The Psychiatric “Funnel System”

Whistle-blower condemns drug-dominated VA

A career employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) told Freedom that even though many veterans have trouble getting the physical help they urgently need, they never have trouble getting mood-altering drugs.

This individual, who has worked for more than 15 years in VA rehabilitation programs, provided examples of ailing veterans who left the VA in frustration or anger after their physical problems were not addressed.

One woman, for example, despite having serious difficulties with her body that could have been helped by more physical therapy, was discharged from the program and simply maintained on psychotropic drugs; her health thereafter deteriorated.

While physical therapy and other activities can often be hamstrung by insufficient finances, readily available pharmaceuticals have created a system that funnels veterans onto drugs and into psychiatric programs.

The staffer noted that psychiatrists and their treatment methods dominate the VA. Indeed, the largest single group of doctors in the VA are psychiatrists.1

Pharmaceutical companies — for whom, he said, the VA “rolls out the red carpet” — constitute one part of the problem.

Compounding the problem, he noted, “it’s much easier for doctors to pull out a pad and write a prescription,” instead of finding out what is really going on.

The result, he said, is that sick veterans do not get properly examined or diagnosed, do not have access to the full range of treatment methods available, and hence, in too many cases, do not recover or, even worse, get sicker.

1. Marianne Szegedy-Maszak, “The War of Emotions,” Health & Medicine, December 17, 2001.