Robert Spitzer, M.D. claimed in a 1975 criticism of Rosenhan’s study which sparked controversy regarding the professionalism of psychiatry:
If I were to drink a quart of blood and, concealing what I had done, come to the emergency room of any hospital vomiting blood, the behaviour of the staff would be quite predictable. If they labelled and treated me as having a peptic ulcer, I doubt I could argue convincingly that medical science does not know how to diagnose that condition.
Which is obscenely true. Just as it’s true that if you were to come there and complained about a stomach pain, got an interview and they labelled and treated you as having a peptic ulcer that would be irresponsible, and probably do more harm than good. Would medicine be effective if practised in that way? of course not, that’s why they do more than talk with you, they run tests on you via objective apparatus and instruments.
Psychiatry is tantamount to giving people radiation therapy for breast cancer because they claim they feel pain in their chest without putting an X-ray through them first. I’m not saying there’s a better way, I’m just saying that since most mental conditions are not fatal, moving like this is completely irresponsible and does more harm than good.