How Do Psychiatrists Diagnose?

How Do Psychiatrists Diagnose?

I was diagnosed with schizophrenia. A diagnosis I know is wrong. So, how do psychiatrists diagnose me? For starters, they don’t tend to use an intuitive faculty involving insight as one might think.

My lawyer recently advised me not to share anything on this blog that he and I have discussed, so I will not be sharing many details. My next court date for disputing Dr. Potlick’s NCR (Not Criminally Responsible) report against me will be at the end of July 2019. I don’t know yet whether we’ll be delving into the details of the case, or whether it’ll be another adjournment. I do know, however, that the trial will not be completed during that one session. This 10th post from my Karma from Smearing Sri Chinmoy blog articles discusses how psychiatrists have diagnosed me.

Have My Diseases Been Healed?

As I mentioned in other blog posts, one miracle I thought Sri Chinmoy might perform to help pull me out of this mire was the healing of my prostate cancer. However, I received radiation treatment on May 16th for this cancer. Perhaps if I had a delusional belief that Sri Chinmoy was going to heal it, or if I was suicidal in some way, I wouldn’t have bothered going through with the treatment. My next test to monitor my cancer will be held in November, but this type of treatment has more than a 90% survival rate. In other words, my cancer will likely not return.

On the other hand, Sri Chinmoy has indeed healed my gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). I haven’t taken a stomach pill (Rabeprazole) since mid-January 2019. My incessant burping problem has been completely healed. And I hardly ever have problems with acid reflux.

What Am I Proposing Against the Nova Scotia Health Authority?

I’m drafting an open letter to the Nova Scotia Health Authority Board of Directors. I may or may not publish it, or even send it to them. I hope to get advice from my lawyer first. I certainly feel that I need it.

One of the points I make in that letter is: why aren’t there mandates for NS Health Authority mental health care workers to:

  • a) set aside their predispositions before concluding anything about a client
  • b) use their intuition as opposed to their faculty of perception to diagnose those clients?

Spiritual Master Sri Chinmoy, one of the greatest spiritual geniuses to walk the earth, detailed the difference between perception and intuition this way:

There is a great difference between perception and intuition. Perception is of a very, very low origin and intuition is of a very, very high origin. Perception comes from the mind proper, from the vital, or from even lower regions. Perception can never go beyond the ordinary level of mental consciousness. Even when we perceive something to the fullest extent, this perception comes from the mind. But intuition comes from a very high level of consciousness far above the mind. In perception, there is very rarely a direct knowledge of Truth; there is no direct wisdom. Perception is an indirect way of approaching the Truth, a roundabout way. But intuition is an immediate and direct way of approaching the Truth. There can be no comparison between perception and intuition.
~ Sri Chinmoy [Source: Aspiration-Plants]

It is shocking, to say the least, that psychiatrists do not understand the difference between diagnosing with their intuition and diagnosing with their perception. How are you an expert on knowing the consciousness of another individual when you can’t understand something that basic? It seems that management at the NS Health Authority does little (or no) discerning as to whether a psychiatrist has any intuitive capacity prior to hiring them.

Furthermore, these psychiatrists — at least the ones who have misdiagnosed me — don’t value the significance of setting aside their predispositions prior to investigating a client or guiding them through a clinical process. Dr. Nelson, for example — the psychiatrist I met with from 2013 to 2018 to get a letter allowing me to help my daughter with a mental health problem — concluded that I needed to take an antipsychotic medication for the rest of my life BEFORE she even met me for the first time. Before she even met with my family members or friends, the latter of which she has never done. She just “figured all this out” by looking into my health record, which is typical of how a psychiatrist diagnoses.

The following are my journal notes from my very first meeting with Dr. Nelson on August 28, 2013:

I met with my new psychiatrist, whom I’ll call Dr. Angela Nelson, for the first time on this date. She had already decided that I have schizophrenia before even speaking to me, just from looking at notes about me in my health record and from reading the letter I wrote on May 21, 2013, while I was in the mental health clinic the last time. So, it was already decided, before even speaking to me, that I will have to take the antipsychotic medication Risperidone. She doesn’t really understand the concept of oneness with Guru, which I tried explaining to her, and she wasn’t really all that interested in hearing about it.

She also told me that I will have to take the Risperidone medication for the rest of my life because of the type of mental illness I supposedly have, and she told me that she will be my psychiatrist from this point forth, i.e. I will no longer be switching to different psychiatrists. She told me the reason why she thinks I have a mental illness is because of the fact that inner communication with a Guru is not something that people normally experience in society. She told me that’s how she diagnosed me, but there was more than that based off my history in my health record.

During my meeting with Dr. Nelson, I told her that I’m starting to deal with a lot of what seems like unconscious anxiety. I told her that after I deal with one problem within me (i.e. get rid of it by giving to Guru), I start to deal with a new problem that was there on a more unconscious level. It seems that once you start to make some progress, you become aware of problems that you weren’t aware of before. And you start to realize that you can overcome these problems that they were bringing you down. I’m deprived of true happiness for various reasons. She didn’t really seem to understand that and just wanted to focus on my schizophrenic delusions. I mentioned to her that I thought maybe it would help if I could take some additional medication (in addition to the Effexor, which is helpful for anxiety) to help me deal with my anxiety, but she didn’t want to address that; she just wants to focus on the Risperidone for now.

