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Medical Psychiatry psaudoscience?

  1. Dec 25, 2011 #1
    Does anybody have information, links or books which are about the legtimacy of what i believe is called forensic psyhiatry? or psyhiatry in general. Now I know nothing about psyhiatry but for me it seems like a psaudoscience.

    In the recent year I have read storys (not in English) where the psycaetrist has declared murderers insane(i do not know the legal term in english but it means that he cant be sentenced to prison, but has to go the hospital to someone declares him healthy) without even talking to them or given them any tests, they accept it when people say they don't remember without any tests or they "treat" pedophiles with treatments which has no articles in medical journals.

    After a car incident one person got three different diagnoses from three different psychiatrists, he still had, have had and never had post traumatic stress.

    Appologice for my bad English and I don't want to insult anyone so if i have the wrong inpression please let me now.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2011
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 26, 2011 #2
    Psychology is not at all pseudo science but it is the study of the human mental state of mind.

    Psychology is the understanding of the tought of the human mind and how or why it got that way. When you begin to learn psychology much of it is common sense.
    If you do such and such to a baby then the result of how that baby acts as a future adult can clearly seen. You put a boy at a very young age only with girls and keep him with girls then by age of 20 you would see him walk and quite possibly talk like a girl too! I hope others here can suggest great books to read but I 'd like to offer you a starting point and the first book I'd like you to read is called "The power of myth." By Joseph Campbell. Once done with that book you will then understand a bit more about the male psyche.

    Happy new year!
  4. Dec 27, 2011 #3
  5. Dec 28, 2011 #4
    Thanks to both, I have ordered them from my library, but does Abnormal psycology requires any previous exposour to psycology? because I have none.
  6. Dec 28, 2011 #5


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    Since you're apologizing for your English, I assume you aren't in the US. That might make the answer different. In the US, psychiatry is different than psychology. Psychiatry is a medical profession, which requires 4 years of post-graduate education in medical school (different from countries where medical school is an undergraduate degree) plus at least 2 years of residency with specialized training. Psychologists have a 4 year undergraduate degree, and may have a masters degree (2years) or Ph.D. (4ish years) in clinical psychology, but no other medical training. Psychiatrists focus on actual pathology...something wrong with the brain causing abnormal behavior, often in conjunction with neurologists...and are licensed to prescribe medications to treat those illnesses or conditions. Psychologists can't prescribe medications and pretty much just address behavioral interventions...for example, someone who is healthy, but having difficulty coping with some life event and just needs someone to talk it through with them.

    In the US, only a psychiatrist would be qualified to determine if someone had a mental illness that would explain criminal behavior. It doesn't let someone out on the street, but would mean here's no expectation they could be rehabilitated or understand punishment in prison, because there is something wrong with their brain. So, instead, they are sent to a mental hospital. The reality is that most never get out, because they aren't curable, just treatable. As for different diagnoses, that isn't because it is pseudoscience, but because it's an applied science, and the science part means there is still a lot left to learn. Many psychiatric illnesses have common symptoms, and in criminal cases, there are often multiple illnesses to treat, so it's not unexpected for there to still be disagreement.

    On the other hand, it's not even remotely possible to diagnose or treat someone for a psychiatric illness without ever interviewing them personally. If it has happened, it isn't a problem with the field of science, but with the ethics and/or qualifications of the practitioners.

    The definitions, education and training, and licensing requirements, if any, to vary by country for any medical profession, so I can't rule out that you've had very different experiences if living somewhere other than the US, but again, it's not a problem with the science, but the people who call themselves psychiatrists or psychologists in other countries.
  7. Dec 28, 2011 #6
    The profession, in criminal cases, is biased by their client...unofficially.

    IE: Some possibilities: The defense wants him found to be mentally ill to help explain the crime/reduce the punishment, the prosecution wants him sane so they can get a maximum conviction/punishment...so one medical professional who thinks everyone is crazy tends to be hired by the defense, and another who thinks everyone is sane tends to be hired by the prosecution.

    As evaluation of a criminally insane person can be confounded by their ability to mimic a sane person, and some sane people act a bit insane under pressure, etc...its hard to talk to a patient for 60 minutes or so, and really know for sure.

    One professional talks to the guy and thinks he's faking having PTS to take advantage of the system, another believes he used to have it but is OK now, and the third pro feels he has it, and still needs treatment.

    Its not an exact science....all three could be wrong for example.
  8. Dec 31, 2011 #7
    I'm from Norway, and the Psychiatriests are doctors. Maybe it is the practitioners that is the problem, but I hear these stories often and the practitioners get no penalty for doing sloppy work. Are you a Psychiatriest? I'm not so this may be a bad critic, but the man who killed 70 youths at a summer camp(utøya) in Norway(2011). The psychiatriests gave him 2 at the Gaf test, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Assessment_of_Functioning and acording to other psychiatriests that means he is not even capable of tying his sho lices. Now I have no doubt that the man is insane in some way, but he was able to make a bomb, use it and then go to utøya to kill the youths. He had planned the act for atleast 7 years. That does not sound like a man who cant get himself dressed.
  9. Dec 31, 2011 #8


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