GATORANALYST

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A buddy of mine asked me what I thought about the campaign that the church of scientology has launched on you tube to get rid of all psychiatrist. Obviously I started laughing. He told me that it was not a joke and that I should check it out on you tube since this is my chosen career. I just finished watching about 3 of the videos posted on you tube and I have to say these people really hate us and would love to see all psychiatrist have there liscences revoked. These people are so lost!!

Take a look at these videos.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b30iwhEw9ho

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfu7Sr50N7U

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-P6_FwpVo_s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hy79C0v8elE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18fjWAjOwc0&NR=1

Have any of you ever had the pleasure of dealing with any of these people. I honestly had no idea this existed. The only thing I knew was that Tom Cruise acussed Matt Lauer of being glib...
 

solumanculver

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Yeah, these videos really boggle my mind. Anti-psychiatrists have such confusing worldviews... By questioning whether or not psychiatric disorders are "chemical imbalances" they are, in effect, questioning whether behavior is determined by the brain.

As long as we believe that behavior is determined by the brain we are justified in attempting to alter pathological behavior by altering brain function. I don't see how you can believe in mind-brain supervenience but reject the notion that behavior can be treated psychopharmacologically.

Of course, whether or not a given disorder is best treated pharmacologically or via galvanic skin response machine (or whatever) is an empirical question, but it seems like these guys aren't even getting to that point. They cite lack of evidence for the "chemical imbalance theory" without providing any plausible alternative... their alternative, of course, is explicitly dualistic, as it involves extraterrestrial demon-possession, but even "mainstream" anti-psychiatrists like szasz don't have any non-dualistic alternative.
 

Faebinder

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There is no way Scientology and Psychiatry can't conflict.

One builds designs on land to communicate with alien being... and the other diagnoses people who build designs on land to communicate with alien being as schizophrenics.
 

toby jones

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I don't know very much about scientology... But don't they believe that the UFO's gave humanity various sicknesses? I know that they don't think that mental disorders are disorders / sicknesses... But I don't see why they are so hostile to them as their basic view on sickness / disease could apply to psychiatry, too.

(One of) Ssasz arguments that there aren't mental diseases is very similar to Gilbert Ryle's notion of a 'category error' in the philosophy of mind more generally. The thought is that the essential features of phenomenal / mental properties simply aren't material / physical (by definition) and that it is a category error to see them as such.

Some more examples of category errors:

What colour is the number seven?
How fast does the number two run?
Where in the brain is my belief that `the sun is hot'?

It might be FALSE but it isn't OBVIOUSLY CRAZY:

P1) Disorders are states of bodily organs (by definition)
P2) the mind is not the brain (by definition - see ryle etc)
________________________________________________

Mental 'disorders' aren't 'disorders' at all.
 

RMF

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Watch the episode of South Park about scientology. :laugh:

Toby, the mind is not the brain by definition. Ok. So what it is then? Biography, context and neurochemistry all at once? Why not:

P1) Disorders are states of bodily organs (by definition)
P2) Mind is a complex state that arise from neural processing of enviromental signals.
________________________________________________________________
Mental 'disorders' aren't that easy to explain.
 
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GATORANALYST

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Watch the episode of South Park about scientology. :laugh:

Toby, the mind is not the brain by definition. Ok. So what it is then? Biography, context and neurochemistry all at once? Why not:

P1) Disorders are states of bodily organs (by definition)
P2) Mind is a complex state that arise from neural processing of enviromental signals.
________________________________________________________________
Mental 'disorders' aren't that easy to explain.
After taking a look at some of the literature that is out there from the Church of Scientology themselves and others I'm shocked that they have such a huge following. I guess I would be correct in saying that most of there congregation is in desperate need of a psychiatrist!!!:D
 

Chimed

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I've seen some of the videos and other ones like them before. I used to get a laugh out of them, but I'm beginning to find them very disturbing. Part of that may be that I'm starting to see much more patients as a resident (vs. my limited experience as med student) and the devastation of untreated mental illness is starting to really sink in. What scares me is that this kind of thinking (i.e. the rationale of Scientology) may seep more and more into the general public and this may, in turn, prevent some from seeking treatment. My God, the argument is "there is no blood test to prove someone has bipolar, therefore bipolar disorder doesn't exist?!" :eek:
 

DocPsychosis

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This is what really bugs me about Descartian dualism: if the mind is separated from the body, where is it located? There are no Platonic imaginary ideal spaces; everything that exists or is thought to exist must do so in our physical reality. If it is imaginary or intangible, it may exist only as a pattern of neuronal connections in someone's cranium, but it is there nonetheless. I'm not suggesting that this is the best way to model or treat most mental illnesses, but when you try to tease out mind vs. brain a lot of things get strung out between them.