Three years later, still just trying to get a good letter from Dr. Nelson, I asked her what method she uses for determining whether one has delusions. Her response was as follows:

“Well, that’s a good question. Ultimately, Jacob, from a psychiatry perspective, the practice of psychiatry is that it is a clinical assessment. So, there’s no ability to do, like, blood tests or X-rays or physical exams to help in that regard. So, it’s a clinical assessment, and ultimately what we need to consider is not just someone’s beliefs from a delusional perspective or from a diagnosis perspective, but also how they’re doing in life and how their beliefs differ or are similar to what is considered their cultural and religious norm. So, it is a clinical assessment, which means the method we use is by talking to people, patients, and getting collateral from their family and friends.”

So, what was the clinical process I went through with Dr. Nelson and what family and friends of mine did she speak to before determining I needed an antipsychotic for the rest of my life? Dr. Potlick, the forensic psychiatrist, never spoke to any family members or friends of mine to help him conclude whether I am schizophrenic. And as I said earlier, neither did Dr. Nelson. This is what I mean when I say she diagnosed me with her predispositions.

I didn’t go through any clinical process with her before she stated that I need to take an antipsychotic for the rest of my life. These were beliefs she already had prior to any kind of process with her. She did not look into my beliefs to see if they were valid. For example, she had no knowledge of spiritual communication abilities in general and did no research into how this is common for a Sri Chinmoy disciple. She could have read the book, On Sri Chinmoy’s Sunlit Path: Stories by Disciples of Sri Chinmoy, or she could have spoken to Sri Chinmoy disciples who are friends of mine. Although I may not have had any Sri Chinmoy disciple who could speak to her on my behalf at the time, she didn’t even consider the notion of talking to anyone prior to arriving at her diagnosis. And I could not penetrate these predispositions for the entire four and a half years I met with her.

The NS Health Authority psychiatrists I’ve dealt with do not admit that they haven’t done anything to discern whether I’m:

  • a) someone with spiritual communication abilities coupled with mental health problems stemming from childhood trauma (which I claim I am)
  • from
  • b) someone who is schizophrenic with both psychosis and delusional beliefs.

How can they discern that I’m NOT experiencing a spiritual relationship with Sri Chinmoy when they know nothing of spiritual communication? It’s far more likely they don’t believe this type of communication exists. They are predisposed against my belief. They do not know what it is like to be Sri Chinmoy’s disciple. They simply have a limiting belief that he is an ordinary man.

I’m likely not going to be able to challenge Dr. Potlick’s NCR decision against me unless I find at least one other expert to testify on my behalf.

Unfortunately, I can’t find someone who is known for an advanced intuitive capacity, or who simply has expert knowledge of spiritual communication — such as a psychic or a fellow Sri Chinmoy disciple — unless that person is also a scientist or psychiatrist.

Only an expert can provide such opinion-based evidence. And the party calling the expert witness bears the burden of showing that s/he is an expert in a particular field AND that that particular area of testimony has some accepted scientific validity.

I’d have to ask another “expert” who hardly knows me to testify. I can’t ask a friend or a family member to take the stand — someone who knows me extremely well, and who could easily provide their knowledge that I’m thriving, making absurd to remove me from this balanced and productive life I’m living. No one close to me can say I shouldn’t be mandated to take a potent medication (or risk being sent to a jail-like forensic hospital) despite my having no history of violence. That person would have to be an expert and have the court be willing to overlook their relationship with me.

When I was made an involuntary patient at the Abbie J. Lane Hospital in Halifax, Nova Scotia, a stay brought on by Sri Chinmoy, as my Higher Self, tricking me as I relayed in this true story about a spiritual experience I had, I was eventually able to meet with a review board. This should not be confused with the Criminal Code Review Board under whose jurisdiction I’ll be placed if I lose this NCR trial. This review board was to determine whether I could get my status changed to voluntary. They agreed that my status should be changed to voluntary and noted that one of their justifications for this decision was:

“When [Jacob Miller’s psychiatrist] was asked about deterioration, she told the Board that her concern was that his behaviour is unpredictable due to his psychosis and that he may become a danger to self or others. There is, however, no history of violence or aggression and no reason to believe that this will suddenly become a problem if he were to be made a voluntary patient.”

I was made a voluntary patient at this hospital because I have no history of violence or aggression, but I WILL BE forced to stay at the jail-like East Coast Forensic Hospital simply by refusing to take the potent antipsychotic medication the Criminal Code Review Board will likely order me to take.

I hope that these psychiatrists will open their minds to intuitively diagnosing others without strictly relying on what previous doctors have said and prejudgments based on their own beliefs.

How do psychiatrists diagnose? Certainly not by using advanced techniques.

Arjuna D. Ghose lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada (most of the time). When he's not working on writing for this blog or his multi-volume memoir, The Struggle Within, he's usually working on web development and internet marketing projects or trying to help his daughter to ensure she grows up believing in herself, with happiness, and making good choices. He became a member of the Sri Chinmoy Centre in 1994 and continues to follow the teachings of Sri Chinmoy with the intention of making continuous progress toward the goal of fully actualizing and manifesting his spiritual nature.

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