How effective is psychiatry?

Media reports always interpret mass shooting incidents as a result of mental illness.

With every new mass shooting the politicians and the media recommend that more money be spent on mental health ("Video of deadly Virginia news shooting sends social media shock waves," Aug. 26).

But is it money well spent? Have we become effectively socialized to not ask questions when it comes to the success rate of psychiatry?

In a number of the mass shootings, we later find out, the shooter was being treated and medicated by a psychiatrist. When the media does ask prying questions of psychiatrists, the interviewers are usually told that psychiatry is not an exact science or that "we are making progress."

Such answers effectively serve to stop any more prying questions.

CBS' "60 Minutes" and PBS' Judy Woodruff did a piece showing that many antidepressant drugs were just effective as placebos. I have also heard psychiatrists say talk therapy is not very successful. Well if talk therapy has little success and drugs are just as good as placebos, what does work?

A doctor can show you all the patients he or she has permanently cured. A psychiatrist would have trouble showing you anyone at all they have cured — not just "helped" but cured.

Paul Chevres, Elkton

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