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Josef Witt-Doerring Cancels Psychiatry & Here’s the Problem!

Absolutism is a big problem. If you subscribe to absolutism, please reconsider.

Here’s the thing: I find it absolutely cunning of any person to rub absolutism on anything without peripheral consideration, such as an erstwhile psychiatrist who maneuvers into the business of tapering and now demonizes the whole of psychiatry. This attitude feeds uninformed skepticism in people with mental health issues who are already refusing help and succumbing to extreme consequences.

As a future psychologist, I would love for people to refuse psychiatry and grow my practice, but that is evil against the interest of the wellbeing of people with mental health issues. And so, I disclose having no conflict of interest as I challenge the absolutism of demonizing psychiatry. We need regulation, we need moderation, and that is where science helps.

Josef Witt-Doerring, an ex-psychiatrist, says, “The psychiatric system in the US is trash.” Really? This is a highly insensitive & unstudied cancellation of the whole psychiatric practice of America. This is disrespectful of the nuance, of the countless number of Americans with mental health issues benefiting from psychotropic, aka various mental health drugs.

Yes, America also records a high number of forced rehabilitation, misdiagnosis, mis-prescription, and mis-treatment of many people with mental health disorders, and this is a part of life, of erosion, disintegration of humans, resources, solutions, you name it. But to condemn the malpractice, it is absolutely not right to condemn the good practice, else it is fear-mongering and appealing to the ignorance of masses already scared of psychotropic.

I would really like Josef Witt-Doerring to stay reasonable in his pronouncements. The whole of American mental health is not about forced SSRIs or SNRIs for MDD, GAD, OCD, and stuff. Once this space fought to make it “bio-psycho-social” from “bio-bio-bio.” Implying that the whole of psychiatry is trash is to remove “bio” altogether. If “bio” has to stay, there will be intervention of drugs.

Finally, Josef Witt-Doerring, may be speaking for America and I am an Indian, also just a mid-career student (with 17 years in communication) in psychology. Does it make sense being critical of a US-educated doctor without any skin-in-the-game? Well, I have my whole body in the game and I know what I am speaking of, what I am critical of and what I find useful. It is an amalgamation. Just because I need my practice to flourish someday, I cannot condemn the “whole” of it. And yes, what happens in America, in 2024, happens all over the world. Ask Joe Biden or your Trump, maybe?

Linda Ashok

Linda Ashok is an India English Poet & Polymath. She is a mental health advocate studying Psychology from IGNOU'25.