‘The Mind Gap’

The following Letter by Marion Brown, Psychotherapist and mediator, was published online by the British Journal Of General Practice, 11 March 2019. I asked Marion Brown if I could share it on Hole Ousia and she kindly agreed.  It is my view that this is an important letter given its longitudinal perspective and focus on realistic medicine. The closing paragraph on prescribed harm, and the wide and general experience of being disbelieved, is perhaps the most important issue of all:

I responded in March 2017 BJGP to Roger Jones’ ‘First do no Harm’ outlining my concerns. Now this 2019 March issue ‘Mental Health’ and Roger Jones’ ‘The Mind Gap’ briefing prompted revisiting what I wrote 2 years ago.

Mention of William Sargant is pertinent: amongst my late GP husband’s papers I found a June 1975 GP magazine with an article entitled ‘Medicalising their misery’ mentioning William Sargant “forever assuring us that psychotropic drugs are almost the psychiatric equivalent of antibiotics … and that what we need is more drugs …”. The article concludes “a lot of GPs are temperamentally unsuited to the handling of psychiatric problems and it would be kinder to them and their patients … [to hand] the problem to other people – not necessarily medically qualified – more suited to the task.” (see article below)

The new Sir David Goldberg BGJP article is all about what I was flagging up two years ago. The article by Richard Byng (et al) is more hopeful, reflecting collaboration with Davies, Read et al . There may even be simpler approaches to network approach outlined?

Kendrick’s article about first-line antidepressant choice is perplexing, given his current ongoing £2.4 million 6 year research project looking at antidepressant withdrawal (quoting (2016) “Antidepressant prescribing rates are rising very quickly and some don’t need to be prescribed at all.”

Benzodiazepine prescribing remains deeply concerning. The current trend for ‘deprescribing’ is throwing up desperate consequences where people are being pulled off long-term benzos much too fast. And the wisdom of ‘Incentive schemes’ for diagnosis of dementia? A lot of the issues we are seeing now can be traced back to ‘incentives’ for GPs to diagnose and ‘treat’ depression. The recent New York Times and Lancet articles bear out what patients have been trying to flag up to the medical profession for decades .

I have been involved in gathering and collating real patient experience ‘evidence’: the ‘Voice if the Patient; Petition analysis report’ published by the APPG-PDD. Patients disbelieved by doctors have suffered ‘prescribed harm’ from psychoactive drugs.

Marion Brown, 11 March 2019

Marion Brown has submitted this petition which is currently being considered by the Scottish Parliament: PE1651: Prescribed drug dependence and withdrawal

One Reply to “‘The Mind Gap’”

  1. Thank you very much Peter for this blogpost – and especially for making the references easily accessible.

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