More than any other discipline, psychiatry has lost its autonomy as an independent branch of the medical sciences and, as a result, it is now more or less under the complete influence of the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. No longer is the psychiatrist the one who is in complete charge of the patient. Today, the psychiatrist treats the psychiatric symptom such as anxiety, depression etc with medication. while the psychologist or social worker treats the “whole patient.”
How did this tragic degradation in this once highly respected profession come about? The decline in the quality of psychiatric care is directly related to the psychiatrist’s failure to understand the origin and functions of emotions that underlie psychiatric illness. This necessarily led to a mechanistic, brain-centered distortion of psychiatric illness and a symptom based system of diagnosis and treatment. The elimination of the troublesome symptom, not the establishment of emotional health, became the goal of psychiatric treatment. The mechanistically oriented psycho-pharmacologist gradually replaced the function of the psychotherapist as the primary caretaker. With the use of medication, the energy behind the patient’s psychiatric problematic symptom is blocked from being experienced but this occurs at the expense of his emotional well-being.
The mechanistic distortions of human emotional life that we see today in the practice of psychiatry did not occur because of a lack of knowledge. They could have been prevented if the medical discoveries of Wilhelm Reich such as the existence of biological energy, the function of armor and the orgasm function were understood and incorporated into the existing body of psychiatric knowledge. Tragically, the overwhelming majority of psychiatrists were and still are unable to think functionally and grasp the crucial importance of these discoveries. They are left with a sterile approach to human illness, one that cannot be sustained for long before the public at large and the psychiatric profession itself become disillusioned with the current state of affairs and look for a better alternative to what they have.