Thursday, October 23, 2008

"Try to Remember. Psychiatry's Clash Over Meaning, Memory and Mind"

10/23/08. Paul McHugh's new book with the above captioned title is going to be published in November. Below is a link to excerpts from this book.

Dr. McHugh, former Chair of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, has had a front seat to witness the wild misdirections of psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health clinicians. These misdirections began in the 1980s, with a mass tide of false allegations of child abuse cases. These cases were focused on child care workers in day care centers, but these false accusations that sometimes resulted in long prison sentences for innocent people spread with a fever pitch to other vulnerable groups --- parents locked in custody battles, and adults in therapy recalling "forgotten" sexual abuse. These cases were given much media attention.

We have witnessed patients who come to psychologists and psychiatrists with depression or difficulty with relationships. Some of these patients "remember" during psychological therapy forgotten sexual mistreatment in childhood --- and often get the diagnosis of Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), among other labels. Families are torn apart when a child - who is now an adult - falsely accuses her father of sexually abusing her many years ago.

Just as Satan appeared in Salem, Mass. three hundred years ago, in our time a vast increase in the diagnosis of MPD is used to validate the huge numbers of adults who claim to have been sexually victimized during their childhoods.

Of course some adults have experienced horrific sexual abuse in childhood --- with resulting behavioral abnormalities stemming from such cruelty.

In my experience patients who have been victims of sexual abuse by a parent, for example, almost always have trouble forgetting the horror of their abuse. They do not have trouble remembering what their parent did. That adults repress these events - or block them out of their minds --- is a dangerous myth.

In his new book, Dr. McHugh sheds light on these psychiatric misadventures and aims to inform us about the nature of competent psychological treatment.
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