“Great post George!”

Dr Hisham Ziauddeen, a Senior Clinical Research Associate said to the author of this blog “Great post George!” In a previous post I shared an equally enthusiastic appreciation by Professor Rob Howard. Another British psychiatrist, Dr Paul Morrison described the blog post as “an elegant and balanced piece of writing.” All of these doctors are psychiatrists working in the UK and are members of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

The original blog post can be read in full here. It is by a senior American psychiatrist, Dr George Dawson, MD:

I have now read through Dr George Dawson, MD’s, blog several times and do not agree with my colleagues . Dr Dawson talks of  a “war on antidepressants which is really a war on psychiatry” and the text contains a number of such military metaphors. It is my view that such language is not constructive and deepens divides.

Dr Dawson uses the following language to describe contributions that he does not agree with: “rhetoric”, “not valid” and “they have nothing positive to offer.”

Dr Dawson repeats his argument that the ‘chemical imbalance theory’ was never actually held by psychiatry as it does not appear in Text books. Dr Dawson has previously described this theory’ as “anti-psychiatry propaganda”.

Throughout his text, Dr Dawson uses the term “antipsychiatry”. His use of this term seems to include anybody who has described mixed experiences of antidepressants. My worry here is that this will limit scientific learning particularly when there is a dearth of evidence on which to base long-term prescribing.

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