My Social Psychiatric Predictions One Year Later


“A narrow way through”: can H. Steven Moffic, MD, predict the future of psychiatry?




“But I do see a way. There is a narrow way through.” - Paul Atreides in “Dune”

“All the world is a narrow bridge, and most important is not to be overwhelmed by fear.” - Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

One of the definitions of a prophet is one who foretells future events correctly. We have had a few such possibilities lately. One is the featured character Paul Atreides in the movie “Dune.” As a possible Messiah, and with the help of the psychedelic spice, he foresees various future scenarios involving planetary war.

The Free Press ( began a weekly series on past prophets in the United States. First, on March 2, featured Marshall McLuhan of “the medium is the message” fame. Decades ago, he seemed to foresee our internet age and its profound rewiring of our society and brains. Next, on March 11, was Bayard Rustin, the civil rights advocate and ally of the Rev. Dr Martin Luther King Jr. He predicted that psychologically traumatizing White individuals to increase their guilt would be likely to backfire, as perhaps may be now happening with diversity, equity, & inclusion consultants. March 16 featured D.A. Henderson who, back in 2006, warned against a global shutdown in an epidemic because it would lead to economic and social disruption.

Even though I was way off in predicting how long the COVID-19 pandemic would last, as discussed in my last column, these portraits of prophets inspired me to responsibly see how I did so far in a series of predictions starting just about a year ago. One might assume that since psychiatrists have some expertise in understanding human behavior, that our prediction ability would increase. Therefore, in ensuing columns, I will try to fairly cover my previous predictions about psychiatry and artificial intelligence, psychedelics, politics, naming, social psychopathologies, indigenous individuals, eulogies, and predictions.

My prediction is that I will complete them on April 1, April Fool’s Day 2024. Wouldn’t that be fitting?

Dr Moffic is an award-winning psychiatrist who specialized in the cultural and ethical aspects of psychiatry and is now in retirement and retirement as a private pro bono community psychiatrist. A prolific writer and speaker, he has done a weekday column titled “Psychiatric Views on the Daily News” and a weekly video, “Psychiatry & Society,” since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged. He was chosen to receive the 2024 Abraham Halpern Humanitarian Award from the American Association for Social Psychiatry. Previously, he received the Administrative Award in 2016 from the American Psychiatric Association, the one-time designation of being a Hero of Public Psychiatry from the Speaker of the Assembly of the APA in 2002, and the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in 1991. He is an advocate and activist for mental health issues related to climate instability, physician burnout, and xenophobia. He is now editing the final book in a 4-volume series on religions and psychiatry for Springer: Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, Christianity, and now The Eastern Religions, and Spirituality. He serves on the Editorial Board of Psychiatric Times.

Related Videos
Dune Part 2
new year
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.