amount of time he's spent trying to put his beliefs in this article.
Similar things things have been debated and arbitrated many times before. With evolution and abortion the result was write a separate article on the associated controversies. My advice is skip the time-wasting arbitration and just write the contrary article. That will likely be the inevitable result anyway. Joema 01:45, 17 April 2006 (UTC)


“Bad faith” for exposing an iatrogenic pseudoscience?

  • Again, this is simply your opinion, it does nothing to explain what BioPsy attempts to do or what research is being conductedAnde B 02:50, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Writing an “anti-biopsych” article would be POV fork. The article doesn’t contain any of the NPOV balancing statements suggested by Rockpocket.

Fuzzform, Andre B and Joema’s replies are unresponsive to the issue. Andre B states that my “bogus critique is worthless”. But the fact is that psychiatrists themselves, not their critics, say that there are no known biological markers in the profession (cf., e.g., the APA 2003 statement).

  • You seem to believe that because underlying mechanisms are not understood that clinical practices are without value or are harmful. A lack of understanding is not equivalent to failure of methods nor is it a barrier to future research that may explain previously misunderstood mechanisms. The salicylics in willow bark provided anti-pyretic relief long before aspirin was produced in the lab and long before anyone understood the underlying physiological processes.Ande B 02:50, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

“...the despicable practice of booting seriously ill mental patients into homelessness on the streets”. Firstly, this was not caused by Szasz’s views, who never had any power in institutional psychiatry. Deinstitutionalization in America’s 1960s was a matter of social policy (federal economic interests vs. state interests).

  • Szasz's views were indeed influential in persuading politically and economically oriented lobbyists who pushed for what turned out to be disastrous mental health reforms. I never suggested that Szasz had political authority of any type. That you read it that way indicates that you are unable to move beyond your own prejudices. Ande B 02:50, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

More to the point, the World Health Organization (WHO) has launched several bio-psychiatric studies to compare outcomes in different countries. The WHO studies did more than challenge American psychiatry to rethink its devotion to neuroleptics (NRLs). Incredibly, patients suffering psychotic crises were better off in countries like Nigeria, Colombia and India with very few NRLs than the rich countries. In other words NRLs are clearly iatrogenic.

  • We all know what iatrogenic means. The above report does not in any way prove that neuroleptics are "clearly iatrogenic." You are confounding a possible general finding of the welfare of disparate poplations with a scientific rejection of a specific class of drugs. Ande B 02:50, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

But no: I won’t NPOV tag the article again for the simple reason that you outnumber me... —Cesar Tort 02:18, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Buddy, it's called consensus. Live with it. Work with the others instead of against them. JFW | T@lk 07:43, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Time for tea and biscuits

This message is meant to be a tension reliever. If you don't like satire, don't read the following or click the link to the New Yorker.

I think that Fuzzform has sugested we all sit down and have a cup of tea. I think this is a good idea. There are plenty of dog biscuits and chew toys to go around. And I'd like to introduce everyone to this guy whose dog is really Tom Cruise. Hahahahah, what? Yeah! Could hardly believe it myself but I did the research, and this dog, great dog, is really Tom Cruise. You say can't be...lots of people disbelieve the truth and believe lies instead. Lies about Scientology, lies about biological psychiatry, lies about this guy's dog, who is truly Tom Cruise. But I've done the research. And taken the vitamins. It's just hahahahah I feel so great, totally because, well it's really Tom Cruise. Meet him at the New Yorker: From New Yorkermagazine: My Dog Is Tom Cruise

Ande B 02:31, 17 April 2006 (UTC)


As stated above, I am not a scientologist; and I don’t think this discussion is getting rational or fair. —Cesar Tort 02:37, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Properly written, an anti-biological psychiatry article is no more a POV fork than having both evolution articles and creation-evolution controversy articles, or both abortion and abortion debate articles. The idea is describe the biological psychiatry controversy, basis and history. Possibly a better name would be "Biological psychiatry debate". However if you're uncomfortable with that, there are already psychiatry and anti-psychiatry articles. You could create a section in the anti-psychiatry article for anti-biopsychiatry, or integrate that material into the anti-psychiatry article. Joema 03:33, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
BTW, Vaughan (a neuropsychologist) made some corrections/additions to the first section. Joema 03:50, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I thought Vaughan's edit was quite good. We are lucky to have such a qualified editor. Ande B 06:59, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Gosh, I see the first poster has fans who have used the contributions to follow him around, sniff his footsteps, comment on his contributions and otherwise attempt to flatter him by its highest form, duplication. Well, that was an interesting break. How many elephants does it take to screw in a light bulb? Terryeo 23:31, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

? Vaughan's edit was a good one, it changed and improved a section I had worked on briefly and that had been edited previously. I never heard of him before and prior to a few days ago, I never chatted with the people struggling to make this article work. Did you have a point? Ande B 00:24, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Short Section on Criticism

At a risk of sticking my neck out, might i propose that there is actually a short two or three sentence section on criticism on biopsych. I think that is appropriate as the anti-psychiatry movement is focused, particularly, on biopsych and that there is a specific journal launched to counter it is, i think, notable. Not to mention the every more vocal Scientology criticism. Also it is mentioned in the intro and thus, a short expansion does not seem unreasonable. I'm thinking along the lines of what is in the main psychiatry article. Thoughts? Rockpocket 06:30, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

I agree that there is room for describing the position of critics. That's one of the reasons that a statement to that effect is in the intro. What is not appropriate, however, is for the article to take a position that endorses the critics. I think that's important. Mere description is not endorsement. Excessive space devoted to criticism gives a skewed balance that is tantamount to an endorsement. This article is in development and is bound to change over time. I don't personally agree with all the practices that are commonly used by orthodox mental health care but my preferences aren't what counts here. I just want the article to be as professionally constructed as possible. I think frustrations about our talking past one another for so long has made the atmosphere less cooperative than it should be. Here, have another piece of chocolate, it will make you feel better ; - ) (Internet chocolate has no calories!) Ande B 06:53, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
My favorite kind! Thank you, sir. I completely concur with your take on appropriate criticism. If anyone would like to have a go at such a short section, may i propose it be posted here and we can all mull it over while the kettle boils? If there are no takers, i'll put something together myself later today. Rockpocket 07:03, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
There should be a Wikipedia guideline Wikipedia:How to write a balanced criticism section. In hotly contended topics the "criticism" paragraph often outgrows the basic material. An example, also involving psychiatry, is Simon Wessely, where JzG (talk · contribs) and myself have warred for months with critics of Wessely's work. They prefer to "fisk" every paper the man ever wrote, without checking whether the criticism itself is notable (e.g. blog posts made by anonymi).
If there are books systematically attacking the basic premises of biopsych then they become a reliable source for NPOV and should be cited, especially if the critics are themselves notable, the book has been a major influence in the shaping of public opinion etc.
Conversely, personal grievances, unnotable criticism and blog posts should be left out of such a section. JFW | T@lk 07:50, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
While having a short two or three sentence criticism section seems OK for the reasons stated, there can be problems with this (not just on this article, but in general):
  • Creates wildly uneven coverage. Some articles on controversial subjects have gigantic criticism sections which swamp the entire article; others have almost none. E.g, Global warming. Few subjects are more controversial or politicized. Yet it's an excellent article -- very detailed, scholarly, yet NO criticism section. Same with Vietnam war -- highly controversial, yet no criticism section. Likewise with the Scopes Trial. These topics are all infamous for their controversy, yet no criticism section, the lack of which in no way diminishes the articles.
  • In practice, staying within two or three sentences rarely happens. Like a huge oak growing from a tiny seed, in many Wikiepdia articles the criticism section grows until it outweighs the article itself. Its mere presence invites this "piling on" effect, especially for emotionally-charged or politicized topics.
  • Inability of many editors to differentiate between documenting the existence of criticism vs editorializing themselves. How do you know the difference? Often they will openly admit their strong feelings on the topic and state their goal is to incorporate as much criticism as possible. To them a criticism section is an open invitation -- a license to criticize.
  • A criticism section doesn't seem to convey the scholarly impartiality necessary for a reference work. E.g, the Britannica and Encarta articles on both Psychiatry and Psychology have NO criticism sections, and essentially no criticism within the body. That is typical for encyclopedias on most subjects.
  • Is the answer to have a criticism section but just "do it right?" In an ideal world, maybe yes. However increasingly that just doesn't happen and the scenario we've just experienced here happens over and over. Sometimes the critics take over the article and when they're done there's little left but criticism. This is aided and abetted by even having an explicit criticism section, which other encyclopedias don't have.
That said, the Psychology article has a criticism section that seems balanced and properly sized relative to the article itself. So it can be done properly, but increasingly it's not. I'm OK with a two or three sentence criticism section here, but it will be interesting to see if it stays that size. I tend to doubt it, as the first large re-write I did had a lot of embedded criticism (too much, as Ande B. pointed out), yet was still judged extremely pro-biological psychiatry. Joema 13:47, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Don’t worry Joema: I won’t touch the section that Rockpocket will post. —Cesar Tort 00:34, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

I empathise with Joema's concerns, but i don't believe the risk that a warranted section on criticism should be left out because it might act as bait to POV pushers. Here is a draft of the kind of thing i envision - borrowed liberally from the psychiatry article. 4 sentences, it covers the basics and can lead in with link to anti-psychiatry. I have not sourced it completely, but can do if there is a general consensus that it is appropriate:

A vocal minority of patients, activists and mental health care professionals, including some psychiatrists, dispute biological psychiatry as a scientific concept, arguing that there are no known biological markers for recognised psychiatric conditions. Instead some prominant critics, such R. D. Laing, propose a 'trauma model' for explaining mental disorder. This theory is often represented in a scholarly journal, Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, that publishes material specifically countering "the idea that emotional distress is due to an underlying organic disease" [20]. The movement, bolstered by groups with similar criticisms of biological psychiatry (such as the Church of Scientology), is often labelled, sometimes derogatorily, as anti-psychiatry.

As always, improvements and suggestions are welcome. Rockpocket 01:39, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Laing died in 1989. Today’s main exponent of the trauma model of psychoses is psychiatrist Colin Ross, the head person of the Ross Institute for Psychological Trauma (a psychiatric clinic in Dallas for voluntary patients which, incidentally, I have visited) [21]. —Cesar Tort 02:35, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
I don't know that it will satisfy Ombudsman but it looks reasonable to me. It's a clear presentation that does not appear to take a position on the matter. I actually like the mention of the journal title for those who would want to further investigate such things. Ande B 02:25, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback, i'm happy to replace Laing with Ross and use that source. I'll leave it here for a while longer for comment before i add it to the article. Rockpocket 04:10, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
I've added the section, but am not overly familiar with the referencing format used. If someone else could check on that, it would be great. Rockpocket 17:17, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Rockpocket: the journal EHPP definitively does not promote the trauma model. I have had angry debates with the current EHPP editor on that topic. Even though EHPP debunks biopsych theories it is mute about the trauma model of mental disorders. Ross and other psychiatrists do advocate the trauma model. You must change the phrase. —Cesar Tort 18:03, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
With respect, Cesar, i "must" do nothing of the sort - i'm under no obligation to make any changes i don't wish to. However, i accept the journal better described as publishing general criticism of biopsych, rather than the specifics of trauma theory. I'm happy to change the ordering of the paragraph to reflect that. Rockpocket 19:01, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

One last request

Ombudsman, I acknowledge you think this article is extremely biased, and Cesar thinks it's "pro-psychiatry propaganda." However the article merely describes the topic, history and basis, it doesn't advocate or propagandize anything. In that regard it's no different than the article on evolution, a concept many millions of people reject. The strong feelings of those people shouldn't color the evolution article in any way (and they don't). The same should be so with this article.

I also accept you and Cesar have very strong anti-psychiatry feelings. I'm not criticizing that or saying it's wrong. However this article isn't the proper forum for expressing those feelings, whether directly or using other authorities as your mouthpiece. If you want to elaborate on anti-psychiatry items there's an article on that topic: write as much anti-psychiatry verbiage as you want there. You could even create an anti-biopsych section in that article to elaborate specifically on that.

If you want your viewpoints incorporated into Wikipedia, that's probably the most productive path. If you persist here, it will have to go to mediation, then arbitration. It will take a lot of everybody's time. It's unlikely that would be resolved in a way consistent with your goals. Why not spend that time writing in the anti-psychiatry article? Joema 01:40, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

What the heck are you talking about? When an article is cleansed of anything resembling a balanced presentation of the subject at hand, that should send up all kinds of red flags - the pov tag is simply the most handy when even modest attempts to bring some reality to the articel are bludgeoned mercilessly with the kind of excuses or whatever the heck you are trying to put forth in an effort to explain the whitewashing. As it stands, the article presents a Pollyanna point of view, and is light years away from npov. Ombudsman 00:17, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
No. Midgley 00:31, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Gee, Ombudsman, I think the majority of people would be asking what it is that you are going on about. You have repeatedly claimed that there is "bias" but all you've ever demonstrated is that you don't like some or any of the medical approaches that are encompassed by the term. Your disagreement with the topic is not suitable grounds to post a neutrality dispute tag. And your ongoing behavior gives credence to Joema's concern that any attempt to present the "criticsms" you cite will be used as an excuse to use the article as a soapbox for your opinion. Ande B 00:51, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Gee, whiz, the heart and soul of the 'profession' known as psychiatry has been sucked into the black hole of Big Pharma's snake oil marketing and profiteering fraudulency, and the article doesn't even reflect the fact that the palliative neurotoxins proffered by the profession's Big Pharma puppetmasters has hardly progressed beyond the palliative industrial dye derivatives that proved so profitable and effective for chemically lobotomizing victims fifty years ago. Hmm, questioning recent congressional hearings turned up the poiqnant fact that millions upon millions of innocent juvenile victims have been poisoned with neurotoxins more potent and addictive than crack or crank, yet defenders of biological psychiatry had no answer to the question of whether or not ADHD is a disease. The article is completely devoid of historical perspective, and says nothing about the complete breakdown of regulatory oversight over the licit drug cartels and their largely phoney research. Where is the info about the fact that the CDC and many medical journals have become tainted by a number of scandalous drug trial frauds? A one-sided article that is simply easy to read --and even less up front about criticism than the now humbled medical journals have been-- just doesn't cut it in terms of npov. Ombudsman 03:02, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Again, your comments boil down to politics more than anything else. Problems due to side effects, toxicity, overdose, or anything else can be properly addressed as concerns in the articles detailing specific medications. Fraud is perpetrated througout the various sectors of any economy and is usually addressed through legislation or litigation. Your fixation on political, economic or other isues is noted. Your language is simply inflammatory and undermines any credibility that you may have thought your argument carried. Ande B 03:13, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Ombudsman, as I explained above, if you continued we would need arbitration. We've now reached that point. Do we have your consent for arbitration? Joema 04:05, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps Ombudsman has a point. Joema and Fuzzform’s article presents antidepressant drugs, as Ombudsman wrote in several posts, in an “ivory tower”, “Pollyanna” way. Consider the following facts:

