On 12th September I was lecturing at the Jawaharlal Nehru University. My talk on "Uncertain Physics, Certain Psychiatry was organised by the Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health.
The paradigm of biomedical psychiatry, associated with the name of Kraepelin, was modeled on the Newtonian paradigm of physics. While physics underwent several radical paradigm shifts in the early twentieth century, bringing about the recognition of the inherent uncertainty in nature, biomedical psychiatry has not learned from these changes and still maintains the view of a certain world.
The hegemony of this reductionist view in psychiatry in conjunction with the widespread use of force to hospitalize and treat people against their will results in a mental health care sector that is not inviting for many of those who experience mental distress.
I argued that a prohibition of force in psychiatry would result in better mental health for the population at large. Alternative paradigms would be encouraged (or at least not marginalised), people in distress would feel safe to proactively seek help. The price to pay would be at most a marginal increase in violence committed by people in distress.