American Psychiatric Headquarters Seized by Giant English Teachers!

March 3, 2010

Arlington, VA, March 2 (compiled from AP reports)-Officials at the American Psychiatric Association (APA) confirmed today that their national headquarters had been taken over by “very, very large English and literature teachers,” according to a spokesperson for APA President, Dr Alan Schatzberg. Schatzberg himself was unavailable for comment and was reported to be in seclusion “…brushing up his Shakespeare.”

Arlington, VA, March 2 (compiled from AP reports)-Officials at the American Psychiatric Association (APA) confirmed today that their national headquarters had been taken over by “very, very large English and literature teachers,” according to a spokesperson for APA President, Dr Alan Schatzberg. Schatzberg himself was unavailable for comment and was reported to be in seclusion “…brushing up his Shakespeare.”

The APA spokesperson requested anonymity, owing to “…veiled threats to rearrange my syntax…” allegedly originating from a Professor of English who had recently authored a major essay in Time magazine on the molecular neurobiology of violence.

“We’re not entirely surprised,” the APA spokesperson said, “We knew the writing was on the wall right after the New Yorker published that piece by Louis Menand on whether psychiatry is a real science. Menand, you know, is a Professor of English at Harvard. Then there was that piece in the New Yorker by Jonah Lehrer, arguing that major depression is actually good for you, despite its 15% mortality rate. Now, let me be clear: Lehrer is not an English teacher-but he did study at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, and the English Professors are saying that makes Lehrer just as qualified as they are to write about major depression.”

Professor of Literature, Christopher Lane, PhD, a recognized national authority on social phobic anxiety, was not involved in the takeover at APA and could not be reached for comment. However, in his book, Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness, Lane observed that psychiatrists “…turn routine emotions into medical conditions.”

The APA spokesperson denied this charge, adding, “Not all routine emotions are medical conditions. Kessler’s research, for example, has shown that Social Phobia has serious effects on role functioning and quality of life. I think Prof Lane may be suffering from IRPS-Insufficient Respect for Psychiatry Syndrome.” Later, the spokesperson’s supervisor clarified that IRPS was not being considered for inclusion in the upcoming DSM5, which, he acknowledged, “…has just had its appendix removed in an emergency procedure.”

The group involved in the APA takeover is, according to government sources, known by the initials, “PELQPP”-Professors of English and Literature Qualified to Pontificate on Psychiatry.” One of the very, very large professors involved in the takeover of APA headquarters-Professor of Literature, Michel Caultfou of the University of Southern North Dakota-provided AP reporters with a manifesto justifying the takeover.

You see,” Caultfou explained in a thick, French accent, “Psychiatrists are not real doctors. Psychiatry is not a real science. In fact, even science is not real science. Everything written by doctors, scientists and psychiatrists is merely a self-legitimizing discourse for maintaining power. There are no objective truths in the world, and that is why we must insist that all psychiatric medication be flushed down the bidet, and that all articles on psychiatry published in national magazines be written by non-psychiatrists-in fact, by professors of English or Literature.”

Asked by a reporter why anyone should credit his argument, if there are no objective truths but only self-legitimizing discourses, Prof Caultfou muttered something in French that was later translated as, “Your mother cannot prepare a decent boeuf Bourguignon.

Asked to comment on why a person without any known medical expertise-Mr Lehrer-was allowed to write a commentary on major depression, a potentially fatal condition, a spokesperson for the New York Times Magazine replied, “Look, if it had been an article on oncology, we would have had a cancer specialist write it. If it had been an article on heart disease, we would have had a cardiologist write it. But psychiatry-gimme a break! That’s like talking about sports or the weather or maybe the movies! Pretty much everybody is qualified to write about it.”

The reporter pressed the Times spokesperson, noting that very often, two cancer specialists cannot even agree on whether a pathological specimen is or is not cancer. The spokesman replied, “That’s different. The cancer specialists can point to objective evidence explaining why they can’t agree. There’s nothing objective in psychiatry.”

Reporters also contacted Newsweek magazine regarding the recent article by science writer, Sharon Begley, entitled, “The Depressing News About Antidepressants.” The reporters asked how Begley’s article could simultaneously assert that (1) antidepressants are nothing more than “expensive Tic-Tacs”; and (2) antidepressants are clearly superior to placebo for very severe depression. Didn’t these logically incompatible claims only confuse and alarm the public? A spokesman identified only as “Deep Revenues” replied, “Confuse and alarm? How should I know? Do I look like a psychiatrist?” Newsweek’s editorial office later disavowed the so-called spokesman, adding, “We have the utmost respect for psychiatry, and, in theory, we would have preferred that a psychiatrist write the piece on antidepressants. However, we believe that psychiatrists have an inherent conflict of interest in writing anything about psychiatry. Our next related piece, on antipsychotic medication, will be written by basketball legend, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.”

Meanwhile, some members of the APA-still being held hostage in their own headquarters-had organized an impromptu seminar entitled, “Is Psychiatry the Rodney Dangerfield of the Medical World? Why We Don’t Get No Respect.” A spokesperson denied that the seminar was being catered by a pharmaceutical company.

Author’s disclaimer: All the conversations and interview quotes in this piece are fictitious. This blog should not be taken seriously by anyone, except for those who need to do so. You know who you are. -RPReferences and Readings:

Menand L. Head case. Can psychiatry be a science? http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2010/03/01/100301crat_atlarge_menand?currentPage=all. Accessed March 2, 2010.

Lehrer J. Depression’s upside. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/28/magazine/28depression-t.html. Accessed March 2, 2010.

Begley S. The depressing news about antidepressants. http://www.newsweek.com/id/232781. Accessed March 2, 2010.

Pies R. The myth of depression’s upside. http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2010/03/01/the-myth-of-depressions-upside/. Accessed March 2, 2010.

Pies R. Newsweek’s topsy-turvy take on antidepressants. http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/home/content/article/10168/1520550. Accessed March 2, 2010.

Pies R. How objective are psychiatric diagnoses? (Guess again). Psychiatry 2010 (Edgemont). http://www.psychiatrymmc.com/how-%E2%80%9Cobjective%E2%80%9D-are-psychiatric-diagnoses-guess-again/. Accessed March 2, 2010.

Kessler RC. The impairments caused by social phobia in the general population: implications for intervention. Acta Psychiatr Scand Suppl. 2003;(417):19-27.

Ghaemi SN. Passion-based medicine: Science-hatred gone wild. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mood-swings/201002/passion-based-medicine-science-hatred-gone-wild. Accessed March 2, 2010.