“…When I was started on an SSRI antidepressant in 1998 for anxiety I was told by my doctor that this would correct a “chemical imbalance” in my brain. As a doctor myself, then training in psychiatry, this is also what I “informed” patients when recommending SSRI antidepressants….”
Scottish psychiatrist Peter Gordon has been trying to change his (psychiatric) profession’s attitude towards conflicts of interest for many years now. He has been trying to bring awareness to these issues (and others) on his blog – Hole Ousia– but it seems that his concerns have largely fallen on deaf ears within the Royal College of psychiatry in the UK.
The questions must be asked: why is this? why does an ethical (articulate, insightful, perceptive, imaginative, compassionate) and humane psychiatrist like Peter Gordon have to resign from the profession- that he has dedicated himself to- for many years of his adult life?
Why did the Royal College of Psychiatry, and its head Wendy Burn, ignore and marginalize Peter to the point where he has had no option but to leave his profession altogether?
Surely, it is psychiatrists such as Peter that should be highly valued within the Royal College? Surely, people like Peter, with such empathic, understanding, and deeply knowledgeable personal qualities, should be held with great regard by an organization that needs people like this to work within its remit: the treatment of the most vulnerable- ‘the mentally ill’?
Like me, and many others, Peter has had a harrowing experience with the SSRI anti-depressant Seroxat. He has documented his experiences on his blog and elsewhere. Peter has been brave and honest in drawing attention to his experiences of psychiatric treatment and his treatment professionally by the college which is supposed to support him. Perhaps this is why he has been ignored, denied, and ultimately outcast by the mainstream psychiatric profession? Perhaps Peter’s experiences cut too close to the bones of contention for mainstream bio-psychiatrists, particularly those compromised by their own conflicts with the pharmaceutical industry? Perhaps Peter is too transparent for the psychiatric profession of the Royal College UK? Perhaps he is too good to be a psychiatrist?
Too ethical? too honest?
In a recent tweet, the college president, Wendy Burn, tweeted a picture of college guidelines when it comes to staff. Her slide was titled ‘We Need To Look After Staff‘. It seems these guidelines don’t apply to people like Peter. The irony and hypocrisy of the Royal College astounds me.
I think Peter made the right decision to resign from the College of Psychiatry, he is, and always has been: too goodhearted and soulful for an organization as corrupt and ignorant, and blinded by ego and ideology, as the Royal college has become. The Royal College (and psychiatric organizations in general) have become rotten to their core from conflicts of interests, and shameless self interests that put college survival above patient’s interests.
Peter is an immense and irreplaceable loss to them; they just don’t realize it.
People like Peter were beacons of light in the darkness of the psychiatric arena.
You will do well Peter.
I wish you the very best.