The Riggs Blog

"Lost in Medication," An Article Published in The Atlantic Magazine Highlights Psychopharmacology and Dr. David Mintz

"The value of fresh air, therapeutic work, and a community of peers seems to have crumbled away in our quest for quicker and faster discharges and a focus on crisis management," writes Sarah Mourra in The Atlantic article “Lost in Medication.” Mourra's article talks about psychiatrists who take time with their patients as being abnormal in a system that rewards efficiency, not empathy. 

Psychosocial interventions are often left behind in inpatient psychiatric hospital wards because of pressure from insurance companies to prescribe and quickly discharge the patient. Mourra states, "Medications can play a large role, but other factors are enormously important -- environment, sense of purpose and meaning, the person's perception of their illness, and their relationship with the people who treat them."

Mourra's article references the work of Dr. David Mintz who, along with a team of psychopharmacologists at Austen Riggs, focuses on the psychological implications of the medicine as it relates to a person's identity and past being informing of a person's current symptoms and state. There is a growing evidence base that psychological factors play a significant role in the outcome of psychopharmacological treatments. Dr. Mintz advocates that the neglect of these evidence bases and adoption of a largely non-integrative model is likely a significant source of the current epidemic in treatment resistance patients, where multiple medication treatments have failed and the underlying psychological issues remain. 

Related Resources

Psychological Factors Play a Significant Role in the Outcome of Psychopharmacological Treatments

Why don’t psychiatrists do psychotherapy even though it works?

Dr. Mintz points to more evidence that psychological factors shape response to meds

Psychodynamic Psychopharmacology

The Doctor-Patient Relationship and Medication

A Novel Approach to Medication Management at Austen Riggs

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