Why antipsychotics aren’t sold on street corners and why psych DXs less reliable than star signs

The Times interview with “rational anti-psychiatrist” Richard Bentall

In Bentall’s view, we need nothing less than a wholesale culture-change in our approach to mental illness. He says that psychiatric diagnoses are less reliable than star signs (“at least with star signs you can agree on who has which sign.


Anti-psychotics, says Bentall, may lead not only to lethargy and weight gain but to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and early death (“these are drugs that don’t get sold on street corners. They are very unpleasant to take”).


But, he says, psychiatry has long suffered from a crisis of identity, to which it responds by trying to present itself as a “proper” branch of medicine, or, as he puts it, “establishing credibility in the eyes of anaesthetists and neurosurgeons when perhaps they should have been thinking more about what their patients thought of them”. He dreams of a system in which psychiatrists “celebrate the fact that they are not like other doctors”.

and finally

Drug companies are bribing American child psychiatrists with huge research grants to advocate this kind of treatment, and it’s beginning to happen in the UK. I don’t know how else to put it but that people are being bribed to poison children — and accepting the bribe.”