Friday, April 2, 2010

A psychiatric manifesto

Henry A. Nasrallah, MD


Psychiatry is one of the most rapidly evolving medical disciplines. Its scientific foundation is neuroscience, which is growing at the most explosive pace in science. Yet the public and even other medical specialists still envision psychiatrists sitting behind a couch scribbling Freudian jargon on a yellow pad. For that reason, I propose that we create a manifesto that promulgates the basic tenets of psychiatry and make it a permanent, living document on

So I present my initial iteration of a psychiatric manifesto here. I invite all readers and visitors to suggest valid additions and/or modifications. I will serve as the custodian and editor of the manifesto, in charge of its continuous update as a living document

1 comment:

  1. I welcome this effort but here are some suggestions:

    "... the mental health system penalizes recovery by withdrawing health care coverage."

    We should stick to psychiatry and stay out of reimbursement. Our role is to diagnose and treat, not to get money.

    "The public mental health system is broken and dysfunctional. Seriously mentally ill individuals are stigmatized and impoverished, lack primary medical care, die decades earlier than the life expectancy of the general population, often abuse alcohol and illicit drugs, and are incarcerated in such huge numbers that jails and prisons have transformed to the new mental 'institutions.'"

    All probably true but not about psychiatry.

    Here's an addition perhaps related remotely to the item that mentions the medical model:

    Since the psychiatrist's role should be to diagnose and treat mental illness, it should not include control of or responsibility for the behavior of another person, even when that behavior involves violence, suicide, substance abuse, and certainly not religious or political activity.