  • In 2004 the FDA ordered pharmaceutical companies to add a “black box” warning to antidepressants, saying the drugs could cause suicidal thoughts and actions in children and teenagers. The agency also directed the manufacturers to print and distribute medication guides with every antidepressant prescription and to inform patients of the risks (“Suicidality in Children and Adolescents Being Treated With Antidepressant Medications”, FDA Public Health Advisory, 15 Oct. 04).
  • On April 2005 the FDA asked manufacturers of the atypical, i.e., the new neuroleptic drugs (misleadingly called “antipsychotics” in biopsych and mentioned in Pollyanna fashion in the article), to add a warning to their labeling that the drugs could increase the risk of death in elderly patients suffering dementia (“FDA Issues Public Health Advisory for Antipsychotic Drugs Used for Treatment of Behavioral Disorders in Elderly Patients”, FDA Talk Paper, 11 Apr. 05).
  • The same month the European Medicines Agency scientific committee issued a statement concluding that suicide-related behavior and hostility were more frequently observed in clinical trials among children and adolescents treated with antidepressants compared to those treated with placebos (“European Medicines Agency finalises Review of Antidepressants in Children and Adolescents”, European Medicines Agencies Press release, 25 Apr. 05).
  • On June 2005 the FDA issued a Public Health Advisory entitled “Suicidality in Adults Being Treated with Antidepressant Medications”. The advisory states that several recent scientific publications suggest the possibility of an increased risk of suicidal behavior in adults taking antidepressants; and while a review of all available data is being undertaken by the FDA, it is recommended that physicians should monitor adults who take antidepressants for suicidal tendencies (“Suicidality in Adults Being Treated with Antidepressant Medications”, FDA Public Health Advisory, 30 June 05).
  • On July 2005 the British Medical Journal published a study by Joanna Moncrieff, senior lecturer in psychiatry at University College London, who found that antidepressants are no more effective than a placebo and do not reduce depression. The study found that trials of antidepressants with negative results are less likely to be published than those with positive results and that within published trials, negative outcomes may not be presented. Moncrieff found “no good evidence that these drugs work” (Johanna Moncrieff and Irving Kirsch, “Efficacy of Antidepressants in Adults”, British Medical Review, Vol 331, 16 July 05, pp. 155-57).
  • On August 2005 the Commission of the European Communities, representing 25 countries, issued its decision to endorse and issue the strongest warning yet against child antidepressants use as recommended by Europe’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP). This followed a review of clinical trials that showed the drugs cause suicidal behavior including suicide attempts, aggression, hostility and/or related behavior (“Annex II”, Commission Decision of 19-VIII-2005, Commission of the European Communities, 19 Aug. 05).

In summary, in just twelve months more than 16 warnings (I only mentioned six) have been issued on the previously undisclosed dangers of psychiatric drugs that the current “Biological psychiatry” article so naively promotes. While drug regulatory agencies such as the FDA may be accountable for failing to act sooner, it should be noted that bio-shrinks have been their advisors, and have a vested interest in maintaining a multi-billion dollar biopsych drug industry.

But there are no blood tests, X-rays, brain scans or any medical means by which bio-shrinks’ diagnoses can be verified. Subsequently millions of men and women and children have been wrongly diagnosed as mentally ill, and prescribed dangerous and potentially lethal psychiatric drugs.Cesar Tort 14:38, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Cesar, as has been explained such issues exist with many topics, ranging from societal impact of automobiles to aspirin. Aspirin kills several thousand people per year, but you won't find that article full of anti-aspirin verbiage and references. Automobiles alone have killed over 20 million people since 1900, more than all the wars of the 20th century. However you won't find paragraphs lamenting this in the automobiles article -- that's not the purpose of an encyclopedia. The purpose is to describe the topic, the history and the basis for the concept. Not delving extensively into the problems from the topic doesn't mean those don't exist. But that's not the purpose of an encyclopedia. Debate and extensive opposing viewpoints are for Usenet, discussion forums, newspaper editorials, talk shows, etc.
I don't think anybody here is against a few brief sentences summarizing some alleged problems with biological psychiatry, and a link to anti-psychiatry. But what you're looking for is vastly more than that, which is inconsistent with the purpose of an encyclopedia.
Cesar as I explained above if you and Ombudsman continue, we'd need to seek mediation, then arbitration. We've now reached that point. Do we have your consent for this? Joema 16:12, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
The big difference, Joema, is that headaches voluntarily treated with aspirin are real somatic conditions, whereas mental disorders are not. And if there are no known biomarkers in biopsych how do you justify treating, say, millions of children with dangerous psychiatric drugs, or to impose involuntary medication to thousands of adults? —Cesar Tort 18:30, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Casar, if what you are saying is that there is no such thing as mental illness, and therefore everyone who is diagnosed as mentally ill is misdiagnosed and all treatment (or all drug treatment, but I can't see how you could argue that psychological treatment on a diagnosis may be correct, whereas phsycial treatment cannot be) and adduce as a proof that there are measurements that may be taken with a machine to indicate a state in the brain to prove it, and no other history or physical sign can indicate a diagnosis, then 1) you are wrong and 2) this is a view very variant from any that is going to be th ebasis of much of an article about psychiatry. Am I misreading the argument advanced? Midgley 18:54, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Well Midgley, I am not sure if I understood you fully. Anyway, to be frank I must say I disagree with Tom Szasz on this point; and I even wrote a very harsh critique of his book “The Meaning of Mind”. Unlike some fans of Szasz I believe that mental disorders do exist and that they are very serious conditions. However, it has not been proven they are bio-medical entities. Even the APA, the DSM and psychiatry textbooks recognize this (though people like Nancy Andreasen, the JAPA editor, has enormous faith that biopsych will find the biomarkers in the future). Therefore, psychiatric drugs —i. e., “biological psychiatry”— may be iatrogenic, as the above FDA and European warnings suggest. And the same can be said of ECT and psychosurgery. I just debated today in Mexico City with a psychiatrist who supports psychosurgery for alcoholics, junkies and anorexics.

Don’t you find this truly Orwellian?

On the other hand, many mental health professionals believe that people in psycho crises should not be treated with invasive treatments. They need to stay a few weeks or months in the more humanitarian Soteria houses. —Cesar Tort 19:58, 19 April 2006 (UTC)


Cesar, you seem to be greatly concerned about involuntary treatments. That is a political issue, as is any involutary medical treatment. Overmedication is largely a social issue, with too many people looking for a chemical answer for behaviors that may not be pathological. It's the same attitude that drives people to demand antibiotics when those drugs cannot be of use for their condition. Those issues, however, are not the proper subject matter of this particular article. You also imply that there is no such thing as mental illness. That position is not supported by the evidence and is a completely different topic. Ande B 19:00, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

