29th August 2018:
The world of mental health is regrettably characterised by the assertion of ‘facts’ by supposedly authoritative sources, many of which are unfounded and unverified scientifically.
The result is the mass misinformation of an unsuspecting public who assume that the words of supposed mental health experts are accurate and trustworthy.
I originally wrote this article five days ago, on 24th August 2018.
Today I came across another blatant example of what I was talking about in this article – a 2018 article on bipolar disorder on the popular Healthline website. Here is an edited screenshot:
As you can see, this article was reviewed by psychologist Timothy J. Legg PhD and passed as correct and accurate.
This experienced psychologist apparently does not know that bipolar disorder is NOT a verified brain disorder.
It would seem that Dr. Legg has completely bought into what he has heard from his psychiatrist colleagues on this.
Now, read on – everything I have written below in relation to depression applies equally to bipolar disorder.
It really is high time that mental health professionals committed themselves solemnly to truth – to ascertaining the truth, and them passing on (only) truth to the public, who rely so much on the words of mental health professionals.
24th August 2018:
I have been a physician for 35 years, a psychotherapist for 17 years. I have written four mental health books, created a mental health academy. I provide a recovery-oriented mental health service, primarily for people who have been previously given a psychiatric diagnosis.
For the past 30 years I have also been a keen student and observer of all things to do with mental health. My role as a physician facilitated my being in a position to study the medical approach to mental health in great detail. I have long since arrived at the conclusion that the medical approach to mental health – as practiced primarily by psychiatry and GPs/family physicians – is seriously flawed.
Over the years I have read hundreds of books and articles (and listened to hundreds of radio/TVshows, podcasts etc) on mental health – written by psychiatrists, GPs, other mental health professionals, mental health groups and other individuals -on various aspects of mental health, particularly in relation to the psychiatric diagnoses, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, OCD, eating disorders, personality disorders, schizoaffective disorders and other psychiatric disorders.
Perhaps because I have psychologically removed myself from the brotherhood of medicine – within which one does not dare criticise the brotherhood, its ideologies and modus operandi – I can regular see major flaws of logic, untruths, contradictions, inconsistencies and poor/absent science in what I read/listen to that emanates from within the prevailing medical view of emotional and mental health.
As illustrated in the following screenshot from a July 2018 article published in Psychiatric Times, according to the prevailing medical view, depression is the world’s largest health problem:
(here is a link to this article)
Also in the screenshot above, you will see that depression is referred to as a disease. If depression is a disease, what kind of disease or disorder would it be? According to medical sources, depression is a brain disease.
People reading such statements by authoritative medical sources will understandably assume them to be true and accurate.
Let’s see how true and accurate this statement is.
Depression is classified by medical authorities as a ‘mental disorder’
Depression is regularly referred to by doctors and medical authorities as a mental disorder. For example, the American government-backed National Institute of Mental Health, arguably the most influential mental health institute in the world, describes depression as a ‘mental disorder’:
(Here is a link to this article)
Also according to the National Institute of Mental Health, there is no doubt that all so-called ‘mental disorders’ – of which depression is considered to be one – are brain disorders:
(here is a link to that article on the website of the National Institute of Mental Health):
Summarising this article thus far:
According to medical authorities, depression is the world’s largest health problem, the most disability-creating disease of all worldwide. Depression is a mental disorder, and since all mental disorders, depression is a brain disorder.
Testing the ‘depression is a brain disorder’ assertions:
The American government-back National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) contains the most extensive list of brain disorders I have even seen in 35 years as a medical doctor. This list contains dozens of brain disorders I have never seen, and many that I have never heard of – but the place of these disorders on this list is justified as they meet the medical criteria for a brain disorder.
