Find thoughts & reflections on psychiatry by Steven P Reidbord MD. I am a board-certified psychiatrist with a full-time office practice in San Francisco, California. I write about aspects of psychiatry that interest me, and it also serves an educational function for patients, would-be patients, and the general public.
Is it fair to take a balanced, well researched critique of psychiatry, and use it as a springboard for polemics? It wouldn’t be the first time. This week, in reviewing Anne Harrington’s upcoming book, Mind Fixers: Psychiatry’s Troubled Search for the Biology of Mental Illness, psychiatric critic Gary Greenberg champions the measured points made [...]
“Complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) is a category that includes all the methods of physical or mental healing that do not fall under the umbrella of western medicine. Examples include comprehensive healing traditions from other cultures, such as Chinese or Ayurvedic (Indian) medicine; herbal remedies; and a wide variety of mind-body treatments, such as [...]
This month marks a decade of blogging on “Reidbord’s Reflections.” This is the 130th post. My posting frequency dropped precipitously over the years, from 20 posts in the first two months to one every couple of months now. I imagine I share with most bloggers a limited set of rehearsed topics, things I always wanted [...]
E pluribus unum strikes the pluribus lately as a threat, not a promise — more like assimilation by the Borg than a patriotic ideal. Instead of striving for the common good, we’ve split into factions, each defined largely by its enemy. Feminism fights patriarchy, Black Lives Matter fights police brutality, the 99% fight the 1%. [...]
It has become a sign of legitimacy to call a personal problem “medical.” This aims to distinguish the problem from those of morality or character. It implies both that the problem is serious, and that it is unbidden and largely out of the suffer’s control. Unfortunately, it isn’t clear what exactly qualifies as “medical,” so [...]
In Toronto on April 23, 2018, Alek Minassian intentionally drove a rented van into pedestrians, killing ten and injuring at least 15. Later the same day, Constable Ken Lam of the Toronto Police Service arrested Minassian after a brief, tense standoff. As seen in a widely circulated video, Minassian dared the officer to shoot, and [...]