What’s wrong with psychiatry explained by a psychiatrist

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What’s wrong with psychiatry explained by a psychiatrist

Dr Niall McLaren

What's wrong with psychiatry

Dr Niall McLaren

Practicing Psychiatrist 22 years

Former Head Of Dept. Of Psychiatry Repatriation Hospital Australia

First Published : 6 Mar 2013

The author argues that the path of mental wellness should involve replacing destructive rules with more adaptive standards. He contends that in general religion, the Freudian model, relaxation therapy, and many other therapies fall short because they seek to “suppress the output without changing the pathological factors generating the output.”


My name is Niall McLaren, I am a psychiatrist in general adult practice. I recently moved to Brisbane, Australia, after spending nearly a quarter of a century in the north of the country. I have extensive experience in the fields of isolated psychiatry (i.e. working without hospitals or staff), in forensic and military psychiatry, and in managing disorders at the severe end of the scale.

In addition, I write original material relating to the logical and philosophical basis of psychiatry. This has led me to conclude that modern psychiatry has no rational basis, that it is not a science for a number of reasons, the most compelling being that it does not have a model of mental disorder. Over many years, I have concluded that biological psychiatry can never form the basis of a general theory of psychiatry, that the concept of “chemical imbalances” or genetic defects is purely an ideological commitment with no scientific support. These ideas lead inevitably to abuse and should be discarded immediately.

To replace it, I have derived a formal model of mind based in a molecular resolution of the mind-brain problem. This leads to the concept of a cognitive psychiatry, where the thought processes drive brain activity, rather than the other way around, which is how biopsychiatry sees mental life. As a consequence, we can dramatically reduce drug use, admissions to hospital and the huge burden of mental disorder in the community. People who have previously been seen as invalids can take control of their lives and resume a productive and satisfying life without long-term psychiatric attention. All that remains now is to convince the mainstream of psychiatry that the direction they have been following for decades is not going to gain the benefits they hope. That is not likely to happen overnight.



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