Steal This Thesis – Corporate Interests Trump Sound Science

pillsA number of studies have come to my attention that provide empirical data for the success rates with the use of Jungian psychoanalytic techniques. Here’s a link below to one of them.

Let’s say for the moment and the sake of establishing a thesis that there is strong evidence that dream analysis and Aristotelian digging into subconscious thoughts ends up with patients being cured. Now, Jung himself said that there are no actual cures to the human condition, but what his methods can indeed provide are the tools to help individuals cope with life and daily struggle. But in that regard, if a patient no longer feels the need to have sessions with the psychologist because the patient can now deal with his or her day, then isn’t that close enough? Isn’t that what antidepressant medication is designed to do?

Readers of this Stinky Universe blog have suggested to me that the term Jungian psychoanalysis is intimidating and off-putting. Indeed. I will be blogging soon in an attempt to arrive at a new name for this. Here are some initial thoughts:

man-220971__180Suggested Names for the Re-Branding of Jungian Psychoanalysis

  • Whole Self Therapy
  • Brains R Us
  • Something’s Bugging Me Therapy
  • Cure Thyself Therapy
  • Get Med-Free!

For this blog post, however, I will continue to call it Jungian psychoanalysis. In part, it’s because I want to be clear about what this thesis states. After all, asking the right question often elicits the answer you are seeking. Remember, though, this is a scientific thesis, and therefore there’s a requirement for data, and from that data, the theory (or proposition) is supported or not supported. I mean, after all, Einstein’s theory is still just a theory despite overwhelming evidence to support it.

big pharma and profit growthAnd so, here’s my argument. Companies are in business to make money. If they don’t make money, they fail. Now, when there is an avenue via which companies can make large amounts of money, they will support studies that provide evidence for the effectiveness of that treatment. For example, manufacturers of dental floss have studies that support the use of dental floss. For a while, it was accepted widely, even by the FDA. But upon further examination, the science was bogus. There are currently no widely accepted scientific studies that the use of dental floss provides long-term dental benefits.

Fine, you might say. That’s not a big surprise. And I would agree with you. However, in the case of Jungian psychoanalysis, why is this relatively short-term, cost-effective treatment so inadequately pursued by those institutions that purport to be involved in mental health? I mean, the U.S. is currently trying to map the brain via imaging techniques. These techniques can map neuron firings. And the solution, at least according to Big Pharma, is to provide drugs to suppress or amp up certain neural channels. My theory is that Big Pharma is active within the government to suppress grant money to those academics who wish to pursue studies that would support Jungian psychoanalytic techniques because those techniques, if proven to be successful and effective, would drastically cut into the bottom line of the multinational drug companies.

moneyAnd so I would like to see a thesis that goes after grant data. Do grant applications for studies that do not involve drugs/medications get turned down more often that grant applications for studies that do involve drugs/medications? I believe the data would be startling. And we might ask ourselves, what are all those Big Pharma lobbyists doing in Washington, D.C.? Might they be whispering into the ears of congressional oversight committees to adjust the grant approval criteria appropriately (i.e., in the best interest of Big Pharma)?

As I’ve pointed out, in Europe there’s a movement to collectively provide evidence to support the idea that Jungian psychoanalytic techniques work and are extremely cost effective. For me, the data show that how we should treat mental illness in the United States (and approach the study of treatments) is off track. It supports the pill approach instead of the we’ll teach you to cope approach. If we as a nation want what’s best for us, we should go with what also happens to be the most cost effective (albeit the least profitable for Big Pharma): Jungian psychoanalysis (or, the Whole Self approach).




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