What follows is an archive of some of the contributions made to social media by Dr Mark Bolstridge, Trainee Psychiatrist. The full and necessary context for all of these contributions can be found on the author’s twitter timeline @mark_bolstridge where he introduces himself as follows: “Forensic trainee interested in biopsychosocialphilosophanthropoethical psychiatry. Tweeting in personal capacity”. Dr Bolstridge’s GMC Responsible Officer is Professor Geta Menon, Postgraduate Dean at Health Education England.
This archive – which appears to present a pattern of language – has been shared for one reason alone: to encourage respectful and constructive communications by all.
In December of 2018 The Royal College of Psychiatrists and the British Psychological Society came together to confirm a common set of ideals and principles. These were published in the Lancet and included the principle that “good debate” should be “respectful and constructive”.
A reminder of the full set of Royal College of Psychiatrists values:
Dr Kate Lovett, the Current Dean for the Royal College of Psychiatrists, shared this advice on the 5th January 2020: “The General Medical Council are the medical regulator and have clear guidelines re use of social media. Most employers also have policies they require employees to abide by.”
The following has been divided into two sections:
- Section ONE: Dr Mark Bolstridge in his own words
- Section TWO: Comments about Dr Mark Bolstridge’s behaviour and language
Section One: Dr Mark Bolstridge in his own words
The following statements have all been made openly on social media by Dr Mark Bolstridge:
Dr Mark Bolstridge, Trainee Psychiatrist [21 Aug 2017] to a fellow mental health professional:“Same with UKIP and the British National Party but does it make it right? . . . Keep your Hair on Mussolini”
Dr Mark Bolstridge, Trainee Psychiatrist [16 Dec 2018] “It was Prof David Nutt ‘s drug harm paper which emphasises how little people are prepared to listen even when the science is staring them in the face” [It is possible that Prof David Nutt has recieved more money from Industry than nearly any other UK doctor/academic/researcher. We will never know for sure as there is no need to be fully transparent about such payments. Some of what is known can be accessed here]
Dr Mark Bolstridge, Trainee Psychiatrist [5 May 2019] “Melancholic depression is sexy depression hardly severe”
Dr Mark Bolstridge, Trainee Psychiatrist [5 May 2019] to Dr Huda on his newly published Text Book: “Congrats big guy and cover looks beautiful. No doubt your model emphasises the all inclusiveness of the MDT as opposed to other pulp fictional texts which recommend elimination of key members…” and then, in reference to the President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists “Wendys gonna be out of a job soon.” [A more detailed review of Dr Huda’s book can be read here]
Dr Mark Bolstridge, Trainee Psychiatrist [23 May 2019] in response to research on patients longterm experiences of antidepressants, including physiological dependence and significant and disabling withdrawal effects “Thats fine if you want to adopt the lay description and ignore the science.” Dr Bolstridge then shares the ‘experience’ of rats used in scientific studies on antidepressants.
Dr Mark Bolstridge, Trainee Psychiatrist [22 August 2019] in relation to an article on antidepressants, dependence and withdrawal: “Should trainee psychiatrists believe anything written by members of the Council for Evidence Based Psychiatry [CEP]. Discuss? “
Dr Mark Bolstridge, Trainee Psychiatrist [23 August 2019] “I think it’s [their] ungentlemanly conduct which irks”
Dr Mark Bolstridge, Trainee Psychiatrist [6 Sept 2019] “Try and avoid anything by Hendergarten . .” and then sarcastically “No I trust the prescribed harmed community much more”. This was in relation to research that considered drug-induced akathisia and sucidality.
Dr Mark Bolstridge, Trainee Psychiatrist [2 Oct 2019] “The Council for Extraordinary Propaganda strikes again. Exterminate Exterminate” responding to a Tweet by Dr Samei Huda which depicts the Council for Evidence Based Psychiatry [CEP] as Daleks. Dr Mark Bolstridge, then tweeted “The fluffer extraordinaire James Davies doing a sterling job however”
Dr Mark Bolstridge, Trainee Psychiatrist [13 Dec 2019] “Lol Big Pharma Conspiracies are on a par with the Illuminati, 9/11 deniers, New World Order conspiracies, David Icke reptilians and other mass delusions” [Dr Bolstridge may like to aquaint himself with this evidence on UK Psychiatry and Industry.]
