By most accounts Jose Mario Bergolio is a remarkable person. It came as a shock to his fans then a few months ago when he visiting Chile he came out against victims of child abuse. The issue centered on one bishop whom survivors of abuse fingered as complicit with what had happened. JMB obviously liked the man and took the position he was innocent until proven guilty.
When it comes to us, you have to believe in us but for us to believe in you we need proof.
This is the same dynamic as found in establishment (Royal College of Psychiatrists, APA, WPA and other physician organizations) responses to Drug Wrecks such as antidepressant dependence. The plural of anecdotes is not data, they say. We have the data, all you have is anecdotes.
When power is at play, those with power are innocent until proven guilty, those without it are guilty until proven innocent. It has been ever thus.
What the Chile case and the Antidepressant Withdrawal Saga bring out is the horrific consequences of not being believed.
The injury caused by being dismissed even ridiculed by a doctor when you know full well you are right and he is wrong is often a more difficult injury to bear than the difficulties caused by withdrawal from an antidepressant or other drug – debilitating though these injuries can be, lasting in some cases for decades.
The injury caused by being dismissed even ridiculed by a priest, or a bishop or even a pope when you know full well that you are right and he is wrong is often a much more difficult injury to bear than the difficulties caused by an original abuse.
Many years ago I used to sit on interview panels at a time when it became compulsory to ask the same question of every candidate. I ended up with – tell me about one mistake you’ve made and how you handled it afterwards.
To my surprise, all of the women asked this question could instantly offer answers about not just one mistake and what they had done as a result. But the men looked blank – me, mistake? Let me think……
So something quite remarkable happened last week. JMB apologized for his mistakes in Chile. It looks fairly genuine. This was not an apology on behalf of the Church for all the cases of abuse there have been over decades, perhaps centuries. This was not an English politician apologizing for the Irish Famine or a US President apologizing for slavery, or a German president apologizing to Israel.
This was JMB apologizing for his own recent mistakes in Chile and recognizing the pain and injury he had caused. See Here.
The New York Times recently ran an article on Antidepressant Dependence and Withdrawal. This was dissed by British College of Psychiatrist figures from Wendy Burn to Simon Wessely.
It was surprising the NYT ran this article given they – like the guardian – have become active promoters of statins and vaccines but they did.
It was jaw-dropping to find Psychiatric Times, a periodical that offers a voice to American Psychiatric Association members, offer just as punchy an article as the NYT or even more so. Psychiatric Times acknowledged that we don’t know what is going on and that psychiatry needs to wake up fast or its congregation are going to stop believing in it and turn to other sources like Surviving Antidepressants.
Time for Wendy, Simon, Dinesh and others to Man Up? They can’t say this is news. Successive presidents of the British Psychiatric College have been told about this problem for over 20 years since Charles Medawar first wrote to them. They are in great part personally responsible for ongoing injuries from disbelief to thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of people.
If anyone knows of any psychiatric church that has behaved differently please let us know.
Jose can do it; can they? Do they have a Jos-b? They’ve had 20 years to prepare one.