Persecution: SUI-Cide is Painless in Betsi


This is the Sixth in the Persecution Series, after The Persecution of Heretics, The Persecution of Vulnerable Adults, Harassment from the BBC to GMC, Harassment from Rolf Harris to James Coyne to Doctor Who, Persecution: Black Riders in the Shire  & Persecution: Rumbles from Mordor. When something serious goes wrong in healthcare it is standard to have a Serious Untoward Incident (SUI) … [Read more...]

Persecution: Was Collective Narcissism Mordor’s Problem?

This is the Sixth in the Persecution Series, after The Persecution of Heretics, The Persecution of Vulnerable Adults, Harassment from the BBC to GMC, Harassment from Rolf Harris to James Coyne to Doctor Who, & Persecution: Black Riders in the Shire.  This completes the scene setting. Next week the posts will get down to the gritty-nitty. The Shire - Bangor - is to the North West of North … [Read more...]

Persecution: Black Riders Seen in the Shire


Fifth in the Persecution Series, after The Persecution of Heretics, The Persecution of Vulnerable Adults, Harassment from the BBC to GMC, Harassment from Rolf Harris to James Coyne to Doctor Who. On the left is a map of North Wales, on the right Middle Earth from Lord of the Rings.  Tolkien based his story on North Wales geography, with the Hergest Unit based right in the middle of the … [Read more...]

Harassment: Rolf Harris to James Coyne to Doctor Who

This is the fourth in the Persecution Series - a continuation of the letter to the H of Commons posted earlier this week. Double click on the image to view the words and the detail. Abuse is always Repeated I was referred to GMC some 8 years ago. Then the referral came from David Nutt and Guy Goodwin, professors of psychiatry in Bristol and Oxford, who as the basis of the complaint used an … [Read more...]

Harassment: From the BBC to the GMC

What's at Stake with Humira?

For those of you who like Breaking Bad, this the third in the Persecution Murder Mystery series. Without giving away the plot, it jumps right to last week. It has been adapted from a letter to members of the House of Commons committee on harassment in the NHS. The second part of the letter will feature later in the week - Harassment: From Rolf Harris to James Coyne and Doctor Who. Double click on … [Read more...]

Persecution of Vulnerable Adults: POVA

For anyone bereft since Breaking Bad came to an end, this is a second installment in The Persecution of Heretics Murder Mystery series.  Episode one can be seen here .  The harassment of healthcare staff has been a backburner in British news recently.  There have been a series of pieces in the Daily Mail, usually to the forefront of everything in healthcare, and the BMJ. A House of Commons … [Read more...]

The Persecution of Heretics


Editorial Note:  This is the start of a series that will likely run through to the End of the Year. For those of you who like Murder Mysteries, this is one.  Please comment, speculate and help put a new source of harassment and intimidation properly on the map.   This post accompanies a talk I gave at the Hay on Wye HowTheLightGetsIn Festival this May, called The Persecution of Heretics. … [Read more...]

Doctor Munchausen: Hear no, See no – What?


Editorial Note: This is the last in the Doctor Munchausen series. A new strand on the Persecution of Heretics will start soon. The image is Paul Klee's Drawing for the Dance of a Grieving Child. Being Irish makes it possible to tackle certain things - or now possible. The question of the Catholic Church for instance and its handling of children, whether their abuse at the hands of pedophile … [Read more...]

Dr Munchausen: Pharmacophile

Editorial Note:  This piece was first submitted to the J of Mental Health in 1997 and two other journals later that year - with Marie Savage and Phil Thomas as co-authors.  The reviewers were affronted - one figured mental health was likely no worse than the rest of medicine. Unable to find a home, it migrated to become a chapter in the third edition of Psychiatric Drugs Explained.    Those not … [Read more...]

Doctor Munchausen: Judge & Jury

Editorial Note: This is the sixth in a Dr Munchausen series of posts. It was originally going to be entitled 'Dr Munchausen joins your local Hospital Board'. Crash & Holocaust Denialism In JG Ballard's novel Crash covered in the last post, we slip from the solid world in which we think we move to a dreamworld - the dreamworld in which we are now living. In this dreamworld perceptions connect … [Read more...]

Doctor Munchausen and Sense about Science

Editorial Note:  This is the fifth in a series of Doctor Munchausen posts that include: Dr Munchausen, I presume Dying for a Cure Dear Luise Father Munchausen They followed a Sense about Science series of posts that included: Sense about Science: Follow the Rhetoric Sense about Science: First Admit no Harm Sense about Science: Follow the Lawsuit Sense about Science: Follow … [Read more...]