Dr Mark Bolstridge, Trainee Psychiatrist [10 Jan 2020] “I’m not sure how having opposing views equates to being unprofessional. Ultimately the accusation limits any form of interaction as psychiatrists become afraid to air their opinions so the debate becomes incredibly one-sided.” [Personal comment: opposing views are welcome, however abandonment of College Core Values and GMC Guidance on Doctors Use of Social Media is another matter]
Dr Bolstridge to a fellow trainee UK Psychiatrist [4 Feb 2020]: “You need some Stahl in your life so as to understand basic psychopharmalogical agents’ modes of action.” [Professor Stephen Stahl has recieved more payments from the Pharmaceutical Industry than perhaps any other doctor in the world. His influence extends to the UK where he is paid to market new drugs to UK Psychiatrists. You can read some of this here]
Dr Mark Bolstridge, Trainee Psychiatrist [27 April 2020] – this was unmistakably a sarcastic comment in relation to discussion about iatrogenic harm: “Need to know whether to utilise my time on cracked or toxic psychiatry”
Dr Mark Bolstridge, Trainee Psychiatrist [12 May 2020] “Now hes an anti-psychopharmacologist hes incongruously on the editorial board amongst lots of psychopharmacologists” [Here Dr Bolstridge describes a fellow professional whose interest is in improving informed consent and then Dr Bolstridge goes on to argue against the need to learn from all consequences of interventions. This sort of argument runs contrary to the guidance of Sir Robert Francis]
Dr Mark Bolstridge, Trainee Psychiatrist [22 May 2020] – in reference to Professor Guy Goodwin: “Complete master of his craft, a psychopharmacological wizard” [This tweet has been included here because Prof Guy Goodwin was the doctor/academic/researcher that BBC Panorama chose to feature in relation to his extensive paid work for Industry]
Dr Mark Bolstridge, Trainee Psychiatrist [29 May 2020] “I really dont think you have a true appreciation of how these things work. In clinical practice a small proportion of folk suffer withdrawal from antidepressants” [This was Dr Bolstridge’s reply to a father whose son had suffered terrible and protracted withdrawal effects from an antidepressant]
Dr Mark Bolstridge, Trainee Psychiatrist [23 March 2020] “It’s sad that you condone & encourage abuse from your followers [————–]” . . “Also I’m none the wiser why tweeting about elephants brains makes me insensitive, illogical and offensive” [Dr Bolstridge brought into the conversation the size of male genitalia “bigger isn’t always better” when talking about brain volume]. One of those to respond to Dr Bolstridge “Because you weren’t tweeting about elephant brains. That tweet made light of one of the greatest devastations of my life. Something on par with the losses of my brother and father.”
Dr Mark Bolstridge, Trainee Psychiatrist [18 June 2020] – This was Dr Bolstridge’s response to the publication by me, in one place, of the words made in public by UK Psychiatrists. The publication allowed the examination of professional values and whether GMC and RCPsych guidance is being followed? “He’s not okay at all” [I have politely asked Dr Bolstridge to delete this tweet about me and publicly apologise, but he has chosen not to do so]
Before reading section TWO, this comment, made in the BMJ by Richard Smith it’s former Editor is worth kleeping in mind:
“Psychiatry seems to have lost its way… The response should not be to refuse to listen to criticisms… but to listen to and use them as a stimulus to deep examination of current practice.”
Section TWO: Comments about Dr Mark Bolstridge’s behaviour and language
Made openly on social media by a range of individuals:
At first glance it can appear unfair that the comments made about Prof Rob Howard are not attributed in the same way as the previous section. The main reason behind this approach is that, if an organisation such as the RCPsych wishes to aspire to being the arbiter of professionalism, and to assume the position of power that comes with this role, then that organisation and its represenatives must be willing to be held publicly accountable when they are perceived to depart from the values they collectively espouse.
“If he isn’t s insulting and mocking people, his life is incomplete . . .Thinks he’s witty and clever”
“Worrying when someone who does this is in a position of trust [who works in the caring profession]”
“Ah there he is again, our lovely bully” [a comment about Dr Bolstridge by a fellow mental health professional]
“Dr Bolstridge fails to comprehend the pain we feel when reading his comments”
“Dr Bolstridge, no offence but IMO you struggle with insight into your damaging behaviour. Even at this late stage of your smear campaign [to a section of vulnerable patients] an apology would be seen as evidence as a way forward in your personal development.” [Note: there was no apology given by Dr Bolstridge]
“I find Dr Bolstridge’s so called sense of humour appalling, his repeated sarcastic remarks juvenile, but of course I am a mere patient and clearly I must be the problem.”