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The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine Vol. 11, 2nd Quarter 1996


The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine

A Hoffer, MD, PhD

The Future of Psychiatry

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Recently, in an orthodox medical journal, the question was discussed whether psychiatrists were still going to be needed. Basically, modem psychiatrists have two main treatment functions: they prescribe drugs tranquilizers or antidepressants; and they may also do psychotherapy or counselling. It was suggested that general practitioners are just as capable of prescribing drugs, and that psychologists and counsellors are perhaps even more capable of doing psychotherapy and counselling. In other words, the family physicians could initiate the medical regimen, and the psychologists could take over the counselling function. This was not a very radical idea as it has been happening for many decades. Psychiatrists themselves have started deserting the really seriously ill the schizophrenics, the senile states, the personality disorders and have devoted themselves more and more to the more benign forms of disease such as depression and mild anxiety conditions.

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