As stated in my response to Midgley above, I strongly believe that mental disorders exist (though that doesn’t mean they are medical “diseases” or “illnesses”). —Cesar Tort 20:04, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Thank you Cesar for clearing up my misunderstanding. It may be that you and I are not so far away in our concerns about the abuse of mentally ill patients and the over-medication of all sorts of behaviors or personal idiosyncracies that get labeled "pathological." I simply don't believe that this is the article where those arguments should be fully fleshed out. The anti-psychiatry article looks like a fairly well written article to me at this time and perhaps you could expand on your concerns there. Also, as I said above, there are quite a few articles about individual medications that might benefit from a discussion of inappropriate ues or inadequate testing and reporting by pharamceutical companies. I haven't checked, but there may be an article about involuntary treatment/commitment and arguments against it. The widespread medication of school children whose diagnosis seems to be based on the mere fact that they are physically energetic little boys could warrant an article by itself. If there are no such articles, perhaps you could develop them (your writing skills are quite good). But again, I don't see this article as the proper forum for that type of discussion. Ande B 20:21, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
I think, also, that your knowledge of the field could probably be put to good use on an article on the Trauma model of mental disorders. Rockpocket 20:32, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
I could fully support Rockpocket's suggestion about a separate article on the Trauma model of mental disorders. There could be a link to that article from this one for those who want to investigate non-pharmaceutical alternatives. Ande B 01:56, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, after the Soteria houses closed in the US (though they flourish in civilized Europe) trauma models are worth revisiting. —Cesar Tort 03:03, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
"headaches voluntarily treated with aspirin are real somatic conditions, whereas mental disorders are not." Real somatic as in there being a mechanical measurement of a biological variable which demonstrates whether someone has a headache? Not usually. I tend to accept that if someone says their head aches, it does, and most people will see someone behaving as if their head hurts and assume, or even say, that they seem to have a headache. Soma and psyche are stuck together, and special investigations come after history and examination in usefulness for very physical medicine. how much less so would you expect them to be for psychological medicine? Midgley 09:44, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Arbitration request filed

Cesar/Ombudsman: as I explained above, if you didn't stop POV-tagging the article, mediation or arbitration would be needed. You haven't responded to that request, so I had no choice but to file an arbitration request. If you wish you can respond here: [22], and put any supporting evidence for your position here: [23].

Likewise anybody involved with this dispute can (and should) add their comments on the above pages.

I regret having to do this, which is why I begged and pleaded with Cesar to stop. Assuming the Arbitration Committee accepts the case, it's out of our hands. They may require edits neither party wants, or may restrict access to the article temporarily or permanently, or may outright ban certain users from Wikipedia. Joema 23:12, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Actual arbitration request page is here: WP:RFAR Joema 01:27, 20 April 2006 (UTC)


Though I don’t have the faintest idea what arbitration means, I very much doubt I violated a Wikipedia policy (as I said, I have not made any edits to the article for days; only discussed in the Talk Page). —Cesar Tort 05:17, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Arbitration generally refers to a process where a knowledgeable third party with settlement authority determines the solution for certain types of disputes. Anyone who might have an interest in the outcome needs to receive notice. I don't think the practice on Wikipedia is to limit talk page discussions, unless those discussions are libelous, scandalous, or otherwise grossly inappropriate attacks on other members (e.g. racist or sexist or foul language). As I understand it, Joema is seeking guidance on the issue of whether the POV tags can be attached to these pages as they are currently drafted. I'm willing to take Ceasar's word when he says he won't re-tag the article. But Ombudsman hasn't made such a statement, in fact, hasn't responded to much of anything other than to re-post the tags. This crazy back and forth stuff needs a firm resolution so we can all go forward with the article knowing what the ground rules are. If the arbitrators tell us that the neutrality dispute tag is valid, well then I will have to rethink my understanding of the issue. Aaaarrrrgh! Bureaucracy! Ande B 05:50, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for explaining it! —Cesar Tort 05:58, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Unfortunetly the explanation isn't quite correct. Arbitration generaly focused on users behavior. What User:Ande B. describes is medation. FWIW I doubt a case will go forward with respect to User:Cesar Tort. I'm not at all certian what will happen in respect to User:Ombudsman. With regards to limits on what can be talked about on tlak pages the talk should be diretly related to dealing with editing the article rather than to general principles around the article.Geni 01:02, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments re arbitration vs mediation. Ande B 00:21, 22 May 2006 (UTC)


Hello Ombudsman, thanks for your welcoming introduction which has appeared on my page. I'm not sure why but my earlier message to you is not shown here! Also in your introduction you did not tell me your present situation, i.e. have you retired from the biopsych article? Solo999 20:57, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

User:Ombudsman asked (in an edit summary)

- as usual not on the discussion page: "why do mere facts, like the reality that the era of 'modern' psychotropic snake oils started w/ industrial dye derivatives (& the pov tag for that matter), keep getting deleted?"

I'll make a stab at answering that (apparent) question:-

  1. Because the rationale behind adding them is not made part of the collaborative process of writing an article - by presenting them here;
  2. Because they may well be irrelevant even when factual - molecules are molecules, and the industrial dye trope seems simply to be a smokescreen - as common in irrational "arguments" in anti-scientists, anti-vaccinationists and less reputable anti-gonists - it is technically a magical argument;
  3. because they are not made out to be factual and WP:CITE notes that unreferenced assertions be they presented by the most reliable and respected editors of all should nonetheless be removed - to the talk page ideally;
  4. because they are undeniably not facts, but assertions - such as the POV tag - or are parts of compound statements that mix together things of one sort and those of another as though they were all th same and added together into an argument capable of swaying opinion.

I think that is probably it, if there is anotehr reason we may yet be informed of it. Midgley 23:27, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Diagnostic process section

I restored the text and provided citations. Let me know if the citations are insufficient and I can provide more. BTW, anytime you think citations are missing/insufficient, you can use the template [citation needed] to indicate that. Joema 19:06, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

"Before treatment can begin for any mental health disorder, correct diagnosis is crucial." I think that may be out of context, it is a very sweeping statement. The following sentence gives an example - concussion - which is significantly less common that delirium - which if I recall correctly was waht I replaced it with - it is rather rare for people to be confused or appear psychotic due to an un-obvious concussion, whereas it is common for people to be delirious through intercurrent infection. You'd find a reference to that in a general medical textbook - eg Price, and I expect we have something on it in http://ganfyd.org Midgley 01:07, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
I modified the 1st sentence a little; take a look. However I don't see your point -- maybe I'm slow. Can you elaborate further?
As the references show, a correct diagnosis for a mental health disorder is crucial for several reasons:
(1) The patient could have any number of conditions that simply masquerade as an emotional/mood problem, some of them potentially life threatening. E.g, depression could actually be caused by a brain or pituitary tumor, which if not accurately diagnosed could be quite serious. Pituitary tumors exist in about 20% of the population who die from other causes (Weitzner, 1998). These frequently cause emotional disorders, which if misdiagnosed as such could delay proper treatment, possibly with serious consequences.
(2) If misdiagnosed, treatments for the incorrect mental health disorder may exacerbate the actual problem (e.g, antidepressants may worsen aspects of bipolar disorder).
(3) If not diagnosed, an actual mental health problem can worsen, ultimately requiring more extensive treatment which affects both patient and health care system. Failure to diagnose mental health problems, especially depression, happens very frequently.
All of the above are covered by the citations, but I can provide even more if you think necessary. Regarding concussion, the citation I provided says it often causes depression and anxiety. Joema 04:05, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
That is an improvement. The Weitzner reference doesn't seem familiar, and I think the chain from pituitary adenoma found incidentally at death to pituitary tumours causing emotional etc problems is shaky. It seems unlikely to me that we are going to treat the considerable number of people who attend with low mood or depression by irradiating the heads of 20% of them. The area that I think the statement as it was covers least well is people with acute delirium. By the time one hedges the statement about so that it fits in a general text rather than a medical paper it gets cumbersome. A useful distinction relating to depression forinstance is between serious mental health disorders and less serious ones. Depression falling into the first category is picked up easily, to the latter teh diagnostic process is at least partly a social construct. There are books about this sort of thing and probably this article isn't one of them. Midgley 09:38, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Pituitary problems frequently cause emotional abnormalities, this was recognized as far back as 1913 by Cushing himself, the father of neurosurgery: (Cushing H., Psychiatric disturbances associated with the ductless glands. American Journal of Insanity, 1913).
"It seems unlikely to me that we are going to treat the considerable number of people who attend with low mood or depression by irradiating the heads of 20% of them" -- Midgley. I agree, but my point was actually the opposite, that a significant % of depressed patients are either (a) not diagnosed with depression at all, or (b) misdiagnosed with depression when they actually have an underlying physical or hormonal problem. This happens frequently. That's why accurate diagnosis is crucial -- there's a propensity to evaluate the superficial emotional symptoms, possibly prescribe an antidepressant, and not probe deeper. This is so with both major and minor depression. At least primary care physicials and psychiatrists often check for hypo/hyper thyroid (which often causes mental disturbances), but they much less commonly check for other hormonal items which can also cause emotional problems.
By contrast I think it's much less common for those presenting with acute delerium to be given an antidepressant or antipsychotic and sent home. (Grace JB, The management of behavioural and psychiatric symptoms in delirium., Expert opinion on pharmacotherapy, 2006). Unlike some other mental health disorders (esp. depression), with acute delerium, it's well understood the cause is likely physical. In that case treatment usually prioritizes the physical, although mental health treatements may be used for the symptoms.
Either way, thanks for your input on this, I think the first sentence is now better than before. Joema 14:45, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Comments on introduction

