What have John Read and the ‘Criticals’ done for People with Prescribed Harm? (Draft #1)


Well of course they have provided some hope, but hope of what? Here are three shameless ‘whatabouteries’…

What about getting GPs and other specialists (not just psychiatrists) to take an interest in actually supporting people to taper off medication? Have they published academic papers, Blogs, organised meetings (conferences?) to keep alive the clinical practice of pioneers such as Heather Ashton? They also seem to have had very little to do with David Healy over the last decade. Why is that?

There is one brief reference to Ashton in Joanna Moncrieff’s Bitterest Pills, but nothing about supporting withdrawal. The ‘Criticals’ seem to be always looking forward to a Utopia when drugs are no longer needed, rather than the more grubby reality of asking for money to pay staff in NHS clinics, today.

I raised this issue with John Read on May 29th:

No response from him, as yet.

The John Read group’s Utopian vision is actually more focused on abolishing psychiatric diagnosis: many of them appear to sincerely believe that drug use will reduce as a result.

I worked as a specialist for ten years in learning disability where psychiatric diagnosis in so-called ‘challenging behaviour’ (deliberately named as a non-diagnosis) had been largely abolished since the early 1990s. But use of medication (usually off-licence, and not significantly promoted by Pharma) greatly increased. Look out for a Blog piece from me on that in the next 2-3 months.

Does Joanna Moncrieff’s ‘drug-centred model’ really sound as though it will magically reduce prescribing? The basic idea is that diagnosis drives prescribing, but in the USA the opioid epidemic is nothing to do with that: synthetic opioids have been overmarketed by Pharma purely on treating a symptom, not any specific diagnosis, just as could happen with psychiatric drugs if Moncrieff’s views were adopted overnight by all psychiatrists.

Thirdly, what about John Read et al’s lack of interest in pursuing complaints against Dr Carmine Pariante MRCPsych, who notoriously claimed earlier this year that the issue of antidepressant efficacy had been ‘finally put to bed’, or highlighting Pariante’s past and present links to Dr Charles Nemeroff MD, as I have? (Go to link in this tweet):

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