Psychiatry and Other Enterprises

Book Review

Psychiatry and Other Enterprises
Personal Experiences and Reflections after 57 Years in the Field of Psychiatry
by Nelson Borelli, MD (Mill City Press, Inc., 2015)
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Northwestern University

“Psychiatry as it stands now, a neurological and drug-oriented enterprise, poses a bleak predicament for those suffering from emotional or existential problems.

“Psychiatry’s pursuit of the enterprising route as a means of survival is backfiring: psychiatry is on the brink of extinction as a medical specialty to once again become a stepchild of neurology. …

“Organized psychiatry lost a chance to achieve solid medical identity after WWII because its leadership refused to analyze itself, to listen to its critics, and to consider a new paradigm. Instead psychiatry sank its head into the ground to continue to rely on State support for its survival.

“The possible survival or the new birth of psychiatry would need a new paradigm. A paradigm which priority and main clause would be: separation-from-the-State.”

Dr. Borelli emphasizes that a fuller understanding of psychiatry’s failures can be found by following the money trail, particularly the governmental money trail.

Over the course of his career it became clear to Dr. Borelli that the people that consulted with him were not “mentally ill”; that the consultees either had medical problems with emotional symptoms or had ordinary life problems caused by poor management. As a Life Analyst, Dr. Borelli assists people seeking help in managing their personal lives. Rather than diagnosing and treating medical conditions, he now identifies the blind spots in the assessment and management of the life of his clients. He does not tell people how to live their lives. He strongly believes that psychiatry should do away with the forced treatment of people (involuntary commitment) and the insanity defense practice.

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