Jean-Pierre Olié

Healing Psychic Pain Publication date : September 10, 2009

The goal of psychiatry is to treat mental illness effectively. Yet the use of psychotropic medication remains controversial in France. In this book, Professor Olié argues that psychic suffering is a real illness and should receive effective treatments — just as any organic disease. It has been proven that when prescribed correctly psychotropic medications work, whether in the treatment of adolescents, of sleep disorders, or of anxiety and depression.

Questioning the usefulness of psychotropic medications is tantamount to underestimating mental disorders and to denying that someone suffering from psychic pain is really ill.

However, the psychiatrist's role is not simply to prescribe medications: finding the balance between medication and psychotherapy, the significance of the doctor/patient relationship, and listening to patients are all central to psychiatry — the medicine of Man in its very essence.

In defining the psychiatrist's role, psychiatry's area of competence, and the importance of the diagnosis, Professor Olié asserts the specificity and the recognition that people suffering psychic pain are entitled to — regardless of the intensity of their suffering — in order to be well cared for.

In this book, an eminent psychiatrist with a thorough knowledge of psychic disorders argues in favour of using effective medication, in conjunction with humane care, in the treatment of mental disorders. In France, the use of these psychotropic medications remains a subject of heated debate, yet the nation consumes a record amount of antidepressants. In this reasoned discussion backed by recent research, Professor Olié underlines the positive effects and the future of medication in the treatment of mental illness.

Jean-Pierre Olié is a psychiatrist and head of department at Hôpital Sainte-Anne, in Paris. He is the author of several books on psychiatry and mental illness.