The NINDS website contains a user-friendly alphabetically-organised access to their list of brain and neurological disorders:
On their site, I clicked ‘D’ for ‘depression’. Below is a screenshot of some of the brain and neurological disorders that begin with ‘D’:
If ‘depression’ really is a brain disorder, it would obviously be included in this list (Bipolar disorder doesn’t appear on this list -under ‘B’ – either). Since all brain disorders are listed in alphabetical order, it is easy to identify where depression should be included in this list:
Depression is not included anywhere on this list. Depression is not included, because depression is NOT a known brain disorder. This is the plain and simple explanation for the omission of depression on this most extensive list of brain and neurological disorders, on the website of one of the world’s most authoritative neurological institutes, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Depression does not appear on the list of brain disorders on the website of the Australia-based Brain Foundation either. Below is an edited screenshot of the ‘brain disorders’ page of the website of the Brain Foundation:
Clicking ‘D’ on this page on the Brain Foundation website takes us to here (the yellow arrow points to where depression would appear alphabetically (in reverse aphabetical order) if depression really is a known brain disorder):
Depression does not appear in the list of brain diseases in the WedMD website either. Here is an edited screenshot of the the main ‘Brain Diseases’ section of the WebMD site (WebMD is currently rated the second most popular source of medical information on the internet):
You will notice that, on the list of brain disease categories on the right hand side of the screenshot above, there is no mention of anything relating to psychiatric/mental disorders (The third heading in this list – trauma – refers to physical brain trauma such as head injuries).
Depression does not feature anywhere within this list of brain disorders, for the simple reason that depression is not a known brain disorder.
In other words . . .
The widely-made claims that depression is a brain disorder are untrue.
Linking this to the beginning of this article . . .
I began this article with a screenshot and quote from the Psychiatric Times in July 2018. In this article, it was unequivocally stated that (i) ‘depression is the world’s largest health problem’, and (ii) depression accounts ‘for more disability that any other disease worldwide’, a statement that clearly implies that depression too is a brain disease. Here’s that screenshot again:
Where does all this leave us?
Summarising all this: We are repeatedly told by supposedly authoritative medical sources that depression is the worlds largest heath problem, and that depression, like other so-called ‘mental disorders’, is a brain disorder.
But the truth is that depression is not an established brain disorder, so all such claims are false, regardless of how apparently authoritative the sources of such assertions seem to be.
Depression is not a scientifically verified medical illness either.
What we are left with then is the bizarre situation whereby the so-called ‘disease’ that causes the most health disability of all on a worldwide scale is not actually a disease at all.
How can this be?
This is just one of many bizarre situations that characterise the prevailing medically-dominated global approach to mental health.
Such bizarre situations occur because, fundamentally, there are many serious fundamental flaws in the ‘logic’ and ideology of psychiatry.
Inconsistencies, contradictions and lack of scientific evidence are frequent occurrences within the prevailing approach to mental health globally.
This is a serious situation.
(There are no known brain chemical imbalances either, regardless of how many times you may have heard this about depression)
If you would like to inform yourself about the truth in relation to depression, my 17-hour online course ‘Depression: Its True Nature’ has 3 principle components:
(i) a setting out of the prevailing understanding of depression
(ii) a detailed critique of the prevailing view of depression
(iii) a setting out of an understanding of depression that matches the experiences and behaviours that come to be called ‘depression’, honouring and explaining the strong emotional and psychological aspects.
Here is a link to the course information:- Depression: Its True Nature
Until the end of August 2018, the course is available at a 50% price reduction, as is my bipolar disorder course, Bipolar Disorder: Cracking The Code and my courses for mental health professionals, including Working Therapeutically With Clients With A Psychiatric Diagnosis.
If you have any questions about the course of feedback about this article, you can email me at email@example.com (copy and paste this email address to email me).
Dr. Terry Lynch.
Keynote Speaker, William Glasser International Biennial Conference, Columbia, June 2018.
Guest Speaker, Irish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy Annual Conference, October 2018.
Keynote Speaker, Samaritans Annual Conference, 2015.
Mental health professional, physician, psychotherapist, best-selling mental health author, provider of recovery-oriented mental health service.
Member of the Expert Group on Mental Health Policy (formulated A Vision for Change (2006), Ireland’s official mental health policy document).
Member of the Implementation Group for A Vision for Change (2006-9), the Second Monitoring Group for A Vision for Change (2009-12), and the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) Expert Advisory Group on Mental Health (2006-8).