Letter of Resignation from the American Psychiatric Association

Dr. Lauren Mosher was clinical professor of psychiatry and an expert on ‘schizophrenia’. For 12 years he was chief of the Center for Studies of Schizophrenia in the (American) National Institute of Mental Health. He spent his professional career advocating for humane and effective treatment for people diagnosed as having ‘schizophrenia’ and was instrumental in developing an innovative, residential, home-like, non-hospital, non-drug treatment model for newly identified acutely psychotic persons.

Wikpedia says:

“In the 1970s, Mosher … wrote a grant to obtain funding for a novel idea for treating people diagnosed with schizophrenia; an intensive psychosocial milieu-based residential treatment known as the Soteria Project. The results of the study were remarkable and showed that people with schizophrenia did in fact recover from the illness without the use of neuroleptics in a supportive home-like environment.[7]

Progressively vocal in his opposition to the prevailing psychiatric practices of the time and the increasing reliance on pharmaceuticals for treatment, Mosher managed to anger and isolate himself from many of his colleagues at the National Institute of Mental Health, and was finally dismissed from his position in 1980.[6] Disillusioned with the field, he wrote a very public letter of resignation.”

His resignation letter is well worth reading. It begins:

“After nearly three decades as a member it is with a mixture of pleasure and disappointment that I submit this letter of resignation from the American Psychiatric Association [APA]. The major reason for this action is my belief that I am actually resigning from the American Psychopharmacological Association. Luckily, the organization’s true identity requires no change in the acronym.

Unfortunately, APA reflects, and reinforces, in word and deed, our drug dependent society. Yet it helps wage war on “drugs”. “Dual diagnosis” clients are a major problem for the field but not because of the “good” drugs we prescribe. “Bad” ones are those that are obtained mostly without a prescription. A Marxist would observe that being a good capitalist organization, APA likes only those drugs from which it can derive a profit — directly or indirectly. This is not a group for me. At this point in history, in my view, psychiatry has been almost completely bought out by the drug companies. The APA could not continue without the pharmaceutical company support of meetings, symposia, workshops, journal advertising, grand rounds luncheons, unrestricted educational grants etc. etc. Psychiatrists have become the minions of drug company promotions. APA, of course, maintains that its independence and autonomy are not compromised in this enmeshed situation. Anyone with the least bit of common sense attending the annual meeting would observe how the drug company exhibits and “industry sponsored symposia” draw crowds with their various enticements, while the serious scientific sessions are barely attended. Psychiatric training reflects their influence as well: the most important part of a resident’s curriculum is the art and quasi-science of dealing drugs, i.e., prescription writing …”

You can read more from here.

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