‘I was told I was being treated for a mental illness’: Psychiatrist claims her patients were being ‘treated for a psychological condition’
A psychologist has claimed her patients had been subjected to “treatment for a psychiatric condition” at a US hospital, after being “treated like children”.
The allegations have emerged as more than 100 mental health professionals have called for the resignation of the hospital’s psychiatrist, and for the hospital to take action against the psychologists, as part of an investigation into the mental health system in the US.
In a blog post published on Monday, the National Alliance for Mental Health (NAMI) said “the hospital should immediately issue an apology and provide all appropriate redress”.
“It is not a medical emergency and should not be used as a weapon by an administration that treats mental illness like an epidemic, or in a system that treats all patients with the same disregard,” said NAMI director Robert Blomquist.
The blog post, which has not been independently verified, also called for “appropriate and immediate redress”.
The blog was written by Dr. Michelle Kornfeld, a psychiatrist at Columbia University Medical Center, who was a member of the faculty of psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical Centre.
“I have been a patient at Georgetown for nearly four years,” Kornfield wrote.
“They were treating me as a ‘patient’ for a non-medical condition and I was not.”
The blog is one of many published by Kornstein in response to an inquiry into Georgetown University’s mental health systems in the wake of the suicide of a 22-year-old student.
“The medical community has become complicit in the culture of mental illness,” Korkstaffe said.
“This is especially true in the United States, where many of our patients suffer with mental illness.”
Dr Kornfeild has previously written that she was once “treated as a child” by a hospital psychiatrist who had “no idea how to treat the real mental health conditions that affect the rest of us”.
Kornsteines medical training and experience at Georgetown included “clinical psychology”, which is “not necessarily a field of study for psychiatric doctors”, according to a listing on the university’s website.
“We have been able to provide care to our patients with minimal medical training,” a statement on the website reads.
The university has denied that Kornstaffe was “diagnosed” with a psychiatric disorder, saying that she “never had a diagnosis or any indication that she had a mental disorder”.
It added that she has “been and continues to be a member and supporter of the Georgetown University community”.
“Our patients are treated as children.
They are not,” the university statement said.
It said it has “zero tolerance” for any form of bullying.
Kornfldstein has not responded to multiple requests for comment.
The hospital has been criticized for its handling of the case of a patient who died after suffering from anxiety, depression and panic attacks.
It was also criticised for not providing sufficient care for her patients, including her own children.
“There is no room for mental illness in a hospital,” Kinkstein wrote.
Korkstein was appointed to the position of psychiatry chair by Dr Robert N. Blum, who also is a professor of psychiatry and the director of the Harvard-affiliated Institute of Psychiatry.
Blumen’s post has not previously been made public.
The Washington Post, which first reported the allegations, said it was “appalled” by Korksteines allegations.
It has not named the patients who are alleged to have been subjected, but said they are “people of colour and LGBTQI people”.
“The hospital has shown an inability to treat a patient in need of care, which is why we have demanded that Dr. Kossenfeild resign,” the Post reported.
Kinkstaffe, who worked at Georgetown’s Medical Center for 12 years, wrote that the university was “obsessed with what it calls its mission” of serving “the nation” and that she hoped that “they would be willing to do what’s right for our patients”.
The hospital said it had received “a wide range of complaints” about its staff and care, but would not say if any had been substantiated.
It did not respond to questions about the allegations.