|Australian Psychiatrist, Patrick McGorry. A soothsayer who can predict the future mental health of children.|
Superb article written by psychiatrist Tanveer Ahmed is doing the rounds. In it, he [I assume it is as he] picks apart Paddy McGorry's flux capacitor on his time-travelling DeLorean.
On September 13, 2011, smh.com.au ran with an article entitled "Politics and mental health a poor mix", McGorry and his sidekick, Prof Ian Hickie, come under scrutiny once again.
In one of the more farcical applications of psychiatry to political debates, a report this month linked inaction on climate change to the possibility of worsening mental health. Released by the Climate Institute, it suggested that increasing natural disasters might be linked to climate change, which might lead to increased costs in mental healthcare. The evidence for every link was slight at best, yet the novelty of the report ensured widespread attention.
It was launched by Professor Ian Hickie, who has been rightly recognised for giving mental health a greater profile, but who has also played politics to do so.
Hickie has done more than any other clinician to promote tick-a-box diagnosis, particularly among general practitioners, who now regularly prescribe antidepressants through questionnaires alone. With former Australian of the Year Professor Patrick McGorry, Hickie has made overblown claims about the prevalence of mental health.
It is disingenuous to suggest, as McGorry has done, that there is no conflict of interest because their organisations are non-profit. Their bodies shared in $2.2 billion of funding in the federal budget. Their exorbitant claims - such as one in four people will suffer mental illness - are indicative of a blurring of the lines between illness and normal, human responses to adversity.
For Hickie to claim that climate change can cause mental illness is yet another reason why people should not take McGorry's band of DeLorean driving merry men seriously. They will be predicting the weather next!
Weatherman: Tomorrow sees a north-easterly breeze and cloudy skies in the south. Please take your Paxil as not to give yourself a mental disorder.
**This forecast was brought to you by LoonHayTic Pharma PLC
Earlier this year McGorry pulled a clinical trial. He, with the financial assistance of Seroquel manufacturer Astra Zeneca, wanted to carry out a clinical trial [of sorts] with children, amongst others, who had not yet been diagnosed with a psychotic illness.
Psychiatrists, psychologists and researchers from all over the world lodged a complaint when they heard of the planned trial.
McGorry pulled the trial and now denies that the complaint had anything to do with his decision. If the 9 page complaint didn't change McGorry's mind...then what did?
If you look at the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry listing you will see that it was changed to say that ethics approval had been received on 8 July 2010: [HERE]
Yet on the 16 Aug 2011 there was no mention of this - [HERE]
I find it strange that the criteria for a clinical trial can change, almost overnight, when one of it's supporters comes under fire from his peers.
It's a sunny day here as I write this, forecast for the weekend predicts rain. Anyone got any psych meds?
More about McGorry HERE.
ORDER THE PAPERBACK 'THE EVIDENCE, HOWEVER, IS CLEAR...THE SEROXAT SCANDAL' By Bob Fiddaman US and CANADA HERE OR UK FROM CHIPMUNKA PUBLISHING
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