I’m done with PsychCentral

For years I’ve been following the long-standing internet mental health resource PsychCentral (getting the articles on my facebook feed through the website called ‘This Emotional Life’) because I felt it was important to stay informed about what the general public is being told about disorders and treatment. But today I decided that I’m not going to do it anymore, because it is just too upsetting to see one poorly-written article after another spreading misinformation and increasing stigma. I have already complained about two PsychCentral articles on this blog in the last two weeks, and then this week two other articles written by mental health professionals were quite disturbing to me. I tried expressing my point of view, but the authors’ condescending, dismissive replies to my comments made the whole process seem increasingly futile.

I feel ready to conclude that what the general public is being told about disorders and treatment on PsychCentral is quite often ill-informed and irresponsible. These mental health professionals writing for the website seem only interested in seeking public sympathy and admiration for the work they do – while also seeming to neglect their ethical and professional obligations to be concerned for the best interest of their clients.

The recurring problems I’ve found in PsychCentral articles include:

  • completely ignoring the research literature, including major strides made in the mental health field in the last 30 years
  • strong disdain towards clients and a willingness to make cruel, stigmatizing generalizations about them
  • a burned-out attitude toward much of the therapeutic process
  • refusal to acknowledge that managing one’s own stress and burnout – in order to prevent burdening, neglecting or harming clients — is actually a basic requirement of one’s job as a therapist
  • complete disregard for how the things flippantly said in these articles could have repercussions for public opinion and the well-being of individuals

So, in spite of my best intentions to stay “in the loop,” I’ve come to realize that doing so is keeping me trapped more than informed. I’ve seen enough of what the typical public discourse about mental health looks like and it is just too awful to take.

References

I was reluctant to post these links because I don’t necessarily want to encourage people to read these articles, but in case you want to know what articles I was reacting to, here they are. Note that both articles have been substantially revised since their original publication, and these are not the versions I was reacting to. In fact the first one, which has now been edited to say that it is about working with clients with antisocial personality disorder, used to be about clients with (all) personality disorders. In the second one, specific sentences that I had responded to in my comments on the article are no longer there.

 

 

2 thoughts on “I’m done with PsychCentral

  1. You’re probably right. Best for you to stay out of the loop. It’s not like being in it was making you any more use than you could be as an uniformed ranter, eh?

    Like

    • I’m not sure what your comment means to say, but to clarify: 1) I have no intention of writing (let alone ranting) about things I’m not informed on, and that’s why I stopped writing about psych central over a year ago, when I stopped reading it 2) I read and write peer-reviewed psych articles for a living, so I’ve never needed to rely on psych central as a source of information. We all have to pick our own battles, and I have no regrets about leaving this one behind.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s