Review of Louis Theroux’s ‘Mothers on the Edge’

‘Mothers on the Edge’ was broadcast last night.

Thanks to the anonymous* source in the South London and Maudsley Hospital Trust PR department for reporting the following conversation, which took place about eighteen months ago:

‘Great! Louis Theroux is interested in filming on the perinatal unit.’

‘Is that really a good idea? His 2010 programme on ‘America’s Medicated Kids’ received quite sceptical reviews about psychiatry and medication from the Guardian, and Mumsnet readers. Louis got the children and teenagers to open up quite a lot, undermining the idea that their behaviours were merely ‘symptoms’. He even filmed a Pittsburgh psychiatrist admitting that drugs were often used in preference to psychosocial interventions.’

‘Relax. The Jimmy Savile thing blew up not long after, and Louis has been eating humble pie ever since.


‘So he won’t stray from the script of psychiatrists doing their best to be psychosocial, and only using medication if absolutely necessary?

‘We have already agreed the consultant will not be challenged on claims about ‘trauma’ being addressed in all patients. No awkward questions about #Pharma COI involving SLAM, or personality disorder, either.

‘I am still surprised they want to film at one of the best-funded perinatal units in the country, rather than somewhere that is struggling and likely to use even more drugs.’

‘The BBC are much less interested in challenging the medical establishment than they used to be. Of course we want to be discreet about ex-BBC journalists now working in PR, but unfortunately some, like the RCPsych’s Kim Catcheside, can’t resist bragging occasionally about their influence.’

Screenshot_2019-05-13 Kim Catcheside on Twitter RCPsych team worked tirelessly to get responses hopefully in Telegraph and [...]

* and fictional.







About Dr Neil MacFarlane MRCPsych

Independent Psychiatrist providing culturally informed mental health opinion, advice, and a few new facts. Based near London, UK. Main qualifications: BA MBBS MA MRCPsych.

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