Letter to the Editor: James Camilli

Having had some experience with anxiety disorders myself, I’d like to comment on your Dec.11–17 cover story on local teen Jessica Celani. Actually, psychologists have a long history of misunderstanding and mistreating anxiety disorders and phobias. So much so, for instance, that back in the 1980s Dr. Arthur B. Hardy of Calif. felt moved to form his own organization, the “American Phobia Society,” to protect the rights of phobics and encourage self-treatment at home. Unfortunately the group dissolved after his death. But another pioneer in this field is Australian nurse Claire Weekes,whose many books and websites continue to offer good sound advice for anyone suffering from anxiety.

But problems with psychology go way beyond just mistreating anxiety disorders. In fact some, such as the late Dr. Carl Sagan, say that psychology isn’t a science at all and shouldn’t be grouped with the other sciences. It’s more a collection of theories, assumptions, half-baked morality, etc. Yet psychologists wield enormous power and are involved in many areas of society. You might even say that psychology has replaced religion as the guiding force in human life — but with very questionable results! Do you see the world getting any better since Sigmund Freud arrived on the scene back around 1900?

Readers interested in a critical and contrary view of psychology may want to check out the “Citizen’s Commission On Human Rights” website. This group acts as a psychology watchdog and also investigates cases of psychiatric abuse worldwide. Additionally they publish a “Mental Health Declaration Of Human Rights,” which should be read by anyone — or the loved ones of anyone — who has to deal with psychologists/psychiatrists. It tells you what limits you need to place on these people and how to defend yourself against them. It makes very worthwhile reading!

James Camilli