Let me repeat: I'm not suggesting that everything can be broken down into its simplest compenent part without loss of function. I absolutely understand the importance of Gestalt and emergent properties. But to suggest that there is something on a higher level that appears which is not attributed to by lower components is reaching toward mysticism. If 2+2 suddenly equals 5, it's not because there is a 1 hiding in the ether; it's because we are operating under a different set of rules.

fake-edit: God, this was poorly written.
 

tr

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Actually the issue of brain-mind supervenience is not at all resolved.

We've got some circumstantial evidence kicking around, but nothing that could correspond to a 'causal chain' (in fact the whole concept of causality is difficult to apply here, as it normally applies to interactions between physical objects).

soulmanculver said:
I don't see how you can believe in mind-brain supervenience but reject the notion that behavior can be treated psychopharmacologically.
Mind and behavior are not at all the same thing.
 

st2205

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From wikipedia:
... one of the few organizations that publicly oppose the study and application of psychology in addition to psychiatry, claiming that psychiatry was responsible for World War I, the rise of Hitler and Stalin, the decline in education standards in the United States, the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo, and the September 11 attacks.
 

solumanculver

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Actually the issue of brain-mind supervenience is not at all resolved.
Hi, I think that it is resolved with respect to behavior. There are a lot of open questions when it comes to consciousness, but that's not really relevant to psychiatry.

We've got some circumstantial evidence kicking around, but nothing that could correspond to a 'causal chain' (in fact the whole concept of causality is difficult to apply here, as it normally applies to interactions between physical objects).
Supervenience is not a causal relationship, it's a relationship between higher-level facts and lower-level facts. It's like saying that a dot-matrix picture is completely determined by the placement of dots... you can't change the picture without changing the dots. Behavior and thought supervene in the same way on the brain. There is no change in thought without some change in brain state.

Mind and behavior are not at all the same thing.
I'm not sure what you're getting at. If our mental states are determined by our brain states, then it will always make sense to alter a brain state in order to treat pathological mental states. Only if our mental states are not determined by our brain states does it become possible to question a neurobiological cause of mental illness.
 

whopper

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Ssasz is an idiot.

If the guy truly believes in his arguments, let's see him go to the family of someone who recently committed suicide & pull the argument that there's no such thing as mental illness, and there's no place for psychiatric commitment of patients.

I knew a few psychiatrists that actually respected the guy for some time because they believed he embodied the voice in the field that reminded us that we need to constantly double check ourselves.

However...
IMHO any credibility he had as a professor of psychiatry was immediately tossed out the window when he joined with the Church of Scientology to form the CCHR (Citizen's Commission of Human Rights) which is a subgroup of Scientology. One of my professors that used the respect the guy lost all respect for him when he found out about the CCHR connection.

He also appeared in a CCHR produced video, Psychiatry: An Industry of Death, which was chock full of very biased reports, edited interviews with psychiatrists--edited to make the field look bad among several other propaganda presentations.

And I'm just going to say it, and if anyone's on the board from Syracuse..why did SU give this guy a Professor Emeritus rank? Isn't this fool tenured? (and heck I went to Syracuse for 2 years).

If someone really wants to back up a legitimate group that's out to help patients & the rights of the mentally ill, NAMI is such an organization...not CCHR.
 

tr

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Hi, I think that it is resolved with respect to behavior. There are a lot of open questions when it comes to consciousness, but that's not really relevant to psychiatry.
Not to clinical practice, but interesting to consider nonetheless, don't you think?

Supervenience is not a causal relationship, it's a relationship between higher-level facts and lower-level facts. It's like saying that a dot-matrix picture is completely determined by the placement of dots... you can't change the picture without changing the dots. Behavior and thought supervene in the same way on the brain. There is no change in thought without some change in brain state.
I didn't say supervenience was a causal relationship. I said mind and brain don't stand in that relation to each other. Pictures and dots both belong to the physical realm, as does brain. Mind belongs to the realm of subjectivity.

I'm not sure what you're getting at. If our mental states are determined by our brain states, then it will always make sense to alter a brain state in order to treat pathological mental states. Only if our mental states are not determined by our brain states does it become possible to question a neurobiological cause of mental illness.
We don't have access to anyone's mental states but our own. Behaviors appear to be determined by brain states, but mental states are a different animal altogether and anything we have to say about them must be arrived at by introspection alone, as they are not amenable to direct experimental investigation.
 

DocPsychosis

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Behaviors appear to be determined by brain states, but mental states are a different animal altogether and anything we have to say about them must be arrived at by introspection alone, as they are not amenable to direct experimental investigation.
Who invited Wilhelm Wundt back from the grave?

