Hubris In Psychiatry


The Greek word ‘Hubris’ is defined as having an excessive self-importance or arrogance. It is a word I have been thinking of over the last few days particularly after a meeting I had with a consultant psychiatrist recently. To say I was under-whelmed is an understatement. Not for the first time I came out of a meeting with a consultant with a combination of little hope and total disappointment.

For years now I have been engaged with mental health services. During that time my over-riding impression of the paradigm within which psychiatry works is deeply flawed and is failing those whom have turned to the services for

This is down to a number of reasons one of which being the role performed by consultant psychiatrists. My overall impression of those I have met is they are out of touch with the pain and suffering some of their patients are
experiencing and are lacking in any meaningful duty of care.

They seem to believe because the so called ‘service user’ has a problem of the mind they are in some way intellectually challenged or deficit in an ability to cope. The profession seems to be over-run by doctors who think they know
better or possess a degree of arrogance and inertia unsurpassed by most.

In essence there is very little compassion in psychiatry. Just because someone is living with a mental illness does not mean they are deficient in intellect or emotional intelligence.

The truth is Psychiatry is all in Head while Life is all in the Heart.

Liam Flanagan is a 47-year-old living in Galway on the west coast of Ireland. Degree in English and Philosophy. Teaching Diploma in IT. Ten years of experience working in the IT industry. Likes Sport, Music, Film and Politics.

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