I think it should be more clearly stated that biopsych looks for the molecular causes of mental illness. Biology deals with cells, which form tissues; tissues form organs; organs form organisms. The underpinning of all of this is chemistry (i.e. molecules) - this is why there is a specific discipline known as molecular biology. Describing mental illness on the cellular, tissue or organ levels is all well and good, but ultimately we seek to understand the underlying chemistry.

As I have repeatedly pointed out, the human organism is nothing more than a massive cluster of molecules acting in concert. At the most elementary level, we are composed of many trillions of elements (no linguistic irony intended) that are chemically bound together. This in turn forms the molecules that make up everything on this planet, including humans. There is no room in this article for discussion of opinions of any type on this matter.

It was once thought the the brain was a "black box", which could only be described in terms of its input and output (much like a computer, although we obviously can describe the processes that go on in between in this case). This is now known to be false, for the reason I pointed out above - at the most basic level, every animal is comprised of molecules. This fact is not open for debate.

This may sound "cold", "mechanistic" or even "inhuman" to some people, but it is undeniably and categorically true. If it were not true, then we could never know anything about biology, chemistry, or any of the natural sciences. (P.S. sorry if this seems like a non-sequitor, but it is quite important, in my mind, to the article as a whole). Fuzzform 01:08, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

I very strongly concur with your interpretation (and have made the same point on anti-psychiatry) and agree that the ultimate goal of understanding the molecular basis should perhaps be made clearer. Rockpocket
I'm really really hopeing that most of the sodium in my body is not in molecular form (pedantic I know).Geni 02:13, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
I think, in this case, 'molecular basis' covers ionic compounds also ;) Rockpocket 02:24, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Again I hope not. We are rather dependant on the sodium and chlorine ions seperateing rather than staying as giant structures. Just look at how nerve impuses move and all that stuff about ion pumps.Geni 02:28, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, i would have thought everytime you put a salt crystal in your mouth you would have an ionic compound, containing sodium, in your body. Rockpocket 02:43, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Blinkered POV

What are ‘Bio-psychiatry’s origins? Who were ‘Bio-psychiatry’s leading lights and most noteworthy groundbreakers?? Hippocrates? …..Really!! And what is the qualified basis upon which bio-psychiatry's aims are founded and sustained? Moreover, what notable achievements in the field of mental health CURES does ‘Bio-psychiatry’ already have under its belt?

Clearly, whilst the noteworthy antecedents, scientific credentials, and beneficial CURES to date in the field of mental health seems other than to have been deemed worthy of mention within the scope of the ‘bio-psychiatry’ introductory article, then such glaring omission would seem at the very least to be ‘un-encyclopaedic’.

As it stands the Bio-psychiatry introduction page lacks credible substance, which perhaps could better be provided through more attentive recourse to those contributors to the underlying discussion whom merely have been judged to be ‘detractors’. I am thinking of issues raised in this talk page by Cesar Tort, which remain sidelined and therefore unresolved.

Surely the defining issues should be more positively aired in debate, thus creating a basis essentially permitting a more inclusive NPOV format and better attuned profile to be presented within the context of the all-important introductory article itself.

Merely to decide in favour of relegating positive contributions quoting sources etc. to the ‘sin bin’ of ‘anti-psychiatry’ is surely a cop-out. As it now stands the Biological psychiatry article is representative of little more than unqualified POV, and as such merely affords preferred scope towards the weightier understanding thus far in the underlying discussion that Bio-psychiatry may be little more than a pseudo-science, i.e. a ‘science’ in name only.

If Wikipedia was available to one and all during the time of Hitler, would Wikipedia’s editors merely concede to permitting a tame representation of the view, that following the Warsaw uprising the GESTAPO were merely intent on being nice guys with good intentions at some point in the future and thus without incorporating a more balanced account of the GESTAPO’S origins, credentials and purported ‘achievements’ to date in place of any vaguely absented introductory profile??

