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Ronald W. Pies, MD

Ronald W. Pies, MD

Dr Pies is Editor in Chief Emeritus of Psychiatric Times, and a Professor in the psychiatry departments of SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, and Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston. Dr Pies is author, most recently, of Psychiatry on the Edge, a collection of essays drawn from Psychiatric Times (Nova Publishing); and a novel, The Director of Minor Tragedies (iUniverse).

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Critics of psychiatry claim there is an “epidemic” of mental illness in the US—and some argue this is a consequence of psychiatric treatment. But the best epidemiological evidence reveals no such epidemic in this country, rendering the iatrogenic “explanation” null and void.

There is a myth circulating in the blogosphere—usually among the most extreme critics of our profession—that there exists some monolithic entity called “Psychiatry” (with a capital “P”).

For many of us who went into psychiatry, relieving the patient’s suffering is not a business enterprise, but an ethical and spiritual calling.

A recent report that argues against descriptive diagnosis in medicine is historically ill-informed and medically naive, in the opinion of this psychiatrist.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

What do physicians intend by the term “disease”? The recent IOM report on “systemic exertion intolerance disease” (formerly known as chronic fatigue syndrome) casts this question in a new light and has many practical implications for patients, physicians, and third-party payers.

Readers of Albert Rothenberg’s new book will come away greatly enriched by the author’s own lifelong, creative synthesis.

A commentary on civility and ethical standards in the aftermath of terrorist events in France.

“Distress” hardly captures the inner world of those with severe forms of psychotic illnesses. Terms like “agony,” “torment,” and “anguish” would be much closer to the mark, for many patients.

The “story behind the story” is not the over-prescription of antidepressants—though it happens—but the under-availability of optimal treatment.

A limited sampling presented here lends no support to Dr Thomas Szasz’s claim that 19th century physicians regarded the term “mental disease” as merely a figure of speech; on the contrary, several prominent physicians of this era recognized such conditions as both real and debilitating.

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