Seriously, to play Devil's advocate here, if mind states are not the same as brain states, then of what are they composed? You say they are "subjective", but that does not automatically exclude them from the physical realm.
 

FURY 161

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I can't wait to 2-PC my first scientologist. Hell maybe I already have and didn't even know it (unlikely I would have escaped that ire).
Naaaah, the protocol for a scientologist is:
9.39...2PC....Medication override....South Beach :D
 

solumanculver

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Not to clinical practice, but interesting to consider nonetheless, don't you think?
Yeah, I do think so. I think that consciousness is the biggest mystery that we have. At the same time, though, I think that it's important not to let that mystery spill over it's boundaries into the realm of ordinary observable science. Inasmuch as the nature of subjective experience is ineffable, and it's very existence in other people is unknowable, it is beyond the reach of empirical methods.

What's dangerous, though, is that some people may take this uncertainty and unknowability that surrounds consciousness and vicariously associate it with neuroscience and psychiatry. They're two very unrelated issues. You can justifiably be a dualist with respect to phenomenal consciousness and still be a scientist, I don't think you can justifiably be a dualist with respect to behavior and still be a scientist.

I didn't say supervenience was a causal relationship. I said mind and brain don't stand in that relation to each other. Pictures and dots both belong to the physical realm, as does brain. Mind belongs to the realm of subjectivity.
I may agree with you here, but I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. Inasmuch as is relevant to psychiatry, mind does supervene on the brain. All of our actions, thoughts, and emotions are completely functions of brain states. The part of mind that's subjective is the "what it's like" part... as in "is my 'green' the same as your 'green'?" This part is subjective, unknowable, and mysterious. But no person can come to a psychiatrists because their experience of green is subjectively different from another persons experience of green, they would have no way of knowing.

We don't have access to anyone's mental states but our own. Behaviors appear to be determined by brain states, but mental states are a different animal altogether and anything we have to say about them must be arrived at by introspection alone, as they are not amenable to direct experimental investigation.
Yeah, if you mean introspection into phenomenal states, then I agree. But that kind of introspection doesn't lead to scientific applications. I don't even think that it's possible to objectively describe a phenomenal state. Can you describe the color "green" without referring to other colors or pointing out "green" things?
 

SamusLives

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So the guy says that everything in the DSM is invented? Can't be seen on autopsy? Huh, what about dementia? Alzheimer's dementia can be seen on autopsy, neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques in the brain. What about multi-infarct dementia, you could get an MRI and see that.

As for psychiatrists not "curing" people. Why don't you talk to an oncologist, how many people does he really cure (as opposed to people who are in remission). What about obsteticians, how many pregnant women do they cure. What about hematologists, how many sickle cell diseases have they cured. Do internal medicine doctors cure hypercholesterolemia (stop the meds and it comes right back)? Come to think of it, pathologists don't cure anything, and neither do radiologists. Man, medicine is full of useless quacks!!!

I'm sure the scientologist positions seem pretty good...until anybody asks any sort of question....

Why don't they present some clinical data of the efficacy of E-meters in the treatment of mental illness (or whatever they all mental illness). It's certainly easier to attack someone else's position, than to prove your own. The old "if I can prove you're wrong, then I must be right" argument is really pathetic.
 

SamusLives

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Okay I just saw the one about blood tests. So apparently, since there is no blood test for mental illness, there are no mental illnesses.

Fair enough. I guess 100 years ago there where no physical illnesses b/c there were no blood tests for them; people just walked around perfectly healthy, never getting sick? Wow. Apparently doctors were created at the same time blood tests were discovered? Amazing, I didn't know that. Isn't learning fun.

If these are the best arguments they can come up with, I gotta say, they're probably suffering from some sort of mental illness.:smuggrin:
 

tr

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At the same time, though, I think that it's important not to let that mystery spill over it's boundaries into the realm of ordinary observable science.
Not much danger of that, I'd say.

Inasmuch as the nature of subjective experience is ineffable, and it's very existence in other people is unknowable, it is beyond the reach of empirical methods.
Yep.

What's dangerous, though, is that some people may take this uncertainty and unknowability that surrounds consciousness and vicariously associate it with neuroscience and psychiatry. They're two very unrelated issues. You can justifiably be a dualist with respect to phenomenal consciousness and still be a scientist, I don't think you can justifiably be a dualist with respect to behavior and still be a scientist.
Sure - well, at least not a neuroscientist. I think the geologists and materials chemists of the world can safely ignore these issues for the moment.

