Tom Cruise Views.

I know that Tom Cruise’s bad‐mouthing of psychiatry occurred a long time ago (6/24/2005), but I did not
have a website yet and I would like to address that now. I do not mind when people speak their minds and
give their own opinions; even when I totally disagree with them. Actually, I usually appreciate hearing
different points of view on things.
What upset me about Tom Cruise’s statements was that he was disparaging a whole field of medicine, to
the point of calling psychiatry a “pseudo‐science”. He was doing that based on a vague reference to his
research in psychiatry in which he just kept saying, “I know the history of psychiatry.” He made no specific
statements that were backed by scientific data. He continually asserted that medications are dangerous
and that they “mask problems”. He was talking about Brooke Shields’ treatment for post‐partum
depression, but somehow also started complaining about Ritalin, which is a medication used to treat
attention problems, and had nothing to do with Brooke Shields’ treatment.
Psychiatry, like all fields of medicine, is well‐researched. There are copious data for much of our
medications and for biological processes that support what we do and why we recommend treatments we
do. Granted, child psychiatry does have much less empiric data to support treatments for kids, including
for medications. The reason for that is the difficulty in getting studies approved for children because of
issues of consenting them for medication trials. Because of this, child psychiatrists are trained to
thoroughly evaluate children and carefully weigh the risks and benefits to giving medications. On top of
that, we are trained to review the potential dangers and side effects of medications in great detail with
parents and children so that they know what to watch for and what to expect with medications.
We live in a society where mental health problems are increasing. There has also been a stigma against
mental health treatment for a long time. This is a tragedy in the fact that psychiatrists have safe
treatments that can help a vast majority of people with mental health problems. At the time of this
writing, I believe that it is estimated that a mere one third of children with mental health problems are
now receiving mental health care. This is tragic because we now know that mental health problems in
childhood do follow people into adulthood when they are not treated. Depression and other mental health
problems are already a leading cause of disability in this country. That affects all of us in one way or
I don’t have a problem with the fact that Tom Cruise himself doesn’t believe in psychiatry; did we really
need him going on national television, espousing minimally researched, non‐evidence based negative
opinions on psychiatric treatment as fact? I think not.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.