Afterword from a story entitled “Litigation Lane,” excerpted from Beyond Bedlam’s Door: True Tales from the Couch and Courtroom (Thunder Lake Press).  Forensic psychiatry involves the interface of psychiatry and the law. Over the years, I was asked to psychiatrically evaluate people in the context of civil ...

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As a forensic psychiatrist, I have testified in courtrooms, at depositions, legal hearings, and inquests. I’ve been cross-examined by attorneys whose agenda was to discredit my testimony or demean psychiatry as a medical specialty. Two criticisms frequently leveled at psychiatry are: 1) Psychiatry has not changed significantly for the last sixty years and, 2) Psychiatry is the least scientific of all medical specialties. These beliefs are not true. Over the last few ...

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I was treating John W., a psychiatric patient who was an insurance executive. He was angry about his work situation. He complained bitterly about his supervisor whom he felt singled him out for unfair criticism. Over the course of months, John’s complaints escalated to the point where he said, “I swear … if there was a chance I’d get away with it, I’d love to get rid of the guy.” I ...

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