Psychiatrists, when challenged about the massive increase in psychotropic drug prescriptions, sometimes point out that the bulk of this prescribing is done – not by them – but by primary care doctors (GPs).
Although the psychiatrists’ claim in this regards may be true, it is also somewhat misleading. The “illnesses” for which these drugs are being prescribed were invented by psychiatrists, and it is these inventions that legitimize the prescribing activity. And, of course, as the psychiatrists invent more illnesses, the prescription rates increase proportionately. Without the perceived legitimacy of the DSM, GPs simply couldn’t dish out antidepressants, anxiolytics, and stimulants on the scale seen today, if for no other reason than the fear of lawsuits.
This, of course, is bad enough, but the APA’s inventions not only permit the primary care physician to prescribe psychotropic drugs, but actually make it incredibly difficult for him or her not to do so. The APA, through marketing and other means, has established their spurious DSM inventions as legitimate illnesses treated by drugs. So a GP who doesn’t prescribe a drug to a patient who says he’s depressed, say, is out on a limb from the liability perspective. If he prescribes the drug, he has the weight of the APA and pharma behind him. If he decides not to prescribe the drug, and instead encourages the patient to pursue psychosocial or natural remedies, then if something untoward should occur (e.g. suicide, violence, etc.), the GP is open to lawsuits, regulatory board censure, license revocation, etc…
Certainly GPs should, by virtue of their training, see through the psychiatric nonsense. They should also be using their own professional bodies to extricate themselves from this intellectual and legal quagmire, and indeed as lawsuits based on prescription drug damage increase in frequency, perhaps we will see some moves in this direction.
In the meantime, let’s keep the responsibility for the present situation where it belongs – the APA’s spurious and destructive medicalization of an ever-increasing number of life’s problems, and the corrupt and corrupting alliance between American psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry.