‘Psychiatric prejudice’- a new way of silencing criticism

Joanna Moncrieff

‘Psychiatric prejudice’ is a term being bandied about these days, mainly by aggrieved psychiatrists who feel that psychiatry is not being given equal status with other medical speciclities. Ordinary people, other doctors and medical students are all prejudiced because they do not appreciate that psychiatry is a proper medical activity, and critics of psychiatry are prejudiced because their analyses undermine this medical point of view (1).

Obviously no one can afford to be lablled as prejudiced, so whether it is conscious or not, this looks like an attempt to silence criticism and shut down debate . If sucessful it will deny people access to many valid criticsms of psychiatric diagnoses and treatments and to hearing other views about how to respond to mental health problems.

Some of the recent accusations of psychiatric prejudice were made in response to articles in the British press by Danish doctor, Peter Gøtzsche, a leading…

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