Psychiatrists explode against Health: “it is a sadistic mockery of the sick”

The statements made on Thursday by the Commissioner of Mental Health, Belén García, to present the key points of his department before the Health Commission of the Congress of Deputies have outraged many people but, especially, Psychiatry professionals, who declare themselves “fed up” with having to listen to how “patients are insulted.” with mental illness and their families”.

Let us remember that, to address the high consumption of psychotropic drugs (mostly anxiolytics and antidepressants) in Spain, García explained that the path that should be followed was “deprescription” of this type of medication, in favor of prescribing the patient to participate in “social services.”

“For example, sports groups instead of rubifen, feminist associations instead of sertraline, or a union instead of lorazepam,” he claimed. Furthermore, he pointed out that the “medicalization of social problems” was to blame for the shameful waiting lists for mental health services. Our ratio of psychiatrists per inhabitant is among the lowest in Europe and only 60% of hospitals in the public network have psychological care.

“The instructions on when or how to prescribe a drug are given by the Ministry itself through the Spanish Medicines Agency. “Ministry that criticizes pseudotherapies but, if it is about mental health, forgets and promotes them. Where are the evidence and clinical trials that show that joining a union is beneficial?”declares to this newspaper Celso Arango, director of the Institute of Psychiatry and Mental Health of the Gregorio Marañón Hospital, Madrid. “It is an insult to patients and their families. If in the end the health money for mental health goes to housing and unions, the losers, as always, will be the sick and their families,” he adds.

It rains in the wet for psychiatrists, who have been fighting against a “anti-psychiatry” ministry since Health presented, in October 2021, the 2021-2024 Mental Health Action Plan. “Has no one yet told the minister that social factors are more important in colon cancer, breast cancer, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis than in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or autism? Any resident knows that people with schizophrenia have a social drift that causes them to have worse socioeconomic status. Schizophrenia generates poverty, not poverty schizophrenia. Inferring causality from associations demonstrates the level of knowledge that the Ministry has on these issues,” concludes Arango.

Invalidate your illness

In the same line it is expressed José Luis Carrasco, Professor of Psychiatry at the Complutense University of Madrid and head of service in this area at the San Carlos Clinical Hospital. “Tell a depressed patient that his problem can be cured by playing sports or joining a group –continues– It is the cruelest thing that can be done. It is denying and invalidating your illness. It's like saying 'Yours is nonsense, stop taking pills and start doing things.' And if, in addition, you are invited to join a union or political organization, we go back to the totalitarian, Stalinist or fascist position regarding mental illness.” “These are the things that stigmatize mental illnesses. But, coming from the Ministry of Health is, in addition to contempt, a sadistic mockery for patients with depression”, Add. “It is typical of doctors who They don't like medicine or patients, undocumented and frustrated who stand as enlightened. That's why They are dedicated to creating ideology with patients. The ideologue boasts of protecting the weak, whether poor or sick. But in reality he despises them, he can't bear to share their suffering.“he points out.

He president of the Spanish Society of Psychiatry and Mental Health (Sepsm),Manuel Martin, shows his disbelief at the Mental Health Commissioner's willingness to “prescribe something.” “The prescription of a drug or therapy is a medical act that is carried out after a diagnosis and using substances or other therapeutic alternatives – for example, psychotherapy – that have demonstrated their effectiveness for this indication through controlled scientific studies. If the symptoms can be controlled by resorting to one of the proposed alternatives, it is probably not a psychiatric disorder,” he explains to this newspaper.