Paul McHugh, 87, is a psychiatrist and professor at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Dr. McHugh is best known as psychiatry’s most outspoken critic and skeptic of the “crazes” that periodically overtake his specialty. In her recent “Weekend Interview” with McHugh, Wall Street Journal contributor Abigail Shrier observed, “either he’s crazy, or all the other psychiatrists are.”
He’s not crazy.
Shrier writes that psychiatry “has fallen under the sway of a dizzying number of crazes.” Fads such as ADHD, anorexia nervosa, and recovered memory, devoid of “organizing principles” intrinsic to every medical discipline, destroy lives, displace centuries-old moral and societal customs, and lead to gross miscarriages of justice. For example, McHugh’s expert testimony has exonerated several defendants’ wrongfully accused of child abuse.
McHugh argues that practitioners often employ what he calls “DSM checklist psychiatry” — matching up symptoms from the Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) with the goal of achieving diagnosis — rather than inquiring deeply into the sources and nature of an affliction.
In the 1980s, Dr. McHugh became a leading opponent of so-called recovered-memory therapy
He argues that recovered memories are iatrogenic — a Greek word meaning “brought on by the healer” — implanted by the therapeutic process that purports to discover them. more here