Father Munchausen, I presume!


Editorial Note: This is the fourth of seven Doctor Munchausen posts - Doctor Munchausen, I presume, Dying for a Cure, Dear Louise and the forthcoming Doctor Munchausen as a Sense about Science Trustee, and Doctor Munchausen Joins your local Hospital Board.   I’ve had some criticism of the recent Doctor Munchausen posts. They’re not fair on doctors. Many people have told me of lives saved by … [Read more...]

Doctor Munchausen: Dear Luise

Editorial Note: This is a third post in the six post Doctor Munchausen series. See Doctor Munchausen, I Presume and Dying for a Cure.  A variation on this post first featured on some months ago Dear Luise by Dorrit Cato Christensen  is one of most extraordinary books about healthcare ever written.  Medical books are usually about great discoveries, great endurance, or triumph in one … [Read more...]

Doctor Munchausen: Dying for a Cure


Editorial Note:  This is the second in a Doctor Munchausen series of posts - meditations on the fact that medicine is likely the place where the greatest amount of abuse on earth happens - but no-one notices and no-one intervenes. The post below comes from the foreword to Dying for a Cure, Rebekah Beddoe's book on what happened her when she fell into the clutches of a doctor.  The book came out … [Read more...]

Doctor Munchausen I Presume!


Editorial note:  As Britain descends into an orgy of handwringing about the abuse of vulnerable people, this is the first of several posts to tackle the issue In 2000 when I gave a lecture on Psychopharmacology and the Government of the Self at the invitation of the University of Toronto, I ran into a problem. In the public domain our shared difficulties were because of this lecture. In fact, … [Read more...]

The St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre: Protestant Patients, Catholic Drugs

Margot's lover in La Reine Margot was one of the Huguenots who survived the massacre set in train by her brother Charles IX on St Bartholomew's Day in Paris in 1572. There are many politicians, bureaucrats, doctors and others, the Royalists, in a position to make a difference who know that psychotropic drugs can cause suicide or other serious problems but who instead attempt to close down any … [Read more...]

La Reine Margot: data access, ghostwriting, suicide and mad reviewers

Another study giving a first hint of the findings in our 2012 Mortality in Schizophrenia paper (See The Madness of Psychiatry) was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 2006 - Lifetime Rates of Suicide in Schizophrenia. It took several years and some smuggling to get it into print. In the course of exploring the issues, it seemed useful to touch base with Herb Meltzer who had links to … [Read more...]

Benefit risk madness: antipsychotics and suicide

Suicidal Acts in AntiP trials

Following the posting of The Madness of Psychiatry, there has been a flurry of activity in the twittersphere with Louis Appleby, the UK's suicide czar posting: What makes adolescents act on suicidal thoughts? New paper shows psychotic symptoms increase risk 20-fold.…       You might get the impression from this that all patients have to do is stay on … [Read more...]

The Madness of Psychiatry

One hundred years ago patients with psychosis were 4 times more likely than the rest of their contemporaries to be dead at the end of their first 5 years of treatment. The main cause of death was tuberculosis. The asylum was a place where if you had the wrong genetic makeup you were at great risk of catching tuberculosis, particularly if you were a young woman. the advent of the … [Read more...]

The Madness of Young People

In 1861 Benedikt Morel, a physician in France, described a terrifying new illness. It involved young people in their late teens or early twenties about to enter what should have been the prime of their lives who instead sank into a profound and seemingly incurable state of what he termed precocious dementia. Morel painted a picture of a terrifying and seemingly close to incurable loss of cognitive … [Read more...]

The Madness of Carl Jung: a dangerous method

Carl Jung was one of Freud's earliest supporters and in many respects rivaled him in terms of influence. Some of their interactions provide the basis for the story behind the book and recent movie - A Dangerous Method. Just as Freud did, he famously analyzed himself and while doing so apparently became psychotic. His psychosis was however seen as a way to sanity - a forerunner of 1960s thinking … [Read more...]

The Madness of Childbirth

The North Wales asylum made its way into my life by accident. The history department at Bangor University secured a grant to look at the social impact of the asylum. Looking at the records they collected, it was striking how people declared their madness a century ago – they tore off their clothes and escaped through windows, which they never do now. a quixotic database But when we set about … [Read more...]

The Madness of North Wales

Influenced like many of my generation by the writings of Laing, Szasz, Illich, Jung and Freud, I studied medicine to do psychiatry. At the time research was becoming mandatory for anyone hoping to engage with the field. I chose to work on the serotonin system. But this was working on the mind as much as the brain; this was the serotonin system brought into view by LSD rather than the one that … [Read more...]