I may agree with you here, but I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. Inasmuch as is relevant to psychiatry, mind does supervene on the brain. All of our actions, thoughts, and emotions are completely functions of brain states.
Actions, probably yes (though we haven't got the details worked out yet). Thoughts and emotions, that's going to be rather more difficult.

The part of mind that's subjective is the "what it's like" part... as in "is my 'green' the same as your 'green'?" This part is subjective, unknowable, and mysterious.
Why do you designate the experience of green as 'more subjective' than a thought or emotion?

Yeah, if you mean introspection into phenomenal states, then I agree. But that kind of introspection doesn't lead to scientific applications.
No, I mean introspection into *noumenal states* (phenomenal states are accessible to science, no?), which takes us out of the realm of science and into the realm of metaphysics.
 

FURY 161

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So the guy says that everything in the DSM is invented? Can't be seen on autopsy? Huh, what about dementia? Alzheimer's dementia can be seen on autopsy, neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques in the brain. What about multi-infarct dementia, you could get an MRI and see that.

Some types of schizophrenia are also seen on autopsy.





Comparison of cell orientation patterns of hippacampal pyramids at the CA1 to CA2 interface between nonschizophrenic control subjects (top) and schizophrenia patients (bottom).


Bipolar disorder is visible on DTI as shown below.



Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in traumatic brain injury and bipolar disorder.

Fiber tracking of the corpus callosum in A, a 16-year-old male patient who sustained severe traumatic brain injury and B, an uninjured young man of the same age. The arrow indicates the absence of fibers emanating from the posterior body of the corpus callosum. Note also the reduced length and number of fibers emanating from other aspects of the corpus callosum body, likely resulting from injury to the white matter in this area. The mean fractional anisotropy of the fibers in this system was significantly reduced. In addition to quantitative measures of anisotropy, DTI can be used to examine aberrant fiber patterns such as that demonstrated in a 55-year-old female bipolar patient (C) as compared with the expected pattern demonstrated in a woman of comparable age without history of illness (D). Interestingly, the patient had no significant abnormalities evident on conventional magnetic resonance imaging.

And since the so called schizophrenia and bipolar are probably 100 different brain diseases I want to see the face of Tom Cruise when DSM 11 comes out it 11 volumes.
 

solumanculver

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Why do you designate the experience of green as 'more subjective' than a thought or emotion?
Hi, it depends on what you mean by subjective. In general, subjectivity isn't the best term to use in philosophy of mind because it's not really well-defined.

What I mean, though, is that whether or not a person is having a given emotion, like anger, for instance, seems theoretically knowable to a third person. What a person's experience of anger is like, whether it's similar to my anger, does not seem theoretically knowable to a third person.

This type of question of "what it's like" is more-or-less the central issue in philosophy of mind. If you're interested in reading about it, I recommend David Chalmers' "The Conscious Mind".

No, I mean introspection into *noumenal states* (phenomenal states are accessible to science, no?), which takes us out of the realm of science and into the realm of metaphysics.
No, phenomenal states aren't accessible to science... at least I don't think so. As for noumenal states, that phrase rings a bell... it's something from Kant, I think. That type of thing is not really part of modern philosophical discourse on mind. What are you trying to express with it?

In any case, if whatever you're thinking of is outside the realm of science, then what does it have to do with the actual world? If it's outside of science, then what use can it be to treat a disease?

Actions, probably yes (though we haven't got the details worked out yet). Thoughts and emotions, that's going to be rather more difficult.
What do you mean? If you're saying that we won't be able to use neuroimaging to read thoughts, then I agree. But if you mean that our emotional states are determined by something outside of our brains, then I think that you're simply wrong. If emotional states aren't determined by brain states, then how can we pharmacologically alter mood?

To be honest, though, I don't think that's what you're really trying to say. What I think you mean is that the subjective experience of a thought or an emotion does not supervene on a brain state. Whether or not we are in a given mental state is an objective fact about the world, provided we have clear enough categories for mental states. What it is 'like' for us to be in that state is not an objective fact about the world.

But psychiatry doesn't have anything to do with "what it's like". If a patient claims that they are depressed all the time and are contemplating suicide, it doesn't really matter that their experience of depression is similar to what we experience when we hear a trumpet... What's important is the actual effect of that depression on the patients life.

My point is that "what it's like" to be in a state may be one of the most fundamental mysteries of the universe, but which neural mechanisms cause which brain states is not. That is a question for ordinary science. It's easy to let the mystery of consciousness spill over into our ordinary discourse of brain function, but when we do that we are ignoring the hundreds of years of philosophy of mind that has allowed us to study the brain at all, and we're effectively abandoning the entire neuroscientific enterprise.