American psychiatric association’s description of a psychiatrist

This is the description from the APA’s page on how to choose a psychiatrist. It opens with this description of what a psychiatrist does.

A psychiatrist is a medical physician who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illnesses, including substance abuse and addiction. Psychiatrists are uniquely qualified to assess both the mental and physical aspects of psychological disturbance. Their medical education has given them a full working knowledge of the many causes for a patient’s feelings and symptoms. Armed with this understanding, psychiatrists can make a complete, accurate diagnosis and then recommend or provide treatment.

That paragraph struck me as blatantly delusional. I’ve not met a psychiatrist who knows or practices anything akin to preventive psychiatry. It’s rather laughable to suggest that anything they are trained to do today being that it’s all pharmacological has anything to do with prevention. Funny except it’s tragically wrong.

Then it’s just gets more and more absurd. Shrinks, they say, have “a full working knowledge of the many causes for a patient’s feelings and symptoms.” Given the mysteries of the human psyche remain mysterious to even the great thinkers and philosophers throughout history and today, again it is incredibly grandiose to suggest psychiatrist have their finger on what makes humanity tick. And given the dismal results of their care…being that most people NEVER recover once in their clutches…well…it’s again painfully funny…emphasis on the pain.

“Armed with this understanding, psychiatrists can make a complete, accurate diagnosis and then recommend or provide treatment.” And this of course is why it’s quite normal and routine for a psychiatric patient to get a good dozen diagnosis in the span of their career as a mental patient. Diagnosis is just so accurate and reliable and psychiatrists are brilliant diagnosticians.

Okay, enough. I couldn’t help myself.

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