Clearly in the above circumstances and thus in the stifled absence of such inclusive approach, one could be forgiven for presuming, that it might have been the GESTAPO themselves who had penned such an article and whom likewise were responsible for ensuring that all ‘detractors’ should be ‘concentrated’ and left to ‘de-compose’ within a separate camp, rather than their views being aired and debated upon any tried and tested footing affording wider scope towards achieving NPOV statusSolo999 23:50, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Godwins Law? Best check the ArbCom case on this, I think. It may also be worth looking at palliative care, multiple sclerosis and so on and considering whether medciine only consistes of a set of cures. Midgley 00:46, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
As Midgley suggests, reductio ad Hitlerum arguments rarely go down well on Wikipedia. Moreover, comparing some editors' behaviour to Gestapo tactics is frogmarching dangerously close to WP:NPA. Lets hope no-one takes offence.
My advice to Solo999 would be to contribute the above assertions to Arbcom at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Cesar Tort and Ombudsman vs others (minus the Nazi analogy), rather than reopen the wider debate here, since most of his points have rebuttals ad nauseum in the discussion above. Suffice to say, however, specific suggestions for improvements to this article are always welcome. Please feel free to propose any. Rockpocket (talk) 02:17, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Were the helpful points that I’d earlier conveyed so difficult to understand? Of course Rockpocket, the issue of ‘palliative’ treatments as distinct from ‘cures’ might in due course and in a proper setting (the palliative treatments page perhaps?) be deemed worthy of informative mention, although for now, it appears to be the vaguely aspiring and undifferentiated hearsay content of Biopsych’s introductory main article that seems like a palliative sop!
Why further venture in un-encyclopaedic manner towards wishfully representing what Biopsych supposedly aims to do within and amongst fields of scientific concern, whilst as yet no qualified reference has been made to Biopsych’s origins and status as a profession? A science? Or what else?
Poignant projection from Midgley towards ‘Godwin’s Law’ (which I was not previously aware of) seems like a ‘palliative’ hindrance rather more than being geared towards seeking NPOV objectives.
Rebuttal of Cesar Tort’s comments Ad Nauseum? From what I’ve read so far in the discussion page, I agree! And not least of all due to the evident fact that in contrast to Cesar Tort’s arguments quoting high ranked authoritative sources, and thus in accordance with NPOV objectives, Rockpocket’s comments in particular, have tended other than to recognise authoritative sources beyond the scope of Rockpocket’s own highly informed (?) or otherwise self-inflated, and opinionated utterances.
The Biopsych introductory article as it stands represents little more than tightly blinkered POV!Solo999 02:07, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
"self-inflated, and opinionated"? ad hominem attacks are as welcome as comparing editors to Nazis. Please restrict your criticisms to content, and justify them in policy. I never responded in the negative to "Cesar Tort’s arguments quoting high ranked authoritative sources" because i concur that they are appropriate sources. My "utterances" are based on Wikipedia policy, specifically those regarding pseudoscience. If you wish to criticise those, i suggest you quote the supporting policy [24] yourself.
As i said previously, i have yet to read from you any specific suggestions for text that will improve the article. Critical talk page rhetoric may help get it off your chest, but talk is cheap - it really needs to be turned into namespace text that satisfies WP:NPOV. Perhaps if you proposed a specific edit to improve the article, rather than simply POV tagging, we could move forward. It is, of course, you perogative to tag the article (but in doing so, it is expected that you attempt to improve it or at least make clear exactly what it is you consider to be POV so someone else can). However, I really would strongly suggest you make your point here rather than initiating another tagging dispute. ArbCom will decide on whether Cesar Tort and Ombudsman are justified in their assertions and everyone (you included) should take their decision on board and act accordingly. Until then, tagging the article simply muddies the water and risks you being dragged into future arbitration cases. Rockpocket (talk) 04:32, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Solo999, your comparison of Wikipedia editors to Hitler's Gestapo indicates you have strong feelings about this. You've said you want opposing viewpoints aired more prominently in the "debate".
There are many avenues for debating strongly-felt topics: Usenet, discussion forums, etc. However Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, the purpose of which is to describe the topic, not debate or critique it.
Merely describing the topic without significant contrary opinion does not equate to a PRO position. Many topics have controversial aspects. Automobiles have killed 20 million people and damaged the environment. In World War I alone, machine guns killed millions. Yet in those articles you won't see significant dialog about this. Why? Because that's not the purpose of an encyclopedia.
You can confirm this by examining any article in any encyclopedia (Britannica, Encarta, World Book, etc) about any controversial topic: abortion, evolution, etc. You typically won't find extensive contrary opinion -- not because such doesn't exist, or is without basis. Rather, that's not the purpose of an encyclopedia. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia just like Britannica. An encyclopedia is essentially an elaborate dictionary -- its main purpose is to describe the topic, not analyze, critique or present contrary opinion.
Due to repeated POV-tagging of this article by editors with strong anti-psychiatry feelings, there is currently an arbitration action pending. Solo999, rather than continuing the POV tagging along with Hitler and pseudoscience statements, it would be much more productive to state your points here: Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Cesar Tort and Ombudsman vs others.
As a new editor if you're not familiar with arbitration and possible outcomes, it would be good to familiarize yourself with that: Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration, Wikipedia:Arbitration policy. Joema 13:18, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

FDA & European warnings

The NPOV policy states that one should write articles without bias. The policy states both sides of the dispute should fairly be represented, and not make an article imply that one side is correct.

As pointed out by one of the contributors to Requests for Arbitration: “The article seems POV because it tends to present BioPsych as recitation on current procedures and pharmacology”. The contributor finalized his comment noting that “pervasive economic and economically driven influences, with varying layers and degrees of indirect influence, form a whole book in their own right but further charges the atmosphere” [25]. Even Rockpocket admitted: “As it happens, i concur that some of the FDA info could be included. From my contributions to the biopsych page it is pretty obvious that i'm not adverse to including criticism of biopsych, but only within the context of WP:NPOV” [26].

Let’s include it.

Firstly: the FDA and European warnings do not belong to the “Criticisms” section since they are not antipsychiatric criticism but mainstream medicine opinion [27]. —Cesar Tort 03:31, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Quite what do you propose, Cesar? We can't reproduce those bullet points in the article. The contributor you quote may be correct about economic influences, but it does not follow that accusations of bias deserves a prominent mention in an encyclopaedia article. There are similar accusations levelled against doctors and drugs companies, and there are numerous "warnings" from the FDA or EU about medical drugs, but they do not feature heavily in the article on medicine, but for a short section at the bottom. Similarly, there are numerous doctors that dispute the widely accepted relationship between HIV and AIDS, and some very prominant people have questioned it, yet have a look at the HIV article, note the only criticism is found in a short paragraph at the bottom (whith a link to an article detailing the criticisms). Now compare this to the biopsych article. You will find, in its current state, it is entirely consistant with other articles on scientific concepts or disciplines. Sure, the detailed FDA info would be good in anti-psychiatry, and i wouldn't be adverse to a line or two in this article in if you can condense it into a single NPOV point, but i bet the majority consensus would disagree with even that. They might be useful as counterpoint references to some assertions though.
And so, to respond to your 'point', the FDA and European warnings are not in the “Criticisms” section - so that problem is solved. If you want to improve the article - propose something specific in NPOV language, make it appropriate, relevent, sourced and in the correct place and then we can talk. Rockpocket (talk) 04:13, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
Cesar, both you and the anonymous poster 66.58.130.26 you referenced are laboring under a misconception: "article seems POV because it tends to present BioPsych as recitation on current procedures and pharmacology". In fact that presentation is exactly the purpose of an encyclopedia: to present mainstream thought, not critique, criticize or analyze. Doing so isn't pro-topic or POV -- it's simply what encyclopedias do. E.g, the article on automobiles is a recitation on automotive history and technology. It doesn't extensively discuss the environmental damage or the 20 million people killed by cars.
Encyclopedia articles primarily describe the topic, not pass judgment on the validity of it. There is already a balanced criticism section in this article, along with a pointer to the anti-psychiatry article. That's sufficient.
Cesar you've previously stated you dislike all of psychiatry except the trauma model [28]. You've written extensive Wikipedia and external anti-psychiatry articles [29]. You recently said the Biological psychiatry article as currently written is little more than "...advertising...on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry". [30]
You've written another anti-biological psychiatry treatise on your talk page User talk:Cesar Tort/discussion) which you've said you plan on adding to this article, a little at a time.
Externally you're free to participate in an anti-psychiatry or anti-pharmaceutical crusade. If you want, continue giving anti-psychiatry lectures at Scientology conventions: [31]. However encyclopedia articles should have no trace of that. They should primarily just describe the topic, and that's all. See Britannica, Encarta, World Book, etc. Joema 14:47, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

I respectfully disagree. As another editor has stated in Talk:Mother Teresa/FAQ:

We're not trying to write articles that are identical to what you would find in Britannica or Encarta. Wiki is not paper —we have no size constraints. We also cover many subjects that not traditional encyclopedia would touch with a ten foot pole —compare MKULTRA or felching. Our goal is to summarize the state of human knowledge on a subject, and to draw from all credible sources to do so. This includes websites, newspapers, magazines, TV interviews and 60 minutes style shows, books, scientific papers, and so forth.
Traditional encyclopedias don't do that. They provide merely an overview of a particular subject, intended to answer some of the most basic questions, and they only accept knowledge as such if it has spent several years (or decades) aging and seeped into all the literature. They are not very concerned with representing different points of view. For example, the Britannica article on circumcision cites all of its supposed advantages as fact, while giving no space to the genital integrity argument. Traditional encyclopedias are very dogmatic and usually don't even cite their sources —they are the sources.
None of this would work for Wikipedia. We have to cite our sources because we're just regular persons writing articles in our spare time with no strictly enforced fact checking standards. We have to give space to differing points of view because collaboration would otherwise be impossible (and because it has many philosophical advantages —we leave it to the reader to decide between different arguments). We have no space or time limits and are not limited by political concerns either. We have a detailed article about a major disaster the day it happens.
Wikipedia is an encyclopedia in that it gathers and summarizes human knowledge in a structured, readable form. But it is an encyclopedia built under an entirely new working model, with very broad standards of inclusion, and highly ambitious goals.

