My retirement

I have been considering, for some time now, whether I should continue doing what I do in terms of what some refer to as ‘activism’. My interest is in ethics, science and professionalism but my drive is no doubt related to my experience as Peter (SRRI dependence and withdrawal) and all that I have witnessed as an NHS psychiatrist of 25 years. All of this has led me to take a wee shift of stance when it comes to science [for much of the last two centuries the humanities have been considered as separate].

I am struggling to cope with the “wars” and “battles” by professionals in relation to over-medicalisation and the potential for significant harm resulting from this. This has particularly been evident on social media, a situation that seems to be getting worse. Readers of my blog may recall that I resigned from the Royal College of Psychiatrists over concerns about this and in relation to concerns about competing financial interests. The Royal College has never replied to this letter.

Next Monday, 20-1-20, I will retire as a doctor and intend to leave my ‘activism’ behind.

I am proud that I have tried my wee best even if I have not always gone about it in the right way. To be honest I am not sure that there is a right way!

I am proud of raising a petition for Sunshine Legislation and that the Scottish public agreed this was necessary. The Scottish Government should be ashamed of ignoring the voice of its public on this matter.

I am proud of advocating a timely approach to the diagnosis of dementia even though it cost me my job at NHS Forth Valley. The NHS leads and Scot Government, who resisted considering my arguments (as they had a TARGET for early diagnosis to be met), later adopted it when a Europe wide declaration endorsed the timely approach that I alone had advocated.

I am proud of being Peter who is interested in all sorts of stuff but above all my family.

In my early retirement I intend to do more voluntary work and would like to be considered as the Artist that I believe that I am. I want to drop the “doctor” title all together.

I will continue to post my creative work here on Hole Ousia.

[the above drawing was made by my daughter in 2005 when I was in hospital as a result of withdrawal from an antidepressant that I had become physiologically dependent on]

5 Replies to “My retirement”

  1. I am sad you are retiring, even though I only know you based on your blog. I think that your loss to your profession proves to me that psychiatry needs abolishing because it cannot be reformed. However, it does seem to me that some ppl like yourself must have, in spite of the structural harms of the discipline, have done some good, even at considerable cost to yourself.

  2. Peter Gordon to me and many others you are an absolute fearless ‘Hero’ Anyone that swims against the tide is ‘Punished’ look at what happened to Professor Goetche, Professor Healy, You… Professor Healys Blogs are always worth looking at.. You are quoted frequently there. DH talks about Knights… Not ‘Sirs’ Not sure who will be ‘King Arthur’ but there are many Knights and Knightesess… Your patients will be the poorer for not having you as their Dr…. As to activism if it helps your mental Health do it, if not don’t… Or take a break…. People like Michael Hencher, Bob Fiddaman, Marion Brown, Terry Lynch, Lucy Johnson, Mark Horowitz all are fellow Knights… Take care and God bless you and your family Peter…. 👪❤️

  3. I’ve come to the conclusion that there aren’t many good or honourable people in the UK these days, and especially not in positions of influence, authority and power, but occasionally someone comes along who truly impresses me with their courage, honesty and determination to make the world a better place. Thank you for all you’ve done and all you’ve tried to do, and all the best for your retirement.

  4. So disappointed to see you go. Honesty and integrity are very uncommon these days. You possess both in abundance. You also have a vastly underrated ability to shown genuine emotion in your views on the topics you have covered. Best of luck in your future activities.

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