Patrick McGorry deserves praise for about-turn on Psychosis Risk Disorder
Yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald (20 February 2012) included an article titled About-turn on treatment of the Young  which stated;
Concerns about the overmedication of young people and rigid models of diagnosis have led the architect of early intervention in Australian psychiatry, Patrick McGorry, to abandon the idea pre-psychosis should be listed as a new psychiatric disorder.
The former Australian of the Year had previously accepted the inclusion of pre-psychosis – a concept he and colleagues developed – in the international diagnostic manual of mental disorders, or DSM, which is being updated this year…But he believes young people at risk of psychosis are already over-medicated and inclusion in the manual could worsen the problem. “I think it’s a valid point to be concerned about the harms particularly in places like America,” he said. “I think probably I have given a bit more weight to that argument now”.…”It’s quite a legitimate debate, what the boundaries of mental illness are,” he said.
“We want to provide help, but we don’t want to turn everyone into a brain disease.” (full copy available athttp://www.smh.com.au/national/health/aboutturn-on-treatment-of-the-young-20120219-1th8a.html )
Professor McGorry’s change of heart was reported at this website on 15 June 2011 following a long, robust, but cordial series of exchanges between Professor McGorry and myself. (see http://speedupsitstill.com/australian-16-june-2011 )
It is heartening to see him restate his new position unambiguously in the mainstream media. Professor McGorry deserves praise for considering his critics arguments about the risk over-medication and giving ‘a bit more weight to that argument now’.
Martin Whitely MLA
POSTSCRIPT: Perhaps Professor McGorry could teach his colleague Professor Hickie about the value of robust debate. Professor Hickie has not responded constructively to the controversy surrounding his article expousing the virtues of agomelatine in the Lancet. (see http://speedupsitstill.com/professor-ian-hickie-visionary-mental-health-reformer-paid-pharmaceutical-industry-opinion-leader ) It is such a pity Professor Ian Hickie dismisses his critics as defamers, defenders of the mental health establishment or anti-psychiatry, rather than like professor McGorry engaging in constructive, robust, debate.