Cesar Tort 19:08, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

That notwithstanding, compare what you are proposing with the other articles i mention, such a medicine, HIV or even evolution. The community appears to have settled on a method closer to what Joema envisions than to what you (and the number of anonymous editors you quote as justification) propose. But again, such discourse is pointless unless you are proposing specific text to add to the article. We are not here to debate, we are here to improve the article. Rockpocket (talk) 19:51, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
Rockpocket, you are right, there are critisism articles related to for example AIDS and this article. However, if you read the AIDS treatment section, there is a whole paragraph about the side effects of the medication (which is the discussion under this header). Currently I can not find anything about that in the article, and I would expect a line about that. I agree with you, the best way forward is that Cesar would make a concrete proposal what he wants to add, short and to the point. Kim van der Linde at venus 02:02, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Within this discussion page, I have sighted pseudo-justification for the formatting and substance of the Biopsych introductory paragraph quoting Webster’s Dictionary. Clearly, unless such source can be proven to be entirely free of advertorial motive then it ought not to be counted as a neutral source.

If as it appears, that Webster’s dictionary is the primary source of the informative substance of the introductory article, then surely Webster’s Dictionary should be cited as being the source within the opening paragraph itself. It is not proper to quote any source that has been approved merely on the basis of any unqualified assumption on the part of the current editors.

Surely a far better way to proceed with the introductory paragraph would be to quote authoritative sources either from within the field of Biopsych or otherwise having peer-related relevance. The impression that the introductory article presently creates is that of a messianic pharmaceutical cult seeking ‘out of the blue’ to command the co-operation of a wide range of medical and scientific disciplines.

Before proposing changes to the introduction, I would like the views of the current editors. Incidentally, I neither have an ‘anti-psychiatry’ agenda nor am I a ‘Scientologist’. Neither therefore am I aware of why the very mention of the word ‘Scientologist’ is met with such disdain within these pages.Solo999 03:44, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Although never heavily involved myself, i think there has been some serious conflict with the scientology lobby pushing Church POV on Wikipedia, especially on psychiatry related articles. Perhaps unfairly, the cults in general have a pretty bad rep around here. Regarding Solo999's suggestion - the intro of longer articles tend to be summaries of he article as a whole. Therefore they are not often specifically sourced, as the information can be found and properly cited in the body of the article. Nevertheless, you have point about the definition (if it is not elaborated on elsewhere). I wouldn't be adverse to hearing your specific proposal to improve the intro.
I agree wholeheartedly with Kim van der Linde, and (as i have mentioned numerous times now) I have no problem with using some of the FDA info in an appropriate context. It is true that there is a growing body of evidence that many psychiatric drugs are associated with and increase in suicide etc, and there is nothing wrong with a mention of that. What is wrong, however, is giving undue prominence to such assertions as a way of criticising the field. Cesar's body of evidence to this page appears almost entirely aimed to that end, hence the opposition. Kim's proposition about how to proceed is spot on: short, specific, to the point, propositions will be much more succesful. Rockpocket (talk) 05:28, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
Cesar, the quote you posted contains several misconceptions:
"We're not trying to write articles that are identical to what you would find in Britannica or Encarta". Nobody is suggesting Wikipedia articles be identical in content and size to Britannica. However we want Wikipedia to be a credible reference, and not degenerate into Usenet where content is a mishmash of commentary on the topic.
"only accept knowledge as such if it has spent several years (or decades) aging and seeped into all the literature". Not correct. Current encyclopedias such as Encarta frequently update articles with current events. They don't reject knowledge that hasn't aged several years.
"cover many subjects that no traditional encyclopedia would touch with a ten foot pole". Not relevant. The issue is editorial approach within an article, not how many articles are covered.
"None of this would work for Wikipedia" (same editorial approach as other encyclopedias). Incorrect -- it's working for Wikipedia right now on most articles. However a few articles (like this one) where people want to voice stong anti-topic sentiment have a problem.
"We have to give space to differing points of view because collaboration would otherwise be impossible (and because it has many philosophical advantages —we leave it to the reader to decide between different arguments)." Incorrect. Most Wikipedia articles on factual topics do not have criticism sections or contrary viewpoints, nor is such necessary: E.g, Adolph Hitler, automobiles, machine guns, etc, etc. By this reasoning automobiles should have a long criticism section written by Ralph Nader.
"We have no space or time limits". He's thinking the paper format and space limits of a traditional encyclopedia is what drives the description-oriented editorial approach. That's not really correct, as Encarta never existed in paper format and is significantly free from space restrictions relative to a paper encyclopedia. Yet Encarta follows the same editorial approach as other encyclopedias.
That said, the Wikipedia foundation can obviously define whatever editorial style they want. If they want each article to be a CNN Crossfire-style pro/con presentation, that's their prerogative. Some editors obviously interpret NPOV to mean this -- on articles they want to voice criticism about. Ah, but what if the "shoe was on the other foot" and their favorite articles were pummeled by negative commentary?
There's the rub. Be careful what you wish for. Imagine a widespread situation where organized vested interests, using NPOV inclusionism as a shield, began jamming negative commentary into any article they disagreed with. Joema 14:44, 17 May 2006 (UTC)


User Solo999 continues to make bad faith edits while issue is in arbitration

Once again Solo999 has tagged this article while it is undergoing arbitration for just such tagging. This looks like a bad faith edit if there ever was one. The arbitrators will render a decision soon enough. Tagging in the interim should subject the tagger to being banned from editing this article. Ande B 23:20, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

POV tag

Rockpocket: Your astute argument and eloquent reasoning regarding the ‘summarising’ introductory capacity of longer articles tending to become properly manifest within the resourceful substance of the body of an article as a WHOLE, appears in relation to the Biopsych article, to be particularly absurd!
In the case of Biopsych, it is the drug-craving body of the article that has been gifted with unlimited dictative resource, whereas the article’s ‘pseudo-encyclopaedic’ introduction has been afforded no qualified premises and very little of agreeable substance in terms of meaningful and authoritative editorial composure.
Through following the debate in RFArb pages I’ve become aware of qualified recognition to the effect that the Biopsych article is biased in support of conventional medicine. Therefore, I am again posting a POV tag on the Biopsych article. I trust that the tag will not be removed at least until ArbCom achieves some fuller consensus.Solo999 23:50, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
As far as i can tell, the justification for this tagging is that one member of ArbCom has indicated that he believes there may be a bias in this article. This clearly hasn't been endorsed by the committee yet and, as such, i don't believe it is "qualified recognition". It seems highly presumptious to me to pre-empt the ArbCom ruling in this manner. Moreover, Solo999 has again failed to justify why, according to WP:NPOV this article is biased, nor has he offered any improvements or references (a specific issue he appears to be concerned about). Finally, as he is aware of the RfAR - and therefore should understand the wide concern tagging in this matter has elicited - i'm astounded at his decision to re-tag rather express his opinion at the ArbCom. Especially as as many as three other editors have strongly encouraged him to do so. As much as i would like to WP:AGF, i can't help questioning the motivation for such an edit. Rockpocket 02:53, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
After Solo999 above compared Wikipedia editors to Hitler's Gestapo, it was explained to him the article isn't biased. It simply describes the topic. It's not pro-drug anymore than the abortion article is pro-abortion. The opinion of one ArbCom member about the article being biased due to insufficient criticism was a misunderstanding, from two separate standpoints:
  • NPOV undue weight states amount of criticism or alternative viewpoints should be roughly proportional to mainstream scholarly thought on the topic. Based on this, amount of criticism in the article is already over-represented, and certainly not so inadequate to create a biased article.
There is no more basis for Solo999 NPOV-tagging the article than there was for him comparing Wikipedia editors to Hitler's Gestapo. Joema 15:05, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Dodgy Claim

"With some disorders it appears the proper imaging equipment can reliably detect neurobiological problems which correlate with a specific disorder.[15][16]"

This claim seems a bit suss to me - I don't think there is good evidence (and the references certainly don't show) that you can really detect subjects with schizophrenia from their activation patterns. These sorts of studies are hypothesis generating and cannot be used to claim real diagnostic validity until they are replicated with blind raters - which they won't be, currently they are just circular, we all know you can pick a particular area of activation to distinguish two groups, but that is overfitting until it is independently replicated. --Coroebus 17:02, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Tend to agree with you, Coroebus. Rockpocket 17:37, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
Looks like the phrasing is misleading as to the current status of these images' diagnostic capabilities. It might be better phrased to say that there is some "promise" in the technique, which has shown some correlations. But you're right, the current statement over-reaches. I'm kind of reluctant to make substantive changes while arbitration is going on but if I get the time I may post some suggested alternatives on this page. Ande B 18:06, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
as far as I am concerned, I think the ArbCom case argument does not overrule that the text should be factually correct and as such, I think it should be changed. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 18:35, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
Hey, give it a try. I'm just not comfortable doing so myself because I'm one of the people in the Arb. Still, I suggest giving a preview on the talk pages first so we can get more input and avoid adding to the difficulties. (I want to note, however, that most of us from the Arb case are getting along quite well outside of those pages.) Ande B 18:52, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
I think Coroebus is misreading the statement in the article. He says "I don't think there is good evidence (and the references certainly don't show) that you can really detect subjects with schizophrenia from their activation patterns". The article doesn't say you can. It simply says neurobiological problems that correlate with a specific order can apparently be detected with the proper equipment. The references clearly state that, e.g, "These differences are detectable with fMRI and may have clinical utility" (Whalley). That does not mean the methods are non-experimental or ready for clinical use on a broad scale. They are clearly just experiments. In one case a 3 tesla MRI was needed, which is a high end research machine. However I agree it could be better worded. Since I wrote the original statement, I'll change it. Let me know what you think. Joema 23:17, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
I understand, Joema, but i also appreciate how the ambiguity could lead some to believe that it currently used as a diagnostic, rather than experimental, procedure. I'm sure a language tweak would solve it. Rockpocket 23:22, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
I concur that a little tweaking should clear up any ambiguity. Ande B. 00:51, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Looks like you've already tweaked and it looks okay to me. Ande B. 00:54, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Removing tag

I have stated elsewhere that I didn’t want to move User:Cesar Tort/discussion draft to article namespace until Rfar process is over but the idea has occurred to me to (1) do it; (2) replace the Criticism section [32] with edited section as discussed in Talk:Proposed decision, and (3) remove the tag myself.

Any objections? —Cesar Tort 18:20, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Assuming several items are cared for, I don't see a problem with moving your draft to article namespace. These items are:
(1) Article shouldn't be titled "Criticism of biological psychiatry". That implies editorial criticism against the topic. WP is not a forum for you to vent and rail against a topic. Rather it is an encyclopedia where you can report well-referenced quotes from credible sources. Simililarly, the article should not contain unattibuted statements critical of biological psychiatry. It can contain well-referenced quotes from credible sources which are critical of biological psychiatry. Therefore a better title would "Biological psychiatry controversy", "Biological psychiatry debate", etc. This is similar to how Evolution and Creation-evolution controversy are titled.
(2) There should be no overlap or duplication between your draft and similar material in anti-psychiatry and chemical imbalance theory.
(3) There is a difference between criticism of Biological psychiatry vs criticism of the chemical imbalance theory. Biological psychiatry is a broad field that studies all possible biological determinants of mental health and behavior. If you mean to criticize the chemical imbalance theory, it belongs in THAT article, or else your draft title should be "Debate over chemical imbalance theory".
(4) Article should clearly differentiate between criticism of Biological psychiatry itself, vs. criticism of specific political and social policy steps taken by certain national governments.
Regarding replacing the Criticism section in Biological psychiatry, where was the discussion of that? Could you provide diffs of that, please?
Regarding linking to the new article, assuming all of the above are properly cared for, I don't see any problem with that. Joema 14:59, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
OK: I will rename it Biopsychiatry controversy.
I’ll reread the Chemical Imbalance article and see if there is duplicate material relating my draft. BTW, I already attributed many unattributed statements of the old draft to specific sources.
Regarding replacing the Criticism section the discussion with other editors started on 18:33, 9 June 2006 here [33].
After I move draft to namespace; replace the above-mentioned section and remove tag, I’ll rework the Anti-psychiatry article so that this old article deals with the politics in the psychiatry survivor movement and the new one with the scientific issues. —Cesar Tort 16:48, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Rockpocket's statement in the above diff: the paragraph starting with "Nowhere in the latest edition" doesn't belong. The criticism section as now written looks mostly OK to me, except you'd obviously want to add a link to anti-psychiatry and your new article.
Another suggestion: you know a lot of information about involuntary psychiatric medical treatment. That is only partially and indirectly related to biological psychiatry (the field). To avoid duplication between all of the above related articles, I'd suggest putting much of that in the existing Involuntary treatment article, with links to that from the other articles. That way you have a freer hand to add content specific to involuntary treatment and avoid possible duplication in the other articles. BTW the Involuntary treatment article is quite rudimentary and needs work. Your work is cut out for you :) Joema 18:14, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
If you don’t like the DSM paragraph, it’s ok with me. But it’s important to remove another paragraph: the one that mentions hotly controversial religious views since they’re very unpopular in Wikipedia and no germane to biopsych controversy within the academia :) —Cesar Tort 19:30, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
I disagree. The word "bolstered" is key here. One of the most notable aspects of Scientology is their strong anti-psychiatry agenda. They have spent a lot of time, money and effort furthering this cause (something you, Cesar, like Szasz and Breggin, are more than aware of, having benefited from some of that). They way i see it, that paragraph mentions both the scientific and pseudo-scientific critics of biopsychiatry (that, together, account for the thrust of the movement, sometimes together, sometimes in parallel). Moreover, it does not say that these two strains are the same thing or have the same agenda. This section is not about any particular strain of criticism, it is a summary noting those who notably criticise (see Abortion, for exammple. The abortion debate section mentions ethical and religious concerns, not just those within the academia). Therefore, i would suggest, that the Scientologists deserve as much as a mention as the academic critics in this section. Rockpocket 21:32, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Re removing the Scientology sentence because the views are unpopular in Wikipedia, that's not a valid reason. Editorial content decisions are not based on popularity, e.g there are articles on Human cannibalism and Pedophile activism. If the sentence was judgmental in any way it should be changed, but it's not. Joema 22:46, 15 June 2006 (UTC)