Thursday, March 5, 2009
Only in America:
Yesterday, right-wing radio blabbermouth Rush Limbaugh challenged President Obama to a debate. From the transcript of his March 4 show:
"Why doesn't President Obama come on my show? We will do a one-on-one debate of ideas and policies. ... I am offering President Obama to come on this program - without staffers, without a teleprompter, without note cards - to debate me on the issues. Let's talk about free markets versus government control. Let's talk about nationalizing health care and raising taxes on small business."
Do the words grandiose and delusional come to mind?
And didn't Limbaugh earlier say he hopes the President will fail?
How about nihilist to describe the guy?
Funny thing - call it my own internal Rorschach test - when I think nihilist I think antipsychiatrist. In his blog on Psychology Today, Nassir Ghaemi MD of Tufts University writes:
"I suggested that many critics of academic psychiatry, especially those who attack links to the pharmaceutical industry, suffer from postmodern nihilism. They do not believe in any truths; thus they see the manipulative interests of private enterprise and the greedy search for wealth behind everything."
Wait, here's the kicker: "Scientologists cannot be accused of that motivation. If anything, they are true believers ..." Say whatever you want about Scientologists, at least they stand for something.
So, is it possible to be in sync with antipsychiatry and not be an antipsychiatrist? Yes, as long as you don't let "anti" define you. Let me give you an example:
Back in 2003, I attended a two-day Non-Pharmaceutical Approaches to Mental Disorders conference in Pasadena, sponsored by Safe Harbor, which is the best source of non-meds info on the web. Founder Dan Stradford has connections with Scientology, which I'm only bringing up before someone else does in a negative guilt-by-association way. When you hear Dan speak you can't help but be moved by his story about his late father.
At the conference, I heard Lewis Mehl-Madrona, MD, PhD discus integrative psychiatry and Native American healing, Julie Ross on natural supplements, William Walsh PhD on methylation and metal poisoning, Doris Rapp MD on toxins, Kathleen Crowley on procovery, and much much more
I love Ms Crowley's advice, by the way: "Just start anywhere."
Intriguingly, a panel of parents of bipolar kids testified on the progress of their kids on natural regimens. Mind you, we didn't hear any failure stories, but in strong contrast to the antipsychiatry party line we did hear explicit recognition that bipolar in kids is horrific and real.
Naturally, I was interested in what the people who paid to attend thought of the proceedings. It's fair to say they were not exactly bullish on psychiatry, but neither did they identify themselves by what they were against. Instead, they were hopeful that people could live better lives, and to a person they wanted to be part of that process. One group of very pleasant women was interested in forming a "NAMI Natural" branch to their local NAMI.
Clearly, these people weren't antipsychiatrists. Far from it. And because they actually had something to say, not to mention showing an interest in where I was coming from, I was all ears. With antipsychiatrists, take my word for it, you wish you had a button to turn the audio off. Ah - so that's why they remind me of Rush Limbaugh.