“It is time to drive the stake into its misbegotten heart”

In a recent perspective published in the Psychiatric Times, Ronald Pies, MD, said

Ronald Pies, MD, Editor-in-Chief Emeriti for the Psychiatric Times, continued:

This perspective is developed under the following headline:

Dr Dawson MD is the author of the blog Real Psychiatry’.

Ronald Pies, MD, concludes his 2019 perspective with the following:

In 2015 the following paper was published:

From this link you can read the paper in full along with the full reply by Ronald Pies.

This paper includes published comments by Pies from 2014:

Alongside the full quote by Pies, the authors outline their concern about the ethics of such an approach to practice:

Other sub-headlines in this paper included:



My perspective:
I have worked as an NHS psychiatrist for quarter of a century. My training was based entirely on this “little white lie”: that psychiatry, “real” or otherwise, did nothing to “debunk”. In fact the chemical imbalance theory was included in my MRCPsych training and exams. Stephen Stahls neurotransmitters diagrams (which “explained” the chemical imbalance) were ubiquitous in our training and continuing medical education.  Stephen Stahl continues to be one of the highest paid key opinion leaders in the world.

The chemical imbalance theory was also at the very heart of the pharmaceutical sponsored Defeat Depression Campaign which was supported jointly by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Royal College of General Practitioners. As a result of this promotion we now have nearly 1 in 5 Scots on antidepressants.

I have written several times to the Royal College of Psychiatrists asking why the extensive marketing material for the Defeat Depression Campaign [that is kept by the College] has not  been made publicly available. My polite requests have received no reply.

I am troubled that Dr Pies and Dr Dawson are of the view that they offer the “real” perspective – and continue to suggest that the view of anybody else is “anecdotal”.

Patrick Geddes, the Scottish social scientist and philosopher, was of the view that is “by living that we learn”. Science needs to include the views of all if it is to be science. It also needs to be fully transparent.

In conclusion:
I cannot speak for the USA but I find Dr Pies re-writing of history deeply troubling. Like Dracula, it is certainly supernatural.

The authors of the October 2015 paper in the Behavior Therapist made clear the following and